St. Barthelemy Island

St Barthelemy is a tiny island of over 8.1 sq.mi situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the Northern Antilles arc, in the Caribbean. Located among the Leeward Islands, St Barth is a French commune (commune de Saint-Barthélémy) part of Guadeloupe - an overseas région and overseas département of France - and therefore part of the European Union. St Barthelemy lies around 150 miles east of Puerto Rico and near the islands of Saba, St Martins and Anguilla.

The official language of St Barthelemy is French and currency is Euro. But English is widely understood and dollars are accepted in almost all shops.

History

History books record St Barthelemy as yet another discovery of the famous Genoese sea captain Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was invaded by the Caribbean Indians and later became a colony of the French sailors from Normandy and Brittany. It remained with French until 1784, when the Island was sold to the Swedes by one of Louis XIV’s ministers. The French bought it back in 1878, and it has been remained in French hands since then.

Tourism

Like the many islands of the Caribbean, St Barthelemy also boasts long stretches of golden beaches that are perfect for basking under the sun or an evening stroll or some interesting beach sports, as one’s tastes dictates. There are also ample opportunities for scuba diving, boating, surfing, paragliding and deep sea fishing.

But a visit to St Barthelemy is never complete without getting to know about its culture, history and tradition. The Municipal Museum is one such place that houses loads of information on the sociological, ethnic, economic and natural aspects of the Island. Also, not to miss are the many historical monuments that speaks volumes about its early years of colonization.

Nightlife is nearly absent in St Barthelemy. But the place is a shopper’s paradise, thanks to its liberal duty free market. The hardest part for a shopper is to choose few from the overwhelming collection of commodities available. Restaurants in the island are mainly French, Italian or Asian.
Transport

St Barthelemy has a small airstrip that is served by small regional commercial aircrafts and charters. The nearest international airport is in the neighboring island of St Martins. Ferry service is available between the two islands.

Small cars, motor scooters and motorcycles are the chief mode of transportation around the island. Car rental are available at the airport itself.

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