With its blend of warm hospitality and European style, Sint Maarten is one of the Caribbean’s more attention-grabbing destinations. Sint Maarten is half of an island, thanks to an international border between its two sides: Dutch St. Maarten to the south, French St Martin to the north.
The Dutch side is smaller than the French side, covering 16 square miles with an abundance of rolling hills. Dutch is the official language in St. Maarten, but you will hear English everywhere. French is the official language of St Martin, which is slightly larger at 21 square miles.
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Tourism is king; with so many options for pleasure-seekers, this destination is the opposite of an out-of-the-way, undiscovered place. Instead, you can shop ‘til you drop’, as there are close to 500 duty-free shops.
St. Maarten does have its share of white sandy beaches though – 37 of them. One favourite strip is Cupecoy Bay Beach near the Dutch-French border, which is dotted with caves and cliffs. Maho Bay Beach, located near the airport is popular for the low flying planes.
Sailing is a big part of St. Maarten’s culture. Amongst the many sailing yachts, you will often see huge superyachts in the many marinas that dot Simpson Bay, a huge inland lagoon. Even more so when the Heineken Regatta is taking place, once of the biggest sailing races in the Caribbean.
French flavours of St Martin
The pleasures of St. Martin are legendary, from its haute cuisine to its golden beaches. When you enter St. Martin, you have entered France, and not just figuratively speaking. St. Martin is as much a part of France as Marseilles or Nice, and a flight here from Paris is a domestic flight. It is as if you can make a quick trip to Europe without spending eight hours on a plane. And, unlike in the home country, everyone speaks English.
As you take in this scene of Gallic luxury, remind yourself to return for the market day in Marigot, when vendors fill the Harbour car park with goods from home-brewed liquors to burlap sacks overflowing with cinnamon, nutmeg and chilli peppers. Or hike up to the top of Fort Louis for a stunning view over the whole island
St. Martin is action-packed but also laid back. Its Orient Beach is its premier destination for water sports from windsurfing and jet skiing to “parascending” on a boat-towed parachute. Marigot Bay, Anse Marcel, Gran Case and Tintamare are all wonderful anchorages full of private sailing yachts and crewed charters.
Sailing Holidays in Style
Whether you are travelling solo, as a couple or a group, you will have an unforgettable crewed charter with BlueFoot Travel. Book your private cabin and relax, enjoy delicious food, get hands-on sailing experience, and have lots of fun as we sail from one beautiful island to the next. So select a trip and join us in Sint Maarten and Saint Martin and create some amazing experiences you can share with your friends and family.
*** Latest travel advisory for French St Martin ***
*** Latest travel advisory for Dutch Sint Maarten ***