St-Barts is a volcanic island encircled by shallow reefs. It's only 25 square kilometers with a population of 9,035 (Jan.2011 estimate). St-Barts is the only Caribbean island which was a Swedish colony. The Swedish ruled only briefly at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Symbolism from the Swedish National arms, the Three Crowns, still appear in the Island's coat of arms.
I truly enjoyed this island for many reasons. The anchorage in Columbier is only a 2 mile dinghy ride from Gustavia. It is stunningly beautiful. The beach is white, the water is blue, there are several hikes right from the beach and the snorkeling is good. We saw sharks, rays and eels. There are no amenities but that's also what makes it beautiful.
One of my favorite hikes is to walk from the beach at Columbier, go over the hill onto the leeward side and take the hiking trail all the way to Anse Des Flamands beach.
|HIKE TO ANSE DES FLAMMANDS BEACH |
Shell beach is quite interesting. It is literally covered in small, light pink shells. The water is crystal blue. This photo was taken from Fort Karl.
|IN FRENCH AND SWEDISH|
|TOWN OF GUSTAVIA WITH YACHT FILLED BAY IN THE MIDDLE|
Hints for Cruisers:
1 - The anchorage in Gustavia can be quite rolly and busy. Best to anchor in Columbier and dinghy about 2 miles to Gustavia. It's well worth it.
2 - Immigration/customs only accept Euros. They will let you go to the nearby ATM to get Euros if need be.
3 - Across from the Immigation/customs office is the tourist office.