St. Barthelemy (St. Bart’s)

by Carrie Thompson  

St. Bart’sSt. Bart’s, with the official name of Collectivity of Saint Barthélemy, is an overseas French territory, along with Guadeloupe, Haiti and Martinique. That means you can expect an island paradise, with flavors of the French culture brought to the island years ago. St. Bart’s is surrounded by 20 beautiful beaches. If your goal in the Caribbean is to score some rays or relax and sip a cool drink, this is your place. For those of you who like a little more action on your vacation, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and even surfing are available on the island. July to November is the hurricane season. If you plan your trip during these months, check the forecast before you leave.

Language

French is the official language of St. Bart’s. Both French and Creole are widely spoken, and many people in tourist areas speak English as well.

Money

As a French territory, it is no surprise the official currency of St. Bart’s is the Euro. To find out about the conversion rates, visit our currency converter.

Accommodations

There are a few dozen small hotels dotting the St. Bart’s landscape. The more popular lodging option on the island is to rent a Villa. Villas run the range and you get what you pay for.

>>more information on Best Romantic Resorts in St. Barts

Food and Drinks

St. Bart’s offers a wide variety of cuisine, as well as self catering options for those of you who prefer to do it yourself or pack a picnic.

>>more information on the Best Restaurants in St. Barts

Holidays/Events

The island is admittedly not a cultural hot spot in the Caribbean, so local cultural events are few and far between. St. Bart’s is home to a Music Festival each winter and a Film Festival in the spring months.

Getting There & Around

By air, most visitors fly in to neighboring St. Maarten, as there are no international flights in to St. Bart’s. WINAIR, Air Caraïbes, and St-Barth Commuter provide service between the two.

Ferries run between St. Bart’s and St. Maarten on a regular basis. The crossing can be rough, so either take your Dramamine or plan on tossing your cookies.

Getting around the island may be accomplished by rental car or taxi.

Electronics

Voltage in St. Bart’s is 220 AC, 60 cycles, so American mad appliances will require an adapter.

Things to Do

Watersports such as sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing are popular, as are fishing, snorkeling and diving. You could spend your entire trip on St. Bart’s visiting a different beach every day and not make it to every one. Hiking and horseback riding are available if you get tired of the water. Glass Bottom Boat tours are available via the Yellow Submarine and kayaks and paddle boats may be rented at various places.

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