The island of St. Barts, known for its European sophistication, natural beauty, and relaxed island charm, features stunning blond-sand beaches. Backed by rolling green hills, these beaches beckon from secluded coves or sprawl along quaint coastal villages, tempting tourists with clear waters and coral reefs.
This Caribbean island is home to boutique hotels and private villas hidden behind tropical foliage. St. Barts is predominantly French, although it was leased to Sweden in 1785 for 93 years. The capital of Gustavia is a popular cruise port named after a Swedish king. The town’s streets are lined with chic shops and galleries, and its restaurants serve continental delicacies.
Kitesurfing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and sailing are all popular activities in St. Barts, and snorkeling and diving the wrecks and fish-filled reefs, many of which are covered in a marine reserve, are also popular festivals.
With our list of the top attractions in St. Barts, you will learn about the best spots to visit on this alluring island.
Gustavia, the capital of St. Barts, is the best place for shopping, with chic boutiques, duty free shops, and art galleries lining the streets. Foodies will also love the gourmet St. Barts restaurants serving French-inspired cuisine, from crepes to croissants and succulent, fresh seafood.
The town is U-shaped and surrounds the harbor. Fishing boats and mega yachts can be seen here. To get a beautiful view, visit the ruins of Fort Gustave or go to the top of the 29-meter hill. From here, you can see Shell Beach amid the few remaining stone walls of Fort Karl.
If you’re looking for a place to take a dip, Shell Beach is a great option. This picturesque spot is perfect for a picnic, and its namesake shells add to the atmosphere. You can find sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach, and there are also several restaurants nearby where you can get snacks and drinks.
2. Kitesurf at Grand Cul de Sac
Grand Cul de Sac is a great place for water sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, and stand up paddleboarding. You can also swim here, but the water isn’t as clear as at other beaches. The narrow beach has restaurants bordering it, which is great for after playing in the water. Another bonus is that you can often spot sea turtles swimming in the shallows.
3. Baie de St-Jean
The Baie de St-Jean will definitely hold a place in your heart because of its beautiful aquamarine water and glamorous sunbathers. This stretch of water is perfect for windsurfing or snorkelling, with a few cute boutiques and bistros nearby for when you need a break.
4. Snorkeling and Diving
The Nature Reserve of Saint-Barthélemy protects the island’s marine ecosystems by dividing them into five separate zones. Many of the island’s best dive sites are located within the reserve, where Divers and snorkelers can see turtles, spotted eagle rays, and reef sharks, as well as many colorful varieties of coral in the reserve’s high protection areas.
5. Grand Saline
This beach is perfect for those who love the sun! It’s approached down a leafy corridor and has beautiful coral sand. There is no shade or any amenities, but that doesn’t matter because the sun and sand are all you need!
6. Inter Oceans Museum
The Inter Oceans Museum in Corossol is a must-see for anyone visiting St. Bart’s. With thousands of unique seashells, tropical fish and corals from all around the world, it’s a private collection that’s more than just a traditional museum. The enthusiastic owner will give you a tour and share some of his best stories.
7. St Barth’s Submarine
Come and discover the amazing world under the sea right before your eyes: the vibrant underwater flora and fauna of St. Bart’s colorful underwater flora and fauna, you will see sea turtles, whether you are hiding among rocks or zipping through shipwrecks.
8. Fort Gustav
Gustavia’s Fort Gustav is located on the outskirts of town. This historic fort, built in 1787 by the Swedish, offers a stunning view of the port below. Once a refuge for pirates, today the port hosts a variety of spirited regattas. Visitors can explore the fort’s lighthouse and old-time cannons, and learn about the fort’s historic significance.
9. Gouverneur Beach
On the south shore of the island, Gouverneur Beach is a secluded white sand beach, backed by green hills, but it is still feels pristine and private. The parking lot is close to the sand but quite small. Don’t miss your beach umbrella !
St. Barts is known for its packed calendar of festivals and events. The St. Barts Film Festival, which has been running since 1996, is a major attraction for regional filmmakers. The festival is held near the end of April. The St. Barts Music Festival, which features top-level musicians from around the world, is held in January.
Ballet and jazz were introduced to the festival in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Carnival celebrations kick off in February with parades in Gustavia.