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Everything you need to know before planning your St. Barts vacation

May 28, 2019
Discover dazzling white-sand beaches and calm aqua waters in stylish St Barts where the jet set go on vacation and celebrities let their hair down. The Caribbean island also known as Saint Barthélemy and Saint Barth is a playground for the rich and famous as well as a chilled out destination for families, couples and groups of friends. The island is an overseas collectivity of France and has the pizazz and glamour of the French Riviera with the laidback vibe of the Caribbean. All this makes it the perfect place for a holiday. So from when to go to how to get around, here is the ultimate guide your St. Bart’s vacation…

When to go to St. Barts

Saint Barthélemy has a similar climate to the other Caribbean islands and November until June are the best months to visit. December is considered the peak period and if you’re planning on taking a vacation then you will need to book about six months in advance. During the rainy season in August, September and October lots of the bars and restaurants close, so avoid these months. Over the winter the waters are calm, the skies are clear and the temperature is pleasant. By May and June the heat can be oppressive. 

 

When to go to st barts

Source: Saint Barth Daily

How to get to St. Barts

To get to St. Barts you will either need to come by air or water. Most people use commercial flights because it’s the quickest, easiest and often cheapest way to get there. A number of international airlines have regularly scheduled international flights into the neighbouring island of St. Martin, where you can pick up a connecting flight from a local company. Gustave III Airport is located just a five minute drive from the capital of Gustavia. There is also a daily ferry boat from St. Martin to St. Barts and if you’re travelling in a group you could also charter a private speedboat. 

 

How to get to st barts

Source: Saint Barth Tourisme

How to get around St. Barts

There is no public transportation on the island so to make the most out of your vacation in Saint Barth we strongly advise you get a rental car. Even though the island is small, It will allow you to explore the more difficult to get to beaches and villages. There are 20 car hire agents on the island, including Avis and Hertz and all the other well known names. There are also 38 licensed taxi drivers in St. Bart’s so you don’t need to worry about getting home after a night out.

 

How to get around st barts

Source: Saint Barth Tourisme

Where to stay in St. Barts

Saint Barthélemy is full of beautiful luxury villas of all sizes. From 10 bedroom mansions overlooking the beautiful coastline to penthouses in the capital, there will be something to suit. If you want to be near the majority of shops and restaurants then we recommend Gustavia. If you’re set on being near a slice of paradise beach (which isn’t hard on this compact isle) then look for accommodation near Saline Beach. A stretch of sand worthy of any travel brochure. For a more vibrant scene, St. Jean is the place to see and be seen. For more inspiration, take a look at our edit of the best St. Barts holiday villas to rent. 

 

Where to stay in st barts

What to do in St. Barts

If you’re planning a St. Bart’s vacation, the beaches should be at the top of your itinerary. St. Barthelemy is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, perhaps even the world. Whether you want to lie on a sun lounger and have cocktails bought to you on the beach or discover secret wind-swept coves, there is a stretch of sand for you. If relaxing on the beach isn’t your thing, St. Bart’s will provide you with plenty of active options. The island is criss-crossed with hiking trails of varying difficulty. They will take you from rocky beaches to dramatic cliff tops and then into more forested territory. Surfing, paddle boarding and kite surfing are also all widely available around the coast with rental shops and lessons available. The best surfing spot is Lorient beach and one end sees some big waves while the other end is good for beginners with a smaller break. If you want something slightly more cultured then take a day trip to the fishing village of Corossol on the island’s western shore. It’s a charming excursion and you might even see some of the female residents there wearing traditional dress and sun bonnets and hear them speaking a Norman dialect. For more ideas read our guide to what to do in St. Bart’s

 

What to do st barts

Source: YouTube

What to eat in St. Barts

The restaurant scene in St. Bart’s is a tale of two halves. You’ll find some of the best French cuisine outside of France itself here including Michelin star offerings and high end eateries. Then you’ll also find fresh fish barbecued on the beach at shacks that don’t even have names. We recommend trying them both. Do your research before you visit and book a table at one of the island’s big names. We love the combined French and Creole influence at La Gloriette. And look out for shellfish on the beach at Saline. For a more detailed look at the dining scene in St Barth, read our guide to the best restaurants in Saint Barthélemy

 

What to eat in st barts

Where to shop in St. Barts

Whether you want luxurious high-end fashion destinations like Hermes and Prada, finely edited resort collections from boutique designers, exclusive one-of-a-kind items, fine jewellery selections or home decorations you’ll find what you want while shopping in St. Barts. Gustavia is the main shopping area and the place to head for an afternoon of retail therapy. 

 

Where to shop st barts

Source: Gather