Les Saintes Archipelago
Les Saintes Archipelago : 7 Islets and 2 Islands
Les Saintes Archipelago is a dependency of Guadeloupe Archipelago. This small archipelago is composed of 7 volcanic islets: “L’îlet à Cabrit”, “le Grand-Îlet”, “la Coche”, “les Augustins”, “la Redonde”, “le Pâté”, “les Roches percées” and 2 main islands: “Terre-de-Haut” and “Terre-de-Bas” which are the only ones inhabited. Both of these mountainous islands are connected to each other by a ferry service that takes about 15 minutes to cross.
Economy and Tourism
The climate of these islands is tropical and relatively dry, the inhospitable relief and low precipitation do not allow the agriculture industry development. Fishing and tourism are the key economic drivers of Les Saintes Archipelago. Indeed, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the bay of Les Saintes located in Terre-de-Haut attracts luxury yachts, pleasure boats, cruise ships and big sail boats which cross through the Antilles. As Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas are quite small islands, walking and scooters are the most common means of transports.
Les Saintes Archipelago’s population has European origins, which explain why most members of the community are mixed-race. In fact, people from Brittany, Normandy and Poitou-Charentes have been the first inhabitants. They settled down in the islands and started fishing activities.
The Tourment d’amour: Emblematic food
The Tourment d’amour is the famous and traditional small tart from Les Saintes Archipelago. This delicious treat consists in a small crust pastry tart filled with multiple jams’ flavours: coconut, guava, banana or pineapple, wholly covered with a sponge cake. When visiting the islands, the Tourment d’amour is the must-have food to buy before leaving. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of sellers waiting for you at the port for that.
With its colourful streets, multicoloured fishing boats, and painted wood houses, Les Saintes Archipelago is a lovely and peaceful place where you will be able to find local products such as the “Salako” (a traditional hat used by fishermen). In addition to that, if you are a water-sports lover, choices are endless including: surface water sports, scuba diving or kayaking.
Here are some unforgettable places not to be missed when visiting Les Saintes Archipelago:
- Fort Napoléon a museum dedicated to the history and traditions of Les Saintes Archipelago
- “Pompierre” a white sandy beach bordered by palm trees and sea grape trees
- The French navy cemetery of Terre-de-Haut
- The little mountain “Pain de Sucre” with its basalt organ pipes
- The “Bateau des îles” , or the house in the shape of bow of ship
- The diving site of “Sec Pâté”
- “Grand-Anse” the unique beach in Terre-de-Bas
- The ruins of the old pottery factory of “Grand Baie”
- The watchtower and ponds of “Abymes” hill
- Hiking trails: “Trace du Dessus de l’Etang” and “Trace des Falaises”