Guadeloupe Typically French Caribbean

gdlpA tiny piece of France exists in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The small island group of Guadeloupe is an overseas region of France, so is considered to be part of that country and is a mixture of French chic and laid back Caribbean lifestyle.

The two main islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre form a butterfly shape that is wedged between Antigua and Dominica. Those two main islands are separated from each other by a narrow channel that is called the Salt River. There are three other smaller island as well, being La Desirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante.

Between them, they share all the attributes you would expect of perfect Caribbean islands: rain forests, waterfalls, sandy beaches and charming villages.

Grande-Terre is the most visited of the islands and is considered to be the more sophisticated of the two big islands. It is endowed with pristine beaches, and featuring turquoise lagoons, and unforgettable scenery. Perhaps the most spectacular part of the island is the rocky headland of Pointe des Châteaux, which is at the easternmost tip of Grand-Terre.

It is here where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. The stunning views include cliffs that have been sculpted by the sea into dramatic castle-like formations. Pointe des Châteaux has kilometres of brilliant white-sand beaches. Most of these are safe for swimming, except for where the waves of the turbulent Atlantic encounter the tranquil Caribbean Sea, thus churning up the waters.

Basse-Terre is a volcanic island and home to Le Grande Soufriere, which at 1467 metres is the highest mountain in the Lesser Antilles. There is a large national park on the island that is covered in rain forest where there is good hiking along bush trails. The coastline is riddled with pebbled shores and beaches that do not have the white sands of its neighbour, but volcanic sands that are coloured ochre, brown, black, and pink.

La Desirade makes for a good day journey and the whole island is classed as a national natural reserve, meaning that ecotourism and sustainable development is practised there. Swimmers, divers, and hikers alike flock to the island for its beautiful white sandy beaches protected by long coral reefs and the warm hospitality.

Les Saintes is also comprised of two islands and the Baie des Saintes in Terre-de-Haut, the eastern island is regarded as being one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Marie-Galante, which is known as the Island of a Hundred Windmills, is famous for its unspoiled beaches and for the potency of its locally-made rum. The economy of the island is governed by sugar cane and its three distilleries.

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