Travel Guide to St. Barts – CNW Network –

Just north of the Lesser Antilles and off the coast of Anguilla, lies the tiny island of Saint Barthélemy or Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Barthélemy, better known as St. Barts.
St. Barts is an overseas collective of France, and is one of the few islands in the Caribbean region to still have direct ties to a European country. While the official language is French, most of the sub-10,000 population are trilingual, speaking French, English, and Spanish. The island is so small that there are scant street names and no public transportation. Visitors typically rent a car, bike, or scooter to get around on their own.
This hidden gem is an isle of luxury enticing visitors as diverse as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, international pop star Dua Lipa, the celebrity family, the Kardashians, and boxing legend Mike Tyson. It has one of the best high-end shopping scenes in the Caribbean, featuring stores from Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
St. Barts might be a small package, but it packs one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the region.
A stay anywhere in the Caribbean will leave you spoiled on beach picks – soft, white sandy shores and picture-perfect blue waters are the norms. St. Barts has its share, but for a beach like no other, there’s Shell Beach. The mega tourist spot answers a question you probably never asked, what if all the sand on a beach was replaced by colorful sea shells? It’s an incredible experience in person with enough soft spots for you to have a typical beach adventure complete with nearby restaurant offerings.
Hiking Trails
The lack of public transportation is more than made up of incredible hiking trails. You can hike to beaches, to restaurants, or the unique natural pools located around the island. It’s recommended that you hire a guide, if not to navigate the paths, then to make sure the pools are safe to enter, as during certain weather conditions the tide gets rough. In ideal conditions, the pools are well worth the trek. The pool at the Grand Fond is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The water is so clear, yet in beautiful shades of blue, that you can see to the bottom. The pool is enclosed by bright orange rock creating a striking contrast that feels ethereal.
When it comes to cuisine on the island, you can do no wrong. The natural bounty of the land and sea that makes up all Caribbean cuisine is augmented with classic French culinary techniques. The result? Fine dining can hold its own with some of the best restaurants in the world.
Amis is a French-Mediterranean restaurant that prides itself on using fresh, natural ingredients to elevate even the simplest dishes. Their menu is made up of decadent pasta such as their “Local Lobster Ravioli” served with a carrot and ginger puree, fresh seafood dishes like their stuffed squid with paella spices, and a variety of carpaccios. Amis also has vegetarian and gluten-free options on offer.
Orega is the “break-the-bank” option. Reservations need to be made weeks in advance, but if you score a table you’ll be treated to an incredible experience. This Franco-Japanese fusion restaurant serves up dishes as beautiful as they are delicious, seamlessly combining the two cuisines to create something wholly unique.
Le Barthélemy is an escape from the crowds of tourists that navigate the island. It’s luxury, but the highlights of the property are the private villas that are available for rent. Each of the six-bedroom luxury cottages has access to all the expected amenities. Each villa has access to its own private infinity pool. Located on the beachfront, and designed by acclaimed French interior designer, Sybille de Margerie, Le Barthélemy offers a touch of Parisian modernism amidst rustic island charm.
St. Barts is one of the safest islands to travel to in the Caribbean, boasting virtually no crime. It’s said that locals even leave their cars and homes unlocked. However, traveling to the island might be an obstacle. There are no direct flights from the United States to St. Barts, with many of the visitors arriving via private jets, yachts, a stop on a cruise, or indirect flights.

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