Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe Cruise Port
To immerse yourself millions of years into the past, cruising to Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe is a geologist's dream come true. A small archipelago of the French Antilles or French West Indies located in the Caribbean, Les Saintes (as it's also called) is made up of rocks that first appeared during the Tertiary age – anywhere from 4.7 to 2 million years ago. These “Islands of the Saints” include the mountainous Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas Islands, along with seven other uninhabited islets; the total population for Les Saintes numbers around 3,400 residents. French is the area's first language, along with Les Saintes Creole (a French-based creole language). While Christopher Columbus came across the archipelago in 1493, it was the French who annexed it in 1648. If you’re looking for beaches and breathtaking views galore, check out some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe:
- It's easy to find excellent beaches. The most popular are Plage Pompierre on Terre-de-Haut, with its calm waters; and the second Grande Anse on Terre-de-Bas, considered one of the best beaches in Les Saintes (the first Grande Anse isn’t safe for swimming, so make sure you avoid the one at the end of the airport runway).
- If you're interested in a climb, there's Le Chameau on Terre-de-Haut. It's the island's highest point and will take around an hour to walk to the top, or rent a motorbike to cut down travel time considerably. Once there, look for the ancient watchtower, which provides a magnificent view.
- The Galerie des Saintes on Terre-de-Haut is a charming little gallery where you can view and purchase art by Breton artist Martine Cotten, who is sometimes onsite. There are also some nice clothing items for purchase.
- For a history lesson, there's Fort Napoléon. While the indoor museum may be of more interest to those who are totally interested in naval history, the cactus garden outside is great place to spot the spirited iguanas. Located on Terre-de-Haut, the mid-19th-century fort was never actually used in battle. Instead, it provides terrific views of Bourg des Saintes and Fort Josephine.