Best Caribbean French-Speaking Islands You Must Visit
The French-speaking Caribbean Islands are a treasure trove of natural beauty, unique culture, and rich history compared to English-speaking islands. English-speaking islands such as the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Barbados often get the focus and stay limelight.
But the French-speaking islands have a unique blend of Caribbean and French culture and breathtaking and charming landscapes. If you have a plan to visit the islands, below are tips for you to get the most from some of the best French islands in the Caribbean.
Best Places to Visit in Caribbean French-Speaking Islands
Martinique is popularly called the “Isle of Flowers” and is a French overseas department in the Caribbean. The island is a blend of tropical beauty and French sophistication and is a paradise for nature lovers. The beautiful landscapes, pristine beaches, and volcanic mountains attract millions of visitors from across the globe. Do not forget to spend some time on the powdery white sands of Les Salines Beach which makes Martinique one of the best Caribbean French islands to visit.
Guadeloupe is in fact a group of islands that constitute a separate French overseas department in the Caribbean. Guadeloupe is popularly known as the Butterfly Islands due to the butterfly shape which is created by Basse-Tere as one wing and Grande-Tere another. Guadeloupe offers breathtaking landscapes, unique culture, and a lot of activities for its visitors. Guadeloupe is one of the best French Caribbean islands you must visit.
3. Saint Martin-Sint Maarten
The islands of Saint Martin and Sint Maarten, in fact, are separate nationalities. The northern part is Saint Martin which belongs to France and the Southern part to the Netherlands which is called Sint Maarten. The French-speaking Saint Martin is famous for its beautiful beaches and other charming activities compared to Sint Maarten. Saint Martin is one of the top Caribbean French-speaking islands you should give priority in your visiting list.
4. Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy, also called St. Barts, is a popular destination for rich and glamorous people from across the world. The island’s pristine beaches and luxury resorts are designed for rich visitors who enjoy lavish living including expensive shopping. Gustavia is the capital city of Saint Barthelemy and is a shopping paradise for travelers. Saint Barthelemy is one of the most popular Caribbean islands that speak French and has everything to offer visitors from all walks of life.
Haiti no longer comes under the French overseas department. But the island had been for long in French colonialism and has a rich history and culture intertwined with France. One of the most significant historical monuments that speaks about French colonialism is the Citadelle Laderriere which is also a UNESCO World Heritage in Haiti. Another focal point is the Jacmel which showcases the colonial architecture and French art and organizes numerous carnival celebrations. Visit Haiti, one of the top French-speaking islands in the Caribbean.
Top Things to Do in Caribbean French-Speaking Islands
There are numerous exciting and interesting activities you can enjoy in the Caribbean French-speaking islands beginning from various watersports to adventures, relaxation, cultural activities, etc. Below are some of the popular things for you to do on your trip to the Caribbean French-speaking territories.
- Visit the Beaches: There are several popular and famous beaches that are exciting to experience on the islands such as Anse Dufour, Les Salines Beach, Anse Noire, Plage de Grande Anse, Anse du Souffleur, Plage de la Caravelle, etc. Spend some time in some of these best French-speaking Caribbean islands and enjoy the charm of the beaches.
- Hiking: Go to Martinique and Guadeloupe for the best hiking excitement. Ascend the Mont Pelee in Martinique and explore the La Soufriere in Guadeloupe to get breathtaking views of the magnificent landscapes and the volcano.
- Taste the Delicious Cuisine: If you are a food lover and passionate about tasting various cuisines, Saint Martin and Haiti can be the best places for you. Saint Martin offers unique French-Caribbean cuisines in Haiti you can taste the local flavorful dishes like “griot” (fried pork) and “akra” (malanga fritters). These are the best French-speaking countries that can offer you the best food you can ever expect anywhere in the world.
- Water Sports: Saint Martin and Guadeloupe are the islands that offer the most exciting watersports in the Caribbean. Go to Orient Bay and experience its windsurfing, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. Similarly, you can enjoy kite surfing, scuba diving, and fishing in Guadeloupe.
