La Désirade Island
La Désirade Island: The oldest one in the Lesser Antilles
La Désirade Island is an elongated limestone island and is also a dependency of Guadeloupe archipelago. The island is the oldest one in the Lesser Antilles. The name “La Désirade” has been given by Christopher Columbus in 1493, because the sailors extremely desired to reach it after long weeks in the sea.
The main characteristics of the island are the combination of its highest point “Grande Montagne” reaching 273 metres, and the coastline with beautiful white sandy beaches protected by long coral reefs.
Due to its dry tropical climate, there is no agriculture industry in La Désirade Island. Therefore, sheep and goat farming as well as fishing are keys economic drivers. In addition to an ideal place to do scuba-diving, tourism activities are increasingly flourishing in La Désirade Island, especially for nature lovers. As the island is quite small, you can explore it either by walk, bike or scooter.
La Désirade Island: Petite Terre Archipelago
Petite Terre Archipelago which is made up of two uninhabited islets (“Terre de Haut” and “Terre de Bas”) is located about 7 miles from La Désirade Island to which it belongs administratively. Petite Terre Archipelago, surrounded by clear waters has been classified Nature Reserve in 1998 due to its biological diversity and different natural environments. Cliffs, coral reefs, forests, lagoon, sandy beaches, a rich marine environment, iguanas and two species of turtles (The green sea turtle and the loggerhead sea turtle) are part of this small archipelago.
La Désirade Island is a quiet, simple and authentic island with welcoming inhabitants as well as having a diversified wildlife in Petite-Terre archipelago.
Sites to discover
Here are some unforgettable places not to be missed when visiting La Désirade Island:
- The ruins of the old leper colony and cotton plant
- The nature reserve of Petite Terre Archipelago
- The marine cemetery of “Beauséjour”
- The lighthouse of “La Pointe double”
- The chapel “Notre-Dame du Calvaire” and the church of “Notre-Dame-De-Bon-Secours”
- “Le Morne du Souffleur”, a short one-hour hike
- Plage de Fifi, Plage du Souffleur and Plage à Fanfan – white sandy beaches
- Petite-Rivière, the ideal beach for scuba diving