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Vacation in Guadeloupe: Pure Caribbean on the Butterfly Island

Guadeloupe is called the Butterfly Island by the locals thanks to its shape. But you will definitely find countless real butterfly species on the island with the largest nature reserve in the CaribbeanGuadeloupe, the largest island in the Lesser Antilles, is impressive with an idyllic landscape and traditional Creole the middle of Europe! Yes, you read that right, because Guadeloupe is an overseas department of the  French state in the Caribbean and thus belongs to Europe. Here you can find out what you need to know for your vacation on the beautiful Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

General Information About Vacationing in Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is a butterfly-shaped twin island in the Caribbean Sea, made up of two parts, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. Guadeloupe is a French overseas department and is therefore part of the European Union: You pay with the euro. The approximately 400,000 inhabitants of the island speak French and a Creole dialect. In addition, you can get by with English.

The Most Beautiful Destinations for a Vacation in Guadeloupe

If you want to spend your vacation in Guadeloupe mainly on the beach, you have the choice between numerous beautiful beaches on Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. Some tips:

  • Plage des Grande Anse (Deshaies) is a long sandy beach with tourist offer.

  • Plage de la Datcha (Gosier) is also popular with locals. You can kayak out to the tiny islet of Gosier.

  • Plage de Bananier and Plage de Malendure are popular meeting points for surfers.

  • La Caravelle near Saint Anne is the dream beach where everyone takes their photos.

  • Plage de Souffleur is an insider tip that is hardly known to this day.

Across the island you will find a wide range of accommodation from 5-star resorts to cozy guesthouses and self-catering apartments.

Our pirate tip: Discover the tiny neighboring islands such as Marie-Galante and La Désirade by island hopping by ferry: Here you will find paradisiacal solitude for a day and fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities.

What Must I See in Guadeloupe?

1. Guadeloupe's Active Volcano, La Soufrière

One of the highlights of your Guadeloupe vacation will certainly be the hike to La Soufrière. This approximately 5000-foot high, an active volcano is also called the hissing old lady because the volcano continuously steams, hisses and whistles from all 30 crevices and holes. Such an apocalyptic and yet safe scenery is always worth the climb!

2. Basse-Terre and Its National Park

Incidentally, La Soufrière is located on one of the two main islands of Guadeloupe: Basse-Terre. The island is characterized by magnificent waterfalls, idyllic riverbeds, lush green landscapes, and of course the stunning 17,000 hectares of Guadeloupe National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the Jacques Cousteau nature reserve is also worthwhile. Divers in particular get their money's worth here and can marvel at the beautiful underwater world. If you prefer to stay dry, you can also do this with a glass-bottom boat tour.

3. Guadeloupe's Grande-Terre Island

The island of Grande-Terre is captivated by picturesque sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons. Particularly worth seeing is the Pointe de Grande Vigie coast and one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Caribbean: the Pointe des Chateaux, where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Grande-Terre is also ideal for surfing.

4. Guadeloupe's Unspoiled Petite-Terre

Petite-Terre offers an impressive bird sanctuary that is virtually untouched. Therefore, only a maximum of 200 guests per day are allowed to visit the island. A true paradise for all bird and nature lovers.

5. Guadeloupe's Largest City, Pointe-à-Pitre

If you want to enjoy some culture in addition to Caribbean dream beaches, Pointe-à-Pitre is the place for you. There you will find traditional Creole houses, for example, the Marché St. Antoine market, the Saint Pierre Saint Paul cathedral, and a beautiful cruise port. You can make your time here a little more interactive with an exciting mangrove tour or a visit to the Rum Museum. So you can impress your friends at home with your expertise and at the same time enjoy a Ti Punch or Planteur.

6. Iles des Saintes

Îles des Saintes, or Les Saintes, consists of nine small islands and offers one thing above all: tranquility. In addition to lush green hills and dream beaches, such as Pompierre Beach, you will also find the historic Fort Napoléon, the bay of Marigot, and the small bay of Anse Craven.

7th Guadeloupe Festival of Cooks

Those who visit Guadeloupe in August can count themselves lucky because that's when the "Festival of the Cooks" takes place. The women of Guadeloupe show all their culinary skills and parade through the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre with delicacies they have cooked up to the church, where their food is then blessed. A real treat for the eyes and the palate!

Excursions in Guadeloupe

If you would like to use your vacation on Guadeloupe to explore , you can easily take your own rental car and set off. Don't miss these destinations:

Parc National Guadeloupe

In the heart of the national park is the still active 4,800 foot high volcano La Grande Soufriere. If you are good on your feet, you can climb up to the summit and look down into the "Gates of Hell": that's what the locals call the always steaming crater. Another attraction is the Carbet Falls, where the Carbet River plunges 410 feet. From the parking lot, you can hike to the lower cascade (360 feet) in 20 minutes.

The Deshaies Botanical Gardens in Guadeloupe

The botanical garden in Deshaies offers you a compact overview of the flora of Guadeloupe. There are also many native animals in the complex, which children will also enjoy.