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Guide to Saint Martin...
Best Beaches in Saint Martin

 
 

By: Louise Fayet

Let's explore Saint Martin, a Caribbean island known for its unique blend of French and Caribbean culture. St. Martin offers a chic ambiance, stunning beaches, and a rich culinary scene!

As you may know, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten is divided into two distinct parts: the French side, Saint Martin, and the Dutch side, Sint Maarten.

To get to St. Martin from Anguilla, the public ferry is the most popular way to hop across. The ferry goes direct from Blowing Point to Marigot on French Saint Martin in 15 - 20 minutes.

Now that you are here, it's time to explore Saint Martin's beaches! Click the video below to see more of the beaches on this island...

Top Beaches on the French Side

Starting with my top 8 favorite beaches, at number one, Orient Bay...

Orient Bay Beach

Orient Bay on the North-East side of St. Martin beckons with its array of attractions. With its vibrant atmosphere and crystal-clear waters, Orient Bay is a favorite for water sports lovers and beachgoers.

Orient Bay Beach
Orient Bay Beach

Afterward a day on the water, refuel at one of the seaside restaurants renowned for tasty cuisine. There are so many to choose from!

We love restaurants like Coco Beach, Kontiki, La Playa, L'Atelier, Orange Fever, and the list just keeps going. Each spot has its own vibe and delicious food, making Orient Bay a total foodie paradise.

My 2nd favorite Saint Martin beach...

Think white and golden sands, crystal clear waters and stunning sunsets.

Welcome to Baie Rouge
Welcome to Baie Rouge

Baie Rouge is a vibrant and colorful beach. As you enter, you're greeted by a rainbow-colored mural. There are more colorful murals around the beach!

True to its name, the sand at Baie Rouge can have a beautiful red hue. Along the beach, lush green palms and foliage create the most picturesque backdrop.

Baie Rouge

The beach is a romantic spot for couples. Approximately 300 meters long, you have ample space to yourself.

For a more secluded vibe, you can swim around the point where you'll find a smaller beach with a beautiful arch and dramatic cliffs.

Mini Baie Rouge
Baie Rouge

A natural beauty, Baie Rouge is a must-visit beach on Saint Martin.

Baie Rouge

Next up...

Number 3 on my list is Grand Case Beach!

Nestled in between two mountains, Grand Case is a beach with so much character.

The calm beach is lined with colorful Creole houses and local beachfront bars and restaurants that open from breakfast until dinner.

Postcard Perfect Grand Case
Post-card Perfect Grandcase

The beach is on the north side of St. Martin, overlooking Anguilla.

Vintage piers, bobbing boats anchored off shore and walls painted with mandalas sit near the beautiful blue waters...

Grandcase

At Grand Case Beach, you can shop at chic French boutiques, snap photos on the colorful rainbow staircase, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sunshine.

Grandcase

It's a perfect blend of dining, shopping, sightseeing, and beach relaxation all in one stunning location.

On to number 4!

The beautiful Baie Longue.

Baie Longue, also known as Long Bay or La Samanna, is a long stretch of beach on the western coast of St. Martin.

Baie Longue, also known as Long Bay or La Samana

The beach is accessible by car through the Terre Basse entrance but the most popular way to get there is by boat.

Home to the luxury resort, Belmond La Samanna and rich villas along the coastline, the beach has an exclusive and upscale ambiance.

Baie Longue, also known as Long Bay or La Samana

Baie Longue offers a peaceful retreat away from the island's busier beaches.

Let's dive into...

#5 Le Galion Beach!

A family-friendly beach with shallow, protected waters, Le Galion Beach is perfect for children and is also known as Baby Beach.

Le Galion Beach
Le Galion Beach

Le Galion Beach is popular for water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking as the bay is almost always calm.

Le Galion Beach

My favorite part of the beach is its south end. It's a bit of a walk from the entrance, but I always have this side to myself.

Le Galion Beach

The seabed here is covered with sea grass, making it a perfect spot to see turtles and stingrays.

In 6th place, Pinel Island!

Just a short boat trip from Cul-de-Sac, you will arrive to Pinel Island.

Island in the Sun
Pinel Island

Boats from St. Barths and Anguilla often come to spend the day on this charming island. As you approach the island, you will see why Pinel is a favorite for many.

