Better known as Saint Marie, of BBC’s Death In Paradise fame, the picture perfect Guadeloupe archipelago is the epitome of authentic Caribbean style. Made up of six inhabited islands (and six uninhabited) the region is a French overseas territory and boasts plenty of colourful French-Caribbean charm.
Due to their lush volcanic hills and white sandy beaches, the archipelago’s islands are often compared to St Lucia in look and feel, though with the added benefit of far less tourists. Of the six main islands, neighbouring Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre are the most populous islands, and are connected by a good link road. In fact, the roads and infrastructure on Guadeloupe are all surprisingly good, and we always suggest hiring a car to do some exploring during your stay.
In terms of beaches and restaurants, the sheltered south coast of Grand-Terre, around Le Gosier, is where you’ll find many of the best options, and the area also offers fantastic snorkelling thanks to its numerous coral reefs. Just up the coast is the island’s capital, Pointe-a-Pitre, which is known for its lively local markets and is the shoot-off point for boat trips around the surrounding islands.
Those looking for an even more off-the-beaten-track experience should venture over to the lush rainforest in the south of Basse-Terre, or if you want to do some celebrity spotting, the cast and crew of Death In Paradise tend to stay on the north coast.
Further afield, Guadeloupe’s smaller outer islands of Iles des Saintes and Marie-Galante are both great for day trips. Bask on beautiful and unspoilt beaches in Iles des Saintes, and get to grips with Caribbean plantation history on Marie-Galante, which makes you feel like you’re stepping straight back in time to the 18th-century Caribbean.