From capital city Marigot with its harbour side bistros, museums and boutiques that are so reminiscent of France, to its passion for gastronomy, St. Martin is the French-Caribbean island known for its exquisite cuisine, vibrant cultural scene and fine beaches.
Sitting to the north of Dutch St. Maarten, French St. Martin is where you can walk the old slave trail past towering breadfruit trees to Pic Paradis, the island’s highest point, taste the flavours of the French Caribbean in its many little villages, or dive into the dazzling undersea world of its turquoise waters. See and be seen at the ‘Riviera of the Caribbean’, the famous Orient Bay Beach, or bask in pure seclusion at Happy Bay. St. Martin is blessed with an abundance of these little hidden coves of powder white sand, and with the warm welcome that awaits, it’s no wonder that St. Martin in known as ‘The Friendly Island’.
Airports / Gateways / Flying times
Airports: Princess Juliana International Airport Simpson Bay, St. Maarten, N.A., L’Espérance Regional Airport Grand Case, St. Martin, F.W.I.
Gateways/Flying Times: There are no direct flights from the UK. Air France fly from Heathrow via Paris, and KLM from Heathrow via Amsterdam. There are local connecting flights from Antigua. Paris: 8 hours 50 minutes. Amsterdam: 9 hours.
The average daytime temperature in winter is 26ºC-28ºC with cool evenings. Summer is a few degrees warmer.
Whether it’s fine dining that you crave or to eat like a local, St. Martin is the destination where you can dine like a king at the many ‘lolos’ overlooking the sea. Devour the fresh fish of the day, stewed conch, rice and peas and fried plantains at a beachside café, or descend on the gastronomical centre of St. Martin, Grand Case, where its Boulevard de Grand Case is lined with restaurants serving Caribbean food with French flair.
French is the official language of St. Martin but English is widely spoken.
Nightlife in St. Martin tends to be quieter than in nearby Dutch St. Maarten, so you won’t find the Vegas-inspired lights and sounds of the south. At least, not all of the time, as St. Martin’s new SXM Festival is bringing in a younger crowd to the island each March with its pulsing techno beat and international DJs.
On this French inspired Caribbean island, there is much to experience and discover. Fort Louis in the capital Marigot was built in 1789 and you can hike to the ruins for wonderful views out over the city. A great day to visit is market day when the scent of fresh spices fill the air. Take a trip to Loterie Farm, a former sugar plantation set amongst tropical forest and soaring mountain peaks where you can enter the ‘fly-zone’ for treetop adventures and more. From Loterie Farm, hike to the glorious heights of Pic Paradis.