The cay has two beaches. The main beach, where most boats anchor and the ferry drops you off, is calm and shallow, making it ideal for families with children.

Pinel Island's Main Beach
Pinel Island

The North Beach is a short hike to the other side of the island. This beach is more rugged and less visited by tourists, making it much more secluded and quiet.

Explore the island's trails, snorkel in the seagrass abundant with turtles, or enjoy beachside dining at Yellow Beach Restaurant.

Parts of Pinel Island and its surrounding waters are part of the Réserve Naturelle Nationale de Saint-Martin so please respect the environment while you're on the island.

Pinel Island

You can and should spend a full day at Pinel!

Number 7...

Secluded and so serene, Plum Bay also known as Baie aux Prunes, is a peaceful escape from the crowds.

Plum Bay
Plum Bay

Plum Bay is located in Terres Basses (5 minutes from Baie Longue), which is known for its luxury villas. The beachfront villas will surely wow you!

Kim Sha

The calm waters make Plum Bay great for swimming however, during winter the waves can pick up attracting some surfers.

There are no beach bars or restaurants so come prepared with your beach snacks.

Now let's explore number 8 on my list!

#8 Happy Bay.

This beach is accessible by boat or a scenic hiking trail from either Friar's Bay or Grand Case.

Happy Bay Beach
Happy Bay Beach

Happy Bay is a tucked away gem surrounded by lush tropical trees perfect for those seeking tranquility.

Happy Bay Beach

It provides a serene escape from the bustling crowds on the more developed beaches of St. Martin, making it a favorite for those craving a more natural seaside experience.

At number 9...

Tintamarre is a small (about 1 square mile) uninhabited island off of Saint Martin.

Tintamarre

The island is a popular destination for day trips and excursions from St. Martin and St. Barths.

The island is a protected nature reserve, home to diverse marine life and seabird colonies.

Tintamarre

Tintamarre also has a sunken tugboat located off its coast. If you are an experienced diver, you must visit this sea life hub.

Tintamarre

Up for a hike? Although the island is small, there are a few trails and paths for adventure. Bring your best shoes as some paths are rocky.

Next up...

Number 10!

Right around the corner from Marigot is Baie Nettle also known as Nettle bay.

Hello Baie Nettle!
Baie Nettle

The area has a few boutique hotels, private villas and some tasty restaurants and beach bars. The bay is calm and beautiful, a top contender of mine for sunbathing and snorkeling!

After relaxing on the beaches, it's time to discover the attractions and dining options that Saint Martin has to offer...

What To Do, Shop & Eat

One of my favorite places to spend the day is in Grand Case. Explore the charming boutiques and art galleries that line the colorful street.

The Famous Rainbow Staircase
The Famous Rainbow Staircase

Don’t miss trying local restaurants that serve fresh seafood, Creole cuisine, and French specialties. You cannot go wrong with choosing a restaurant here. We love Ocean 82, Rainbow Cafe, LTC, Bistrot Caraibes and Lolo's grills the best BBQ!

Next, another spot for shopping, restaurants and sightseeing...

Marigot
Marigot

Marigot, the capital of the French side, is bustling with people, markets and chic boutiques. Shop for french goods, buttery pastries and Caribbean souvenirs along the waterfront.

For the best views and some history, 'hike' the hill to Fort Louis!

Are you hungry after your adventure? Marigot has over 50 restaurants, all calling your name. A long time favorite is Tropicana. Save space for their profiteroles - they are delicious!

For a day in the sunshine, rent a kayak and paddle out to Petite Clef.

Petite Clef

Petite Clef is a small, uninhabited island located near Pinel Island. The area is calm, and there is a large sandbar where you can walk and enjoy the shallow, clear water.

For lunch, Pinel Island is just a short journey away, offering delightful al fresco dining.

Compared to Anguilla, St. Martin is much hillier. For hiking and nature lovers, Pic Paradis is a must-do!

Hike to Pic Paradis
Hike to Pic Paradis

This is the highest point on the island. At the peak, you will have panoramic views of both the French and Dutch side, Anguilla and even St. Barthélemy.

The trail usually takes around 2-3 hours and can be steep and challenging but it's well worth the effort for the breathtaking vistas.

St. Martin is the perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural richness, making it a Caribbean getaway you'll love forever.

Baie Longue, also known as Long Bay or La Samana

We'll be seeing you again soon, Saint Martin!