When planning a holiday on St. Barts, it is likely that you will repeatedly hear that the island has an array of fabulous beaches, with each offering its own unique experiences, scenery and conditions. This is most certainly true, but if you are not interested in driving around and sampling them to find the perfect beach for your needs, let us help you with this no nonsense guide to the best beaches on the island.
Without a doubt, the very finest places to while away hours on the sand or in the gentle surf include Gouverneuer, St. Jean, Salines and Flamands beaches.
For Those Who Love Quiet and Picturesque Beaches
If you are of the “I want a picture postcard beach”, then make it Gouverneur Beach. It is at the south end of St. Barts and offers truly idyllic conditions. It tends to be quiet and not the least crowded, and there is even plenty of parking.
While this is a 10-minute drive from Gustavia, it is well worth the trip for its sugary white sands and its gorgeous teal-blue seas. You will see some rather premium villas and properties near these sands, but there is no massive commercial development, leaving the area with a feeling of peace and beauty. Pack a picnic and find a shady niche beneath some of the dense native growth or right in the center of the sands – you will find it difficult to believe it is a naturally occurring setting.
For Those Who Want Popular but Picturesque
If you enjoy those beaches that have the right amount of development and activity, without feeling crowded or unnatural, then St. Jean Beach is for you. It is actually two beaches with the unusual Eden Rock Hotel sitting on a small, circular peninsula between them. Plenty of resources nearby make it a wonderful spot for families or those who want to sample some of the local foods and enjoy drinks at the hottest beach bars on the island. This is also a key destination for the windsurfing crowd, so if you want to learn or just watch the pros, this is a beach to visit.
For Those Who Want to Pretend They Are on a Private Island
Large, undeveloped and nearly pristine, Saline Beach is for those who want the gentle lapping of the surf, uninterrupted stretches of empty white sand, and true peace and quiet. Some say that it is the Caribbean as you always imagined it. It does require a short and easy hike over the sand dunes to reach the beach, but when you do, you will find that it offers an astonishing range of private little niches and areas to bask in the sun, kick in the surf and soak up the splendor of the tropical setting.
For Those Who Want Peace, Scenery, Services and Recreation
If you want a good beach that is quiet and not at all crowded, close to delicious restaurants, offers some lovely little clusters of native palms, and even has a hiking trail up a nearby volcano (don’t worry, it’s dormant), then Flamands Beach is for you. Arrange for lunch and beach chairs at Cheval Blanc Isle De France Hotel via your Isle Blue concierge and enjoy a splendid sun bathed day enjoying the views and experiencing one of the best gastronomic experiences on St Barts.
Chosen by those who like to walk along the beach, lay on the sands, and even burn up a bit of energy swimming in the typically safe surf or enjoying some hiking, it is only three miles from Gustavia (on the northwestern side of the island). It is not as often found by visitors because of its locale, and is a good one for those seeking it all, but who also want a bit more peace and tranquility than more well-known beaches offer.