So you’ve decided to visit paradise in the Caribbean, and you’re now in the planning stages. I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind when planning a vacation is “What are the top things to see in this country?”. Well, your search stops here. After spending 8 days on the sunny island I decided to give a detailed recap of my dreamy vacation.
We will begin at the at a stop that cannot be missed, the Pointe des Châteaux. This amazing display of power by the Caribbean ocean is one for the books. Take the short drive out on the D118 road. There is a small parking lot and a few food stands around as well. You will know once you’re close because the waters will be roaring in the background. Take a short hike to the edge of the rough rocks and delight in the view. This attraction isn’t very handicap accessible unfortunately due to the uneven terrain. If you are about views then this stop is perfect for you!
Next up is Plage des Raisins Clairs, a beautiful stretch of white sand and turquoise water. This beach has a few restaurants and food trucks on site. Drive here after spending some time at the Pointe des Châteaux. It can be reached by heading back on the D118 and taking the N5 to N4 towards Saint- Francios. The drive will take about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic. Have lunch here and enjoy the relaxing blue water. Relax on the beach or take a swim, either way, it won’t be hard to find things to occupy your time.
After soaking up some sun at Plage des Raisins Clairs, take a drive to the charming town of Sainte-Anne. Hosting another picturesque beach, this small town also is home to a farmers market that will send your senses into Eden. Take this time to walk around and shop for any souvenirs or keepsakes. There is a nice pier to walk out onto and search for crabs. The water is calm, so snorkeling with the children here is perfect.
If you still have time, continue down the N4 hoping off at D119 to the family town of Le Gosier. Off the coast is a small island, Îlet du Gosier, that you can take a ferry to or even swim in you’re a strong swimmer. Thankfully the current isn’t strong and the tide is rather low. If you’ve had enough beach for the day, you can skip Plage des Raisins Clairs and head straight here. This is definitely a site you don’t want to miss. It’s amazing how close the island formed off the coast. There aren’t any facilities on the island so take your bathroom breaks BEFORE catching your ferry or swimming.
If you managed to catch all those sites in one day, use the next day as one of your island hopping days. On our second day, we opted to travel to La Désirade. You can catch the ferry from Saint- Francois. The ride is about 45 minutes and can get rough at times, so be warned. The island is extremely small and very easy to get around my scooter or ATV. There are a few great lookout points on the outer eastern edge of the island. Just enjoy the day by soaking up the sun, swimming, and taking in the views. This can be a relaxing day. Don’t worry you will get your fair share of adventure as well.
Start the next day out exploring the area surrounding your hotel. If you’re in Le Moule check out the Damosieau Distillerie, for some delicious rum at a great price. The information plaques are in French so you won’t learn much unless you can read French, but you can walk through the sites and see the process in action. After the tour, make a stop the gift shop for some free samples. There is a bar on site to serve all your alcohol needs.
After a few drinks and relaxing, it’s time to take a scenic drive to Pointe de la Grande Vigie. Unfortunately, this site gets overlooked by many for the Pointe Dee Châteaux, but in my personal opinion, the Pointe de la Grande Vigie is much more beautiful. Since it’s not as popular it’s likely that along the D122 road, which contains the Pointe de la Grande Vigie, Port d’Enfer along with the Lagon de la Porte d’Enfer, will be completely alone at times. Being able to take in the views and appreciate nature in solitude is one of the best gifts a vacation can offer. To get to the Pointe de la Grande Vigie from Le Moule, take the N5 to D123 to D120 and finally, you’ll hit D122. The D122 road is rather long with tons of different lookout points. Stop as often as you like to explore the area.
You could spend all day just enjoying this view but since we are on a limited time frame it’s now time to keep moving. This road will take you into the beautiful city of Anse-Bertrand. Grab lunch at one of the many restaurants in the town. My recommendation would be La Case A Fernand, they have a delectable fresh lobster that shouldn’t be missed. Since we used this day to travel from Grande-Terre to Basse-Terre we just stopped along the way at anything that caught our eye. It’s a very beautiful drive no matter what route you take.
On the fifth day of our vacation, we decided to climb the volcano on the island, La Grande Soufrière. Check out this blog for great tips on climbing it. While the hike is moderately strenuous, it does get very steep and rocky at the top. I wouldn’t suggest bringing young children. Depending on how long you spend at La Grande Soufrière, you can spend the rest of the day regaining feeling in your legs by the beach or drive out to Phare de Vieux-Fort for more stunning views of the Atlantic ocean. Keep in mind that the weather will affect a lot of your volcano experience. Since it had been raining all day we did not have any great views or photo opportunities.
After a very active day, you will probably want to have a nice day at another beach. I would suggest Grande-Anse Beach in Deshaies. This was by far my most favorite beach. The energy was lively and there were tons of locals hanging out. Grab lunch at one f the food stand and get your tan on. Or you can opt to go hiking on one of the nearby trails. The sunset at this beach is not to be miss though. Camping is also popular on this beach. Start a safe fire and party the night away under the stars.
The last day of our vacation was reserved for probably the most visited place in Guadeloupe……. Terre-de-Haut. Specifically, Le Saints Bay. If you are prone to seasickness, check the weather before you leave in the morning. The boat ride can get EXTREMELY rocky at times. Once on the island take a walker or scooter up to Fort Napoleon. From here is you have a panoramic view of the island and the main island in the distance. Take some time to learn about the island’s history and explore the gardens on site. The entrance fee is 5 euros and well worth it.
During your day trip to this beautiful bay, check out the number one beach on the island Plage de Pompierre. With water various shades of blue and friendly goats to keep you company, you will be able to relax on the beach or do some shore-side snorkeling. Now is the time to fulfill all of your water sports desires. I can’t rave about this small island enough. All I can say is that your trip wouldn’t be complete without laying eyes on this beauty.
Now that you have an example itinerary, what are you waiting for? Begin planning the vacation of a lifetime!!!
Check out my blog on How to Travel Guadeloupe on a Budget.