- Historic Sites: If you are interested in history and passionate about exploring historic sites, then the best French Caribbean territories would be Haiti and Saint Martin. Explore the historic mountaintop fortress of Citadelle Laferriere and Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti. Both are UNESCO world heritage sites. Besides this, you can also visit and explore the French and Dutch side border monuments and the Fort Louis in Marigot.
- Walk through the Charming Towns: Stroll through the streets of Gustavia in Saint Barthelemy and explore the French-Caribbean charm and the luxury boutiques of Saint Barthelemy. Similarly, if you are more interested in the nature and rural segments, go to Guadeloupe and experience the villages in Pointe-a-Pitre as well as the Trois-Rivieres, the old town in Guadeloupe. If you are curious to know what Caribbean French-speaking countries, these are some of the primary territories where French is predominant.
- Botanical Gardens: Martinique and Guadeloupe are also enriched with botanical gardens like Balata Botanical Garden and Jardin Botanique de Deshaies. Spend some time in these gardens to explore rare and exotic plants. You can also enjoy the treetop walkways in Balata Botanical Garden and the beautiful landscape in Jardin Botanique de Deshaies.
- Experience the Luxury Resorts: If you feel like relaxing a bit, experience the relaxation in many luxury resorts in Martinique and Saint Barthelemy. You can get the world-class spa services and hospitality in the luxury resorts. Carry out online research to find the best resorts in the list of French islands in the Caribbean.
Best Time to Visit the Caribbean French-speaking Islands
The Caribbean islands have a tropical climate consisting of both a dry season and a wet season. The dry season is from December to April and the wet season is from June and November. So, the best time to visit the French-speaking Caribbean destinations depends on your preference and budget. Below are tips to help you to plan and choose some of the must-visit French Caribbean islands.
- Dry season in the Caribbean is considered the peak season and the island gets crowded with visitors from across the world. The weather gets warmer and pleasant for different activities so also the cost of living and transport.
- Wet season in the Caribbean usually comes with the risk of hurricanes, especially in the months between August and October. However, you can still go to the Caribbean islands in the wet season between June and September.
- Every visitor has a passion for experiencing the carnival celebrations of the destination he or she wishes to visit. If you are one of them and wish to experience the celebrations in the Caribbean, then plan your trip during January and February, especially for Martinique and Guadeloupe which are the best French islands in the Caribbean to visit.
How to Travel in the Caribbean French-speaking islands?
- To get into the Caribbean islands, you can take a flight either to Guadeloupe or Martinique. Guadeloupe has two international airports namely Guadeloupe Pole Caraibes and Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP). Martinique has one international airport namely Aime Cesaire International Airport (FDF).
- For inland travel, you can rely on public transport, rental cars, taxis, ride share, boats, ferries, and cycling or walking.
Best Places to Stay in the Caribbean French-speaking islands
The French-speaking Caribbean islands offer a variety of accommodation options suitable for different preferences and budgets. Below are different options of accommodations to plan your trip to one of the best Caribbean French islands.
- Beach-front resorts and boutique hotels.
- Eco-lodge and vacation rentals.
- Guest houses, hostels, and budget accommodations.
- Boats and Yachts.
- Camping sites and remote island stays.
How to Find Best Budget Caribbean French-speaking Islands Vacation Packages?
- Do a thorough online research of the French-speaking Caribbean tours and travels and study the offers.
- Choose that suits your preference and budget and negotiate for concessions or reduction of price.
- You can also research customer reviews and check the reliability, safety, and other features of the service providers.
- Ask for the recommendations of known persons who have already visited some of the top Caribbean French-speaking islands.
- Consider the off-peak season if you are on a budget. Check with the flexibility in terms of changing the dates or canceling of trip in unforeseen circumstances.
The French-speaking Caribbean islands offer a diverse travel experience beginning from the natural beauty of Martinique and Guadeloupe to the elegance of St. Barts. The historical significance of Haiti is another attraction of the islands.
The unique destination has everything for every visitor whether a foody, nature enthusiast, or a seeker of leisure and relaxation. Eventually, you have made a wise decision if you have plans to visit the Caribbean islands that speak French.