Caribbean Cruising '22: Idyllic Isles des Saintes

Suzanna Pinder on 04 March 2022
A stunning reef lined volcanic archipelago comprising of seven islands south of Guadeloupe. Think of a French Isles of Scilly in Caribbean sunshine! With only two inhabited islands and just one small town, there is lots of beautiful countryside to explore and many deserted beaches to discover, plus the odd exciting high peak to conquer!

Bourg des Saintes, is an adorable seaside town, offering French sophistication mixed with a laid-back Caribbean lifestyle. The mainly pedestrian streets are dotted with restaurants, bars and independent shops, making for a very pleasant wander, including for the iguanas who casually stroll about the place!

Hiking up the hill to Fort Napoleon, we were rewarded with commanding views across the islands. Inside the fort was an interesting exhibition about the 1782 Battle of the Saintes between the English and French and outside, a wonderful cactus garden, home to many lovely geckos and iguanas.

Arriving to The Saintes at the beginning of carnival time, we were treated to a cute afternoon procession by the local school, with the children marching along in tribal outfit, guided by their teacher playing a traditional soundtrack of drums and horns over a loud speaker. A gentle start to our Caribbean carnival experience, as over the next couple of evenings Bourg des Saintes changed from a sleepy backwater to lively jump up, with processions of marching drumming bands, conch horns blasting, music and spectators of all ages lining the streets to enjoy the buzzing atmosphere.

We have been lucky to have experienced some fabulous swimming and snorkelling whilst in the Caribbean, with The Saintes possibly the best so far. The warm crystal clear waters were teeming with colourful marine life, from fish of all shapes and colours to dolphins and turtles darting about.

A beautiful and magical place to visit.

This article was published as part of a series ‘Caribbean Cruising 2022’:

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