By: Louise Fayet
Saint Barthélemy is one of the most popular destination when it comes to luxury vacations. The 9.7 square mile island is favorited by celebrities like the Kardashian-Jenner family, Beyonce, Jay-Z, billionaires like Jeff Bezos and so many more. During high season the island buzzes with traffic. Multi-million dollar yachts line the main harbor of Gustavia. And the jetset flock to the island's beautiful beaches!
For a look at ALL of St. Barth's beautiful beaches, see the video below...
First things first, what's the best way to get to St. Barth?
The easiest way to get to "SBH" is to fly from Sint Maarten. The flight time is only ~15 minutes and you get to experience one of the world's most harrowing plane landings!
Not a fan of dramatic landings? Take the ferry from the Dutch side of Sint Maarten. The ~45 minute boat ride takes you right to the island's capital, Gustavia.
Arriving in St. Barths
When the ferry pulls into the harbor, you are immediately awe-struck by the lush green mountains and quaint red roofed houses. Gustavia is rich with French charm and history. You can easily spend a full day walking the cobblestone streets, shopping in the chic boutiques and eating French delicacies and treats. More on things to do and where to eat later. For now, the beach calls :-)
For beach exploring, we 100% recommend renting a car so you can visit every nook and cranny of the island. Alamo Car Rental is one of the island's top car rental company. They gave us THE best deal and their cars are perfect for the island's topography.
Alamo car rental & Suzuki Ignis
To book with them, click here.
St. Barth is home to 22 beaches, 15 which are great for swimming. With a cooler of drinks and beach chairs in the trunk of the Suzuki, let's discover the best beaches in St. Barths!
Here are our top 10...
Baie de St-Jean
First up, welcome to St. Jean.
This beach is one of the most popular beaches in St. Barts. It is divided into two parts, separated by the famous Eden Rock hotel. The beach's right side is called Pelican Bay by the locals. Almost always calm, it is one of the island's best beaches for a relaxing swim.
Pelican Bay from the Sky
The longer stretch of sand to the beach's left, referred to as St. Jean beach, is known for its proximity to the famous airport runway. We absolutely love this side. It is such a thrill to watch the small planes land and take off.
St. Jean Beach
The stretch of beach is home to some of the island's popular beach restaurants, including Nikki Beach and Pearl Beach. They are some of our favorite spots to spend the afternoon.
Our second favorite St. Barth beach...
Grand Cul de Sac
Home to many villas and hotels, it is no surprise that during high season Grand Cul de Sac is a-buzz with people and water sports. Our tip? Visit in the off-season and have the beach all to yourself! The only creatures you'll be sharing the waters with are the bay's big population of darling sea turtles.
Grand Cul de Sac is Turtley Awesome!
Grand Cul de Sac is protected by reefs, which makes the bay ideal for turtles. We are always mesmerized, watching them from the sky.
Bring a mask or rent a kayak to fully experience the beauty of Grand Cul de Sac's marine life.
On to our third favorite and most memorable St. Barth beach experience...
This beach is the most secluded beach in St. Barth. It is only accessible by boat or a ~40 minute hike along a dirt goat path down mountainside.
Set to Hike to Colombier Beach
Tip: Bring lots of water and sunscreen! The hike back up can get toasty if done mid-day. Hard work does pay off, though, once you see Colombier's pristine shores and pure crystal clear blue water.
The only sign of human life at this beach is the home of billionaire David Rockefeller up in the mountains. A beautiful natural paradise, it leaves you in awe!
Next up, our 4th pick, Gouverneur Beach.
Another St. Barth beach favorited by the Rockefeller family, David Rockefeller bought 70 acres of land, stretching the entire length of Gouverneur's beach. One look at the waters and you SEA why he chose this stretch of sand...
Gouverneur from the Sky
Lush green jungle surrounds the sparkling emerald water and super soft white sand. All elements combine to create one of the dreamiest beaches.
Number 5 on our "best St. Barth beaches" list...
This long stretch of sand is lined with coconut trees and surrounded by green mountains, reminding me of Cane Garden Bay Beach in Tortola. The bobbing fishing boats anchored offshore add to the beach's charm.
Lorient Shore is Photogenic
Further down Lorient's shores, the surf picks up and surfers catch wave after wave. Lorient is home to one of the island's most popular surf breaks. We will be back with a surf board ;-)
Number 6, Saline.
Ask any St. Barth local for their favorite St. Barth beach and nine times out of ten the reply is...
