St. Barth

Caribbean Island for the Rich and Famous

St. Barth is one of the least-known islands in the Caribbean. Keep in mind that St. Barts is a luxury destination, known for its high-end resorts, restaurants and boutiques. It is also a popular celebrity destination due to its exclusive atmosphere. Although you can also travel around yourself, so you will encounter a few other travellers. These are the sights of the island of St. Barth.

The island is also known as Saint-Barthélemy, especially to the French. The English call it St. Barth and so do most tourists. Although French is the official language, English is the dominant language due to the tourist population. Locals speak French, but usually, everyone is fluent in English as well.


Gustavia is the capital of the island. The city offers a charming mix of French and Caribbean architecture. Something you can also find in restaurants and bars. You will also find some nice boutiques.

The most interesting is Fort Gustave on top of a hill. The fortress was built in the 18th century by the Swedish settlers who inhabited the island at the time. From the fortress, you have a panoramic view of the city, the harbour and the surrounding sea. In the Wall House Museum, you can walk around an old Swedish warehouse that dates back to 1785. The museum tells the history of St. Barts, including the period of Swedish and French colonization, but also about the slave trade that flourished on the island.

The Marina

Gustavia Harbor is a popular marina. The natural harbour of Gustavia is now full of luxury yachts belonging to the world's richest people. It's nice to walk by the many boats. This port has a turbulent past. For centuries it was an important stopping point for ships travelling through the Caribbean. The Dutch (see below) and Swedes also had a trading post on the island.

The Most Beautiful Beaches

The island of St Barths in the Caribbean.

St. Barts is known for its lovely white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. Some of the popular beaches are St. Jean Beach, Colombier Beach, Flamands Beach and Shell Beach. You can visit these for free and are perfect for a walk on the beach or for snorkelling. You can get a snorkel mask and fins at most lodges.

Salines Beach is probably the most beautiful. This is a secluded and scenic beach with white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is surrounded by unspoiled nature and is well worth a visit.

Snorkel and dive at Île Chevreau Nature Reserve

Le Chevreau is an island off the north coast of Saint Barthélemy. Where you will find the Île Chevreau nature reserve. This small island is a protected nature reserve with a rich underwater life. You can do excursions like snorkelling and diving. The island is also called Île Bonhomme, pay attention to this if you are looking for excursions.

Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac

You will find numerous lovely bays on St. Barth. Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac is, according to many, the most beautiful. You can discover this wonderful lagoon yourself. You can also enjoy water sports, like kayaking. Rent a kayak and go out on the water. There is a good chance that you will encounter many birds, crabs and you will see the fish in the water. You can also often go windsurfing and paddleboarding.

Accommodation on St. Barths

Spending the night on St. Barts island certainly isn't cheap. In fact, it can even be called expensive, although you get a lot of luxury in return. There are various hotels and luxury lodges, both on the coast and in the hills. Despite the high prices, many rooms are often fully booked. So it makes sense to book in time if you want to spend the night.

Day Trips from Saint Martin

The island is located 27 kilometres from the well-known Saint Martin. From that island, you can do a day tour to St Barts. Which is much cheaper than spending one night on the island. You visit the capital but also go snorkelling, for example. Ask locally on Saint Martin about the possibilities.

Dutch History of St. Barth

The island was originally discovered by the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in 1493. It took a long time before it came into European hands. In 1648, St. Barth was taken over by France. In the following centuries, the island changed hands regularly. The Dutch also played an important role in the history of the island.

In 1651, the Dutch conquered the island and made it a colony of the Dutch West India Company (WIC). For nearly a century, until 1784, St. Barts was a Dutch territory and became known as St. Bartholomew.

During Dutch rule, St. Barth flourished as a major trading centre in the Caribbean. The Dutch used the island as a base for piracy and trade with other colonies in the region. Gustavia's natural harbour served as an ideal stopping point for ships travelling through the Caribbean, and the island grew into an important hub for the slave trade.