Travel in French West Indies

Imagine a place where the vibrant culture meets breathtaking landscapes and endless adventure. Guadeloupe, a gem in the French Caribbean, promises just that. Whether your idea of the perfect holiday involves basking on serene beaches, trekking through lush forests, or diving deep into a world of cultural exploration, this island is your ideal destination.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the must-visit spots and hidden treasures of Guadeloupe. Let’s dive in!

Rejuvenate on Varied Beaches: From White to Black Sands

Guadeloupe is home to some of the Caribbean’s most stunning beaches, offering everything from powdery white sands to dramatic black volcanic shores. Each beach presents an opportunity to enjoy the island’s natural beauty, whether you’re looking to relax on soft sands, swim in crystal-clear waters, or take in the spectacular coastal views.

Among the must-visit beaches is Plage de la Caravelle, known for its serene beauty and as a highlight of Club Med’s offerings. Plage de la Perle and Plage de Grande Anse are also favourites for their breathtaking scenery and inviting turquoise waters. Plage des Raisins Clairs, with its shimmering white sands, offers a tranquil retreat for sun seekers.

For those intrigued by the natural contrasts, Basse-Terre’s volcanic landscape gifts visitors with unique black sand beaches such as Plage de Malendure. These beaches, formed from volcanic activity, provide a striking backdrop for swimming and snorkelling.

Experience Local Life at the Markets of Guadeloupe

Exploring the markets of Guadeloupe offers a vibrant immersion into the island’s rich culture and daily life. Here, visitors can indulge in a variety of local products, from succulent fruits and vegetables to aromatic spices, exquisite flowers, handcrafted goods, and unique souvenirs.
The interaction with welcoming locals, coupled with the lively atmosphere and rhythmic music, truly encapsulates the spirit of Guadeloupe.

Noteworthy spots include the bustling spice market in Pointe-à-Pitre and the artisanal craft market in Sainte-Anne, a stone’s throw from the serene Club Med La Caravelle resort, enhancing the experience with its proximity to authentic local culture.

The night market in Le Gosier, along with markets in Basse-Terre, Moule, Abymes, Petit-Bourg, and Saint-François, also promises distinct specialties and experiences, making each visit a unique adventure.

Explore La Grande Soufrière Volcano

Stand atop La Grande Soufrière, the tallest summit in the Lesser Antilles, and an awe-inspiring stratovolcano that crowns Basse-Terre. Embark on a trek to its peak via a trail that meanders through verdant rainforests, past sulfur springs, and over craggy ascents. Though demanding, the journey offers unrivalled vistas of the island and the enticing Caribbean Sea, not to mention the intriguing sight of steam and gas venting from the crater, testament to the ongoing volcanic forces sculpting Guadeloupe.

For those looking to immerse themselves fully in Guadeloupe’s breathtaking natural wonders, our feature on the Top 10 Best Beaches in Guadeloupe provides an in-depth exploration of the island’s most heavenly shores.

Relax at Les Saintes’ Fabulous Bistros and Boutiques

Les Saintes, a picturesque ensemble of eight islands off Guadeloupe’s southern shores, marries natural splendour with Gallic elegance. A ferry ride brings you to Terre-de-Haut, the primary island, for a day of discovery. Immerse yourself in the serenity of exquisite beaches like Plage de Pompierre and Plage du Pain de Sucre, snorkel in the translucent waters, or soak in the history at Fort Napoleon, which hosts a museum and botanical garden. Moreover, savour the local cuisine and shopping; the island’s exquisite bistros and boutiques present delights such as fresh lobster, coconut flan, and artisan pottery.

Dive into the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve

The Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, nestled off the coast of Bouillante on Basse-Terre’s west side, is a guardian of marine life. Spanning roughly 1000 hectares, it’s a mosaic of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves, teeming with turtles, rays, dolphins, and a kaleidoscope of fish. Explore this marine marvel through snorkelling, scuba diving, or a glass-bottom boat tour. Don’t miss the bronze homage to Jacques Cousteau, the renowned oceanographer who in 1959 lent his voice to its preservation.

Roam the Deshaies Botanical Garden

The Deshaies Botanical Garden, a verdant paradise nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, spans over 7 hectares and is renowned for its diverse collection of more than 800 plant species from around the globe. As you wander through this lush oasis, you can admire the exotic blooms, towering trees, and unique fruits that make it an ideal spot for family-friendly getaways. From the delicate beauty of orchids and hibiscus to the towering majesty of palm trees and the tropical sweetness of bananas, there’s a world of flora to explore.

The garden is not just a visual spectacle but a vibrant symphony of colour and sound, home to flamingos, parrots, hummingbirds, and even goats, offering a delightful experience for visitors of all ages. With its stunning views of Deshaies Bay and a rich history dating back to when it was acquired by French comedian Coluche in 1979, the garden was brought to life through the vision of his friend, the talented landscape designer Michel Gaillard.

Experience the Gwo-Ka Drumming Sessions

Immerse yourself in the heart of Guadeloupe’s culture with Gwo-Ka music, a profound expression of the island’s history and resilience. Originating from the African slaves, Gwo-Ka is more than music; it’s a form of communication, a narrative of struggle and joy, articulated through seven distinct rhythms. Each rhythm tells a unique story, evoking a spectrum of emotions tied to the island’s heritage.

Engage with this vibrant tradition firsthand at local Gwo-Ka drumming sessions. These gatherings, a staple of Guadeloupean life, bring the community’s streets, plazas, and beaches to life, especially during weekends and festivals.

Discover the History at Fort Delgrès

Fort Delgrès stands majestically over Basse-Terre city and the Caribbean Sea. Built in the 17th century, this historic fortress was a battleground for French and British forces and witnessed the heroic stand of Louis Delgrès. Delgrès, a free man of colour, led an anti-slavery rebellion and chose martyrdom over surrender to Napoleon’s troops in 1802. In 1989, the fort was renamed in his honor and now serves as both a memorial and a museum, narrating his valiant struggle and Guadeloupe’s history.

Embrace the Charm of Guadeloupe with Club Med

As our journey through the vibrant and lush island of Guadeloupe concludes, we’ve uncovered the essence of its beauty, from the rhythmic beats of Gwo-Ka music to the majestic heights of La Grande Soufrière.

For those intrigued by the unique blend of French culture and Caribbean flair that Guadeloupe offers, Club Med La Caravelle provides the perfect base to explore the island’s treasures.

Nestled on one of the most beautiful beaches of Guadeloupe, Club Med La Caravelle is a haven where the island’s natural beauty is matched by impeccable service and comfort. This all-inclusive resort caters to both the adventurous spirit and those seeking relaxation, with activities ranging from windsurfing and sailing to spa treatments overlooking the azure Caribbean Sea. Families will delight in the dedicated children’s clubs offering fun and educational activities, ensuring a memorable vacation for all ages.

Visit Club Med’s exclusive offers today and take the first step towards your Caribbean adventure.