Table of contents:
- Saint Maarten, Sint Maarten or Saint Martin?
- Tropical island in turquoise waters
- How to get to an island in the Caribbean
- Accommodation on about. Saint Martin. Hotels in the French part
- Resorts and hotels in Dutch territory
- Beach vacations
- Sports & Entertainment
- What to see on the island
- Reviews of tourists
2023 Author: Harold Hamphrey | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 04:47
Saint Martin is a small island in the Caribbean Sea, a scattering of small resort pearls of the Antilles archipelago. Turquoise lagoons are harmoniously combined with white sandy beaches, mangroves and coconut palms. The water temperature during the year is from +25 to +30 °C. Traveler reviews will help you find out how to get there easily, where to stay and what to do on the island.
Saint Maarten, Sint Maarten or Saint Martin?
The eastern part of the Caribbean Sea is bordered by a chain of the Lesser Antilles, stretching in an arc from Puerto Rico almost to the coast of Venezuela (South America). The island of Saint Martin is located 8 km south of the beginning of the ridge. France governs its northern territory. The South is an autonomous state entity, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There are no state borders on this tiny piece of land, only a symbolic sign has been established.
Residents speak French, Dutch, English and local dialects. The Creole people call their home "Coconut Island". The Dutch toponym - Sint Maarten - sounds like Saint Martin in English-speaking countries. In some Russianpublications use the name "Fr. Saint Martin.”
Tropical island in turquoise waters
"French Riviera of the Caribbean" - the unofficial name of Saint Martin, which is given for the high quality of beach holidays and ample opportunities for entertainment. Many stars, businessmen, politicians, artists, writers from all over the world have chosen local resorts, a beach saturated with gentle sun. Saint Martin in the Caribbean, thanks to the constancy of the tropical climate, is available at any time of the year. The average air temperature in winter is +26 °C, in summer - up to +32 °C.
The weather is the same on the French and Dutch side of the island, because its area is only 87 km². The high season for a perfect holiday starts from mid-December and continues until April. But it is during this period that it is difficult to book a hotel room, unless you take care of it in advance. Some tourists avoid coming here in the summer from June to November, when it rains and the likelihood of hurricanes increases. The off-season is a bit more rainfall than usual and a 20-50% price drop across the board. At this time, air tickets, hotel accommodation, services for tourists are cheaper. Less crowded in the cities and on the coast.
How to get to an island in the Caribbean
The bustling and busy Princess Juliana International Airport in the southwest of the Netherlands receives aircraft from various airlines around the world, mainly European and North American. The flight from Russia includes a transfer toParis or Amsterdam. Esperance Regional Airport is located in the overseas community of France.
In July and August air tickets become cheaper, hotel accommodation becomes more affordable. The only problem might be the cancellation of flights due to the fact that the planes are not full.
European tourists do not consider the summer months the low season on the island of St. Maarten. There are more flights between Paris and the tropical airport in July and August than in January. During the off-season, many tourists from Italy arrive. Cheap flights to the island can be purchased for September and October. But these same months are the rainiest and windiest in this part of the Caribbean. On the Dutch side, prices are quoted in guilders and US dollars (1 guilder=$1.8). The official currency of the French territory is the euro, but US dollars are also accepted.
Accommodation on about. Saint Martin. Hotels in the French part
Finding accommodation on a resort island is not too difficult, but you should take into account the differences in the conditions of each of the territories. The Dutch part has large hotels and casinos, the French part was chosen by tourists who want to rent resort apartments, a studio, a villa with a terrace, a private pier and a swimming pool. External design, interiors correspond to the level of the Mediterranean resorts of St. Tropez and Cannes. This side of the island also attracts with the beauty and glory of the Orient beach, exquisite French cuisine.
There are several comfortable hotels in the capital controlled by Paristerritory - the city of Marigot. The price range depends on the location and level of service. The most popular and expensive are beach hotels, for example, Plaza Beach. On the west coast, there is the five-star La Samanna Hotel, which is a self-contained resort with a private beach, fitness and spa centers, tennis courts and a swimming pool. In addition, it offers kayaking, wakeboarding, water skiing, cruises around the island, scuba diving.
