Les Saintes Archipelago
Les Saintes is a dependency of Guadeloupe. 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.
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”. 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, which is one of the reasons why tourism activities are higher than few years ago.
The population in “Les Saintes” is constituted historically by Bretons, Normans and by inhabitants of Poitou who settled down for fishing, this explains the European origins of “Les Saintes” population. As Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas are small islands, walking and scooters are the most common ways of transports.
The “Tourment d’amour” is the famous and traditional small tart from “Les Saintes” and is sold to visitors when arriving at the port. The “Tourment d’amour” consists in a small crust pastry tart filled with multiple jams’ flavours: coconut, guava, banana or pineapple, wholly covered with a sponge cake.
With its colourful streets, multicoloured fishing boats, and painted wood houses, “Les Saintes” is a paradisiacal and peaceful place where you will be able to find local products such as the “Salako” (a traditional hat used by fishermen). Besides, these islands attract many tourists as they offer a good deal of water sports such as: water-skiing, scuba diving or Jet Ski.
Here are some unforgettable places not to be missed when visiting “Les Saintes” Islands:
- “Fort Napoléon” a museum dedicated to the history and traditions of “Les Saintes”
- “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”