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Overview

On only 8 square miles of volcanic peak, Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts, St. Bart or St. Barth for short), one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, is like a young French prince, oozing with charm, sophistication and physical perfection. Rimmed by glorious white-sand beaches and happily void of mega-resorts, casinos or sprawling golf courses, St. Barts lures visitors to tan on the beach, boutique shop on the streets of Gustavia and St. Jean, or dine in one of the island's impeccable restaurants. Despite having only about 800 residents, the island has more than 300 rental villas — ranging in price from pretty pricey to ultra expensive ...

On only 8 square miles of volcanic peak, Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts, St. Bart or St. Barth for short), one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, is like a young French prince, oozing with charm, sophistication and physical perfection. Rimmed by glorious white-sand beaches and happily void of mega-resorts, casinos or sprawling golf courses, St. Barts lures visitors to tan on the beach, boutique shop on the streets of Gustavia and St. Jean, or dine in one of the island's impeccable restaurants. Despite having only about 800 residents, the island has more than 300 rental villas — ranging in price from pretty pricey to ultra expensive — and a smattering of quaint hotels. Though a traditional West Indian island whose sustenance depended on fishing, the island now is all about tourism and catering to the rich and famous. Yesterday's fisherman is more likely to be hauling Prada bags instead of vats of lobster. For visitors not draining a trust fund, traveling to St. Barts in the off season (February to November) is much more affordable. Food here is an art form, so inexpensive meals are often as good as those in upscale restaurants.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Barth in French or St. Barts in English lies about 35 km southeast of Saint Maarten/Saint Martin, and north of St. Kitts. It is one of four territories in the French West Indies in the northeastern Caribbean.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Saint Barthelemy | Saint Barthelemy
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    While peak season is November through February, travelers can often get much better rates during the shoulder seasons.