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Travel to Guadeloupe: ten sites and activities that make you dream

2020-12-26T06:14:33.205Z

8 hours by plane from the metropolis, the archipelago of the French Antilles is an ideal destination for nature lovers, while winter is raging in Europe. Between Grande-Terre, land of cane fields and white sand beaches, and the green paradise of Basse-Terre, pleasures ...



[Despite the

Covid-19

health crisis

, Guadeloupe is accessible to mainland tourists with a negative PCR or antigen test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding.

All the info in our article

.]

The Guadeloupe ?

What generosity, what beauty!

Your hand wanders over the fragrant white flowers of the jasmine-wood;

your bare foot treads the pristine sand that thousands of years of erosion of the barrier reef has made as thin as sugar.

The mangrove is revealed as you enter its bowels on a paddle board, and small secret paths open up in front of the wheels of your car to exquisite coves fringed with grape trees.

In this land of the Lesser Antilles, a change of scenery is always there.

With its butterfly shape (its two large main islands are separated by a river), Guadeloupe offers two very different faces, on the Atlantic Ocean side and the Caribbean Sea side.

From

Pointe-à-Pitre

where you will land, head west towards

Basse-Terre

to explore its humid forest, waterfalls, Native American petroglyphs, and volcano.

The diving is phenomenal, the beaches uncrowded, and the adorable Saintes archipelago is only a boat's throw away.

This clockwise route then takes you to

Grande-Terre

, to the east, to enjoy its superb lagoon at 25 ° C.

It borders a south coast dotted with seaside resorts and coconut palms.

Among the unmissable pleasures of the region, you have to try a nap in a hammock on the Bois-Jolan beach, a good meal in Saint-François, an excursion to Petite-Terre and, of course, venture to the Pointe des Castles.

The tropical forest and its waterfalls (Basse-Terre)

The tropical forest of Basse-Terre.

Marie Dufay

Basse-Terre is the rainforest kingdom, or tropical forest, which covers more than 36,000 ha.

It includes 300 species of trees, which grow between immense ferns, in a jumble of lianas.

In this setting worthy of an adventure film, a change of scenery is guaranteed.

Beautiful hikes allow you to reach the most beautiful waterfalls in Guadeloupe: the

Carbet falls of

course, the

Moreau falls

(100 m high and one of the most beautiful hikes in Guadeloupe), but also the

Acomat jump

or the

Paradise basin,

lurking in the forest.

All practical information on

http://www.guadeloupe-parcnational.fr/fr

Trois-Rivières (Basse-Terre)

The petroglyphs, in the Roches Gravées archaeological park.

Marie Dufay

Located at the southern end of the island, here is a small piece of very authentic Guadeloupe, in the heart of lush nature.

Its black sand beach, the friendliness of the inhabitants and the still alive traditions around

Vieux-Fort

will seduce you.

In the

Roches Gravées

archaeological park

, you can admire about twenty pre-Columbian remains: these petroglyphs depicting human faces and very bare silhouettes were traced around the year 300 by the Arawak Indians.

  • Our advice:

    prefer the morning lights to observe them (tel 05 90 92 91 88, guided tour 2 € / pers).

The archipelago of Saintes

Panoramic view of Terre-de-Haut, the most secret of the archipelago's islands.

boivinnicolas - stock.adobe.com

The adorable little archipelago of Saintes rises in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, 15 minutes by boat from Trois-Rivières (with CTM Deher, https://www.ctmdeher.com/; tel: 05 90 92 06 39; return adult / child 23/16 €).

Terre-de-Bas

, the most populated island, offers a range of nautical and gustatory joys;

its bay, topped by Fort Napoleon, is splendid, and its hilly terrain is best visited by scooter.

This “Creole Saint-Tropez” is the territory of fishermen of Norman and Breton origin… and iguanas!

More secret and wild, the peaceful

Terre-de-Haut

, which can be reached in a few minutes by the sea, is also worth a detour.

The Soufrière volcano (Basse-Terre)

This active volcano, a veritable totem of Guadeloupe, is also the highest point in the Antilles (1467 m).

Christelle.delforge - stock.adobe.com

Climbing to the top of this 200,000 year old active volcano is an extraordinary experience.

Culminating point of the Antilles with its 1467 m, Soufrière can be approached in less than 3 hours round trip, thanks to a marked trail starting from the

Bains Jaunes

- thermal springs fed by the volcano -, which takes you through the rainforest.

