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This article was written on 25 Aug 2010, and is filled under To: St. Barthélemy.

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Discover St. Barthélemy

Welcome to St. Barthélemy, or St. Barths, a small French Caribbean Island known for its beautiful beaches and luxuriant rainforests. Celebrities like Mick Jagger, Madonna, and Naomi Campbell like to spend their vacation here. While things can be quite expensive, St. Barths’ unique charm makes it worth every single penny.


St Barths Island

Amazing views of St Barths Island

HISTORY

The Ciboney Indians established their first settlements about 3000 years ago. Then came the Arawaks in A.D. 200 and the Caribs in A.D. 1000. Christopher Columbus sighted St. Barths in 1496 and named it after his younger brother Bartolomeo. The French settled on the island in 1648, but were massacred in an attack by Carib warriors. A group of mariners from Normandy and Brittany landed in 1694, and this time their attempt to colonize the island was successful. St. Barths was used as a haven by French pirates, who were drawn by its ideal geographical position.

The island was ceded to the Swedes in 1784 and under the rule of King Gustav III, became a thriving free port. The capital was named Gustavia, and roads, houses, and forts were constructed. In the 19th century a succession of natural disasters brought St. Barths’ economy to its knees, and the island was ceded to the French in 1877. In 1946, Guadeloupe, which includes St-Barth, became a Département d’Outremer, a French Overseas Department, and in the 1980s, the tourism industry began to emerge.

Of St-Barth’s 7000 inhabitants, most are of French descent, mainly from Normandy and Brittany. The island’s rugged terrain made it unfavourable to sugarcane plantations, and thus slavery was never practiced in a large scale. Its inhabitants are known to be amicable and hardworking, but provincial. French is the official language, but English is also widely spoken.

SIGHTS

The capital city of Gustavia has several interesting sites, including the St. Bartholomew’s Church, the Wall House, and the Municipal Museum.

St-Jean is a busy strip of sand that appeals to families and windsurfers.

Step back in time at the small fishing village of Corossol.

Enjoy the magnificent view at Toiny coast.

BEACHES

St. Barth has plenty of good beaches and coves, including Anse de Grande Saline, Anse du Gouverneur, and St-Jean.

ACTIVITIES

The main activity at St. Barth is relaxing on the beach.

You will find plenty of good restaurants at St. Barth.

The island has good shopping opportunities.

Water sport activities such as diving, yachting, fishing and windsurfing, are also popular.

On land, you can go golfing or take an excursion on horseback.

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