Resorts and hotels in Dutch territory
The capital of the island of St. Maarten on the Dutch side - Philipsburg - attracts tourists from all over the world. The city has cheap hotels and luxury hotels. One of the most popular resorts - Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino is located fifteen minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the business center. Here you can sunbathe on the beach, play water sports, play tennis, relax in the casino or just enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool.
Another popular hotel in Philipsburg, the Holland House Beach Hotel is located on Little Bay Beach. Belair Beach Hotel comes close to the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean Sea. Underwater excursions and dives with a professional instructor, deep-sea fishing tours are organized.
Tourists find Saint Martin's conditions ideal for a relaxing, serene pastime. In total, there are more than 30 beaches within the island, making up the top of the list.attractions of local French and Dutch resorts. Here you can swim in the azure waters, sunbathe, ride a jet ski, paragliding. There are bars and restaurants offering European and Creole cuisine to their visitors.
In the southwest of the Dutch territory is Capecoy Beach, which was chosen by nudists. In the same part of the island of St. Maarten - the airport, the beaches of Mallet and Maho, over which the planes flying in for landing.
On the northeast French coast, Orient Beach is one of the best beaches in this part of the Caribbean. Just a few minutes walk southeast of it, there are good conditions for families with small children.
Sports & Entertainment
Many tourists are attracted not only by beaches, but also by active recreation on the water, sports (snorkeling, yachting). Orient Beach is famous for being protected from waves by reefs, which is favorable for the underwater world of the marine reserve and is very popular with snorkelers and divers. Other travelers are more pleased with the opportunity to go in for sailing, go on a boat with a guide to the open sea, attend parties. Suitable months for windsurfing and kitesurfing are November-March, when waves appear on the beaches and in the bays. Other aspects of holidays in the resorts of the island of St. Maarten:
- sea cruises;
- excursions on foot, on sailboats, boats, bicycles;
- study of fauna and flora in nature reserves;
- visit historical sites.
BIn early March, St. Maarten hosts an annual regatta; hip-hop, reggae, rock and jazz festivals take place in the summer. A popular event from early April to May is the traditional carnival.
What to see on the island
The city of Philipsburg is named after the Dutch navigator John Philip, who made a lot of efforts to develop the island and develop the sugar industry. Architectural and cultural monuments of the colonial past have been preserved on the streets. Located near the main square, the courthouse was built in 1793.
In different years, 6 churches and a museum were built, revealing the historical and natural secrets of the island. There are very ancient exhibits that date back to the pre-Columbian era, when a small piece of land in the Caribbean Sea was inhabited by Indians. Years of war between France and the Netherlands over possession of the island of Saint Martin reflect finds from a fort built by the first settlers in 1631.
The capital of the French part of the island, the city of Marigot, dates back to 1689. A settlement arose around the place where ships were sent to Europe with a cargo of sugar, fruits and seafood. Fort Saint Louis was built here - the current main historical attraction of the tropical island. Fans of antiquity will also like the exposition of the Museum of History and Culture, the oldest street of Marigot - Avenue of the Republic. Popular attractions Saint-Martin, which many have heard of, is the Pic du Paradis mountain, a butterfly farm, a zoo. Ferries to neighboring Caribbean islands start from the cities.
Reviews of tourists
According to tourists who visited the island of Saint Martin in different months and years, rest here has a number of advantages:
- excellent beaches with white sand or beautiful pebbles;
- rich culture, interesting historical background;
- cozy restaurants, bars, nightclubs;
- duty free, many markets, shops, boutiques;
- good shopping (jewellery, perfume, Cuban cigars and rum for lovers).
European tourists call the island "too American", the dollar is more respected here than the euro. Some complain that almost all products are imported. The small patch of land between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean lacks fresh water and fertile soil for agriculture.
The monotony of flora and fauna is also associated with a lack of moisture. The area of protected natural territories is gradually increasing. On the French side, this is the Saint Martin National Reserve, which includes 154 hectares of coastline, mangrove forests, s alt ponds and 2,796 hectares of marine habitat.
Eco-tourism is becoming one of the directions of development of the island of Saint-Martin. Its main asset - the turquoise sea, the blue sky and the abundance of the sun - arouses sincere admiration for people who have visited this corner of a tropical paradise between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.