After a 10 minute walk from the parking lot and up a sand dune, you are met with one of the island's most pristine beaches. Completely deserted, Saline is 100% natural. There are no developments or businesses here.
The beach's high cliffs create an ambience of total tranquility. If you desire privacy, then you will love Salin beach!
Without any palm trees or natural shade, this is the best for sun bathing, too. Bring chilled drinks and a beach umbrella if you'd like a break from the sun's rays.
Sea you again soon, Saline!
Next up, number 7...
Anse de Grand Galet (Shell Beach)
One of the most well known beaches in St. Barth, Shell Beach is a short walk from Gustavia. True to its nickname, this tiny cove is covered with millions of tiny sea shells. From here, you can see Statia and Saba and come sunset hour you are in for a treat. The evening views from Shell Beach are unmatched!
On to our 8th favorite beach...
Anse de Flamands
Flamands is one of the longest beaches in St Barth. Its shores are lined with hotels and luxury villas. Visit the beach's north side for calmer waters. The opposite end can get a bit rough, being more open and exposed and with stronger currents.
In 9th place, Petite Anse de Flamands.
Just around the corner from its big sister, Anse de Flamands, lies this little gem of a cove. Perfect for a relaxing float or for children to play, Petite Anse de Flamands is picturesque!
Last, but certainly not least, coming it at number 10...
Anse De Public
Public is one of St. Barth's lesser known and less-frequented beaches. It shore is underated! Nori and I witnessed some of the most vibrant and unforgettable sunsets here.
On that note...
Unreal Sunsets in St. Barths
Every evening the sky puts on a show, painting puffy clouds in a hundred shades of reds, oranges, purples and pinks.
The best places to catch one of these striking sunsets during the fall months? Public beach, Corossol, Shell Beach and The Hôtel de la Collectivité in Gustavia. Here the sun sets right in front of you! Slowing passing between St. Barth's offshore cays (Les Gros Islets) on the way down, the view is magical.
Before and after beaching, don't miss these must do's in St. Barth...
First up, no trip to St. Barth is complete without visiting the island's capital of Gustavia.
There is so much to do and see in Gustavia. Fort Karl, overlooking Shell Beach and Fort Gustavia at the lighthouse are two super popular spots for hikers. Their stunning views of the island are striking.
Fun in St. Barth
Gustavia is also home to many chic French boutiques filled with chic clothing and accessories that will have you looking St. Barth ready in no time.
Walking through these iconic cobblestone streets is a must! Be sure to snap a pic at the coconut telegraph :-)
Another popular activity? Watching the airplanes land. The round-a-bout towards St. Jean is one of the island's top spots for plane spotting. The thrill of watching the planes come in low, right above your head, between St. Barth's mountain never gets old!
All beat from sight seeing, let's grab a bite in paradise.
St. Barths has a rich French influence. So, you know what that means. It's hard to have a bad meal here!
Here are three of our favorites...
First, Pearl Beach.
This restaurant has an unbeatable location right on the sands of St. Jean beach. With a front row view of planes coming in to land, there is always excitement here!
We love Pearl Beach!
When it comes to cuisine, Pearl Beach specializes in Latin-French fusion with a Caribbean twist. Shrimp tempura with a kimchi mayo, half cooked foie gras toasts and the tomato burratina with pesto and prosciutto are some of our favorite dishes.
It's always a good time at Pearl Beach.
Next up, Arawak Café!
In the heart of Gustavia, this restaurant is a chic and casual spot for a relaxing bite. Their specialties include fruit bowls, omlettes, poke bowls, salads and burgers. Arawak Café makes for perfect stop for a bite during a shopping spree in town.
Another special spot in Gustavia...
Open for more than two decades, Le Repaire is loved by many! Just a few steps from the harbor, Le Repair offers a fantastic view of the sunset and mega yachts that fill Gustavia in high season.
As for eats? The home-made foie gras, tuna tartar and the tagliatelle pasta with tomatoes and parmesan cheese were our top choices.
Lastly, a night time spot to grab a drink and hang out...
Bar de l'Oubli
Popular with locals and located right in Gustavia, l'Oubli is a fun and friendly hang out. Drop in for great cocktails, salads, burgers and snacks in a friendly ambiance.
Saint Barthélemy contines to be one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean. Filled with thrill, romance and beauty, it is not hard to understand why St. Barth is loved and coveted by millions from around the world. This charming island always holds a place in my heart.