We had a blissfully calm sail from Dominica to Ile des Saintes, a collection of 8 small islands off the coast of Guadeloupe. All hands were on deck to watch our approach into the beautiful protected bay. I had no familiarity with this destination, and it’s obvious luxury yatchers have been keeping it a secret to save it all to themselves. Totally charming is my first and lasting impression. This tiny island archipelago is often considered to have one of the most beautiful bays in the world, and we are all captivated by the surrounding volcanic hills dotted with brightly colored roofs.
This is the first French affiliated island on our cruise, (Nevis and Dominica being English) and the difference is immediately apparent. The tiny main street ambling through “Le Bourg” is lined with adorable shops and restaurants – each creating a difference vignette with brightly painted trim and unique architectural details. It’s like strolling through a small village in the south of France.
The main street invites a colorful stroll
Shops selling authentic handmade crafts and produce
And always a delightful harbor view
Several large ferries are docked in the harbor bringing day-trippers to the island from nearby Guadeloupe. There are no preplanned shore excursions offered on this island, but no one cares – we are all happy to wander this authentic Caribbean jewel of an island for the day on our own, or make the climb to Fort Napoleon to take in the view. Would I stay on this island for more than a day? Maybe if only to try all the restaurants and see the fishermen at work… I didn’t see any hotels, but assume that the island has a selection of small local inns to offer.
Next Stop – Guadeloupe that we can see off in the distance.