Up there, a lunar atmosphere, chilly fog and sulphurous vapors await you: mystical at will!

  • Our advice:

    choose clear weather for this relatively easy hike, and don't forget to equip yourself correctly (technical clothing, poles, water, cereal bars).

The Cousteau reserve (Basse-Terre)

A gorgon, in the Cousteau reserve.

Grégory CEDENOT;

On the territory of the municipality of

Bouillante

, on the west coast of Basse-Terre, this underwater reserve offers a great biological diversity: corals, gorgonians, sponges, turtles, crustaceans, countless species of molluscs and fish (groupers, parrots, damselflies…), and up to twenty species of cetaceans (sperm whales, humpback whales, dolphins…).

Famous since Commander Cousteau shot scenes from his film “Le monde du silence” in 1955, it will delight divers and snorkelers.

The

Malendure beach

concentrates the providers who take you to the

Pigeon islets

which are also part of the Cousteau reserve.

Their formulas and prices are similar.

The crossing road (Basse-Terre)

One of the waterfalls (les Écrevisses) where you can dive on the road.

Marie Dufay

This magnificent winding road of 30 km crosses from east to west the national park of Guadeloupe, cutting through dense tropical vegetation.

Bamboo, gum trees, giant ferns and mahogany throng the side aisles, before giving way to waterfalls (the Lézarde jump, the Crayfish waterfall) and mountainous reliefs that lend themselves to hiking (Mamelles walk, or the most difficult trace of the ridges).

  • Our tip:

    the Parc des Mamelles, (https://www.zoodeguadeloupe.com/; tel .: 05 90 98 83 52; adult / child admission 15.50 / 9 €) in the heart of the forest - that we explore from walkways 20 m high - exhibits a variety of wildlife.

The beaches between Deshaies and Sainte-Rose (Basse-Terre)

Grande Anse beach, on the north coast of Basse-Terre.

Marie Dufay

Green, serene, the north coast of Basse-Terre is home to fishing ports that are scattered among magnificent beaches, in a style different from that found on Grande-Terre.

Between

Deshaies

and

Sainte-Rose

, the blond, brown and ocher sand shines with a thousand lights, especially at sunset.

Whatever their sizes, we can taste the idleness in love, we play in the waves, we meet there with friends.

Our favorites?

Leroux, Grande Anse, la Perle, Cluny, les Amandiers, and Nogent.

The beaches of the south of Grande-Terre

The paradisiacal Caravelle beach, near Sainte-Anne, offers a dream setting.

Other sublime but less frequented beaches are accessible to the south of Grande-Terre.

Sébastien KOMARNICKI - stock.adobe.com

The south coast of Grande-Terre is the most frequented region of the island ... and for good reason: the coast has dozens of idyllic beaches, bathed in crystalline waters, where the golden sand that you let flow between your fingers like that of an hourglass reminds us that, under the coconut palms, time stands still.

Among them, that of

Bois-Jolan

is one of the most attractive.

Extending over 2 km, rather family-friendly, it is protected by a coral reef, and renowned for the limpidity of its calm waters.

The

Raisins Clairs

beach

is ideal for lazing, while

the

busy

Caravelle

beach

offers postcard decor.

Saint-François and Petite-Terre (Grande-Terre)

A gray iguana, visible in Petite-Terre, an uninhabited archipelago that can be reached from Saint-François.

Zaphne - stock.adobe.com

Important fishing village with beautiful colorful huts,

Saint-François

has become one of the largest seaside resorts in Guadeloupe.

Between its superb lagoon (ideal for surfing and windsurfing), its many restaurants and hotels, its marina, its nightlife, it is bound to have a good time.

It is from there that we go on an excursion to

Petite-Terre

, a marvelous uninhabited archipelago of 200 hectares, territory of iguanas, migratory birds, green turtles, rays, tropical fish and dolphins.

Allow 45 minutes to cross

https://www.petite-terre.com/visite.html

.

The tip of the Castles (Grande-Terre)

At the very end of Grande-Terre, the point sinks into the Atlantic.

Marie Dufay

It is a bit like the point of the Antillean Raz.

10 km from Saint-François, at the very end of Grande-Terre, the spectacular Pointe des Châteaux plunges into the Atlantic, like a mineral bow defying the waves.

This grandiose peninsula is the most visited site in Guadeloupe.

You must see it on windy days, when the cliffs are whipped by the spray of foam.

A road crosses this magnificent isthmus punctuated by white sand beaches, such as that of Les Salines.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2020-12-26

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