By: Louise Fayet
Anguilla is blessed with several offshore islands. The best known, for good reason, are Prickly Pear, Sandy Island, and Scrub Island. (Wondering how "Sint Maarten" and "St. Martin" fit in? Read on.)
All the offshore islands "merely" deliver the usual Anguillian perfection... blue skies, warm water, great snorkeling, and idyllic secluded beaches (sigh, life is tough!). So, for our #1 favorite day trip, we need a completely different experience.
How would you like to visit three European countries in one day... without leaving the Caribbean?!
Let's get started!...
First of all, they don't call it the "British West Indies" (BWI) for nothing. Anguilla is one of several British colonies in the Caribbean that make up the BWI. Since we start our tour from here, that's one down, and two European countries to go!
On The Way to St. Martin
The Anguilla ferry is a quick 20 minute ride 7 miles south. Before we can say "sacre bleu," we arrive in European country number two, in the port of Marigot, on the island of St. Martin.
Marigot Ferry Terminal
St. Martin is part of the French West Indies (it's a colony of France). When you're there, you feel like you are really in France... the south of France, actually!
Everyone is speaking French, carrying baguettes, and eating at delicious restaurants and bakeries! Our first priority upon arriving in the morning?
Nutella Crêpes at Ti Breizh Crêperie
There are some charming little bakeries in Marigot selling scrumptious croissants and other French goodies. After satisfying our pastry cravings, a leisurely tour of Marigot by foot is next!
Marigot is covered in colorful murals and wall art...
There are hundreds of wonderful shops in St. Martin, even a mall (Le West Indies). My favorite spot to shop in Marigot is along the street Rue Du Général De Gaulle. This entire street is lined with French clothing stores and name brand outlets.
Want even more shopping? Check out the Marina Royale, the marina centerpoint of Marigot...
Here you find great swimwear and popular restaurants like Le Tropicana (home to my favorite hot goat cheese salad) and...
Lunch at Be Kool Restaurant
Fresh tuna tartare, steak covered in melted brie cheese and homemade profiteroles drenched in chocolate sauce... Be Kool serves all of the French favorites - with their own twist of course ;-).
For the thrill seekers, across of Be Kool restaurant you can find Jet Paradise. This is one of our favorite activities in Marigot - a great way to tour the coast line of St. Martin.
Time for Watersports!
Although this island is the complete opposite of Anguilla, it sure is beautiful. Want to know how and when I fell in love with this island?
My First Hike to Fort Louis
To experience the culture, history and to really get a grasp of the topography of this island, I recommend the hike to Fort Louis.
This easy hike takes less than 25 minutes and is so worth it. The 360 panoramic views of the island is one of a kind. You see everything, even Anguilla in the distance.
Conveniently down the hill from Fort Louis is our favorite stop for frozen yogurt...
Fill That Cup, You've Earned It!
Marigot is like being in Cannes. Whenever you need a "fix" for some great shopping and "french like France" eating, it's just an Anguilla ferry ride away.
Now it's time to move on to our third and final European destination, the Netherlands... well, Sint Maarten, to be exact, the other half of this island. Yes, two countries share one little island in the Caribbean.
Sint Maarten is far busier than St. Martin. Cruise ships from almost all cruise lines stop here for the duty-free shopping...
Welcome to Philipsburg
Traveling to this Dutch town is always on my list when visiting St. Maarten. It is actually very popular among Anguillians. You will always bump into someone from Anguilla on these busy streets.
Similar to Marigot, the best way to explore this town is to walk. Take your time, there is much to see here!
Can You Tell That I love Wall Art?
There are three streets that make up the shopping center here: Back Street, Front Street and closest to the water, the Boardwalk...
Here you find souvenir stores, beachy boutiques, jewelry stores and lots of bars and restaurants...
One of my personal favorites is Ocean Lounge at Holland House Hotel.
Yummy Eats at Holland House
Now, totally exhausted, we return to our country of origin... our favorite island of all, Anguilla, in the British West Indies. (Be sure to bring some French tasties for breakfast the next day!)
Bye For Now, Sint Maarten and St. Martin
Nothing beats returning to tranquil Anguilla after a long and fun filled day in St. Martin & Sint Maarten.
One More Reason to Visit St. Martin? No topless beaches on Anguilla!
Have a desire to "go topless" on a sensational Caribbean beach? That's yet another reason for a day trip to St. Martin.
The Anguilla Ferry
This is the cheapest and easiest way to get to St. Martin!