Saint MartinLeeward Islands
A dazzling piece of the shimmering necklace known as the Leeward Islands, the playground of St.Martin is a paradise of diamond white sands, balmy azure waters and an incredibly vibrant culture that is a heady mixture of French and Dutch customs, cuisine and architecture.
Visitors to this exquisite island will find a true tropical haven that is as beautiful as it is unforgettable. Lying south of Anguilla and north of its diminutive brother St.Barthélemy, this lush island is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations.
Divided between the French collectivity of St Martin in the north and the Dutch country of Sint Maarten in the south, St Martin is a melting pot of cultures and influences. Sewn together by a shared Caribbean vibe, French and Dutch influences are evident in everything from the language to architecture and customs - a trip to this multifaceted island is truly like two holidays in one.
The two characteristics in tandem make the sum impression of St.Martin the unique and complex, but ultimately irrepressibly charismatic, destination that it is.
St Martin’s Laid Back Living
French St Martin in the north is an area of cool and calm island repose. Though its capital city of Marigot is a hub of activity, complete with boutique shopping and fine dining in Marigot Marina’s Port Royal, the French St Martin side of the island is certainly the first choice for visitors looking to enjoy the more tranquil lifestyle. St Martin has much to offer the high-brow shopper, with a range of high quality arts and crafts stores like the Gingerbread Galerie to Atelier Des Tropismes based here mixing Caribbean and French artistic influences with a uniquely St Martin result. In search of designer brands you will find yourself spoilt for choice, or hit Rue de la Republique for an emporium of luggage, cigars, liquor and perfume.
The French side of St Martin is also a haven of hidden coves and bays to enjoy secluded afternoons in the sand. Friar’s Bay is one of the idyllic beaches on the island, where crystalline waters meet paradisiacal white sands lined with quaint beach bars and restaurants. Friar’s Bay is also one of the more family friendly beaches on the north side of the island, as St Martin is also known for its nudist beaches.
The Vibrancy of Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten in the south is a pulsing, vibrant and colourful island paradise. The joys of island living meet Caribbean carnival expression in this Dutch country, lined with an excess of fantastic beaches and welcoming locals. Home to the largest zip line in the world, speed down the slopes of St Maarten’s verdant mountains and soak in the exquisite views the entire way down. There is no shortage of tropical Caribbean cocktail bars on this side of the island, which is itself famous for its rum-based guavaberry drinks which can be sampled at the Guavaberry Emporium. Enjoy the luxury of the island at the Loterie Farm beach club, set in a stunning setting of 100 acres of foliage and incredible hiking trails.
Sint Maarten’s capital city Philipsburg is the island’s commercial centre as well with the main shopping district, Front Street, lying in the heart of the city. Philipsburg is home to lovely colonial architecture, a major port and Princess Juliana International, the second busiest airport in the Eastern Caribbean.