Your Pocket Guide to St. Barths Beaches
St. Barths—or St Barts—is that rare combination of ultra-high-end resorts, traditional low key resorts (such as ours!) and tranquil fishing villages. Dotted with white, sandy beaches with palm trees and surrounded by water so blue and clear, you’ll wonder how far out you can see the bottom.
There are beaches where you can see and be seen, mingling with the many celebs who flock to the island. Or you can hide away from the crowds on one of the 22 beaches the island boasts.
One important thing to remember is that all beaches are open to the public on St. Barths, even if you have to walk through a private resort to get there. Now that that’s clear, let’s take a look at the best of those 22 beaches on St. Barths.
1. Shell Seekers Love Shell Beach
Not far from the capital of Gustavia lies Shell Beach. One of just four others like it worldwide, Shell Beach is covered in millions of tiny shells. This makes it a little rough underfoot but is a spectacle worth seeing.
There’s even a popular restaurant called Shellona, where you can grab lunch or rent a beach chair.
2. Enjoy Calm Waters at Grand Cul-de-Sac Beach
Grand Cul de Sac is technically the longest beach on the island, although some rocky parts break it.
Protected by a reef, the water is calm and shallow far out, making it ideal for families with young kids. And when the wind blows right, you can even go kiteboarding with the locals!
3. St. Jean Beach is Home to Les Ilets!
St. Jean Beach is one we know well, as it’s where Les Ilets is!
The fine white sand leads into the clear, blue water, which makes it great for snorkelling. The reef protects the whole bay, and when the wind is right, windsurfing is just amazing from St. Jean! And when you need a break from the water, the resort is just a few steps away. What could be easier?
4. Bring Your Surfboard to Lorient Beach
Lorient Beach is St Barths’ surfers destination, you’ll recognize it at once with its famous colourful surfers’ hut. Lorient is also really popular with families as the water is so shallow.
Don’t forget your fins, mask, and snorkel, it’s not uncommon to see a turtle swimming a few steps from the sand!
5. Snorkelling is Excellent at Remote Gouverneur Beach
If you’re looking for an end-of-the-world feel for your next beach day on St. Barths, Gouverneur Beach is it. Tucked away in a bay at the end of a long, twisty road, there are no vendors, restaurants, or that many other people. There are also no lifeguards, but the surf is great and there’s plenty of space to spread out.
Just remember to take snacks, water and a sun umbrella with you as there’s none available—only the blue of the sea, the white sand and the green, green hillside.
6. Sunbathe Au Naturel at Saline Beach
Although nudity is technically illegal on the island of St. Barths, that rule is largely overlooked at Anse de Grande Saline. This beach takes its name from the nearby salt lake and is a favourite of those who prefer to sunbathe au naturel.
This is another beach where there aren’t any vendors or restaurants on the beach, but Le Grain de Sel is a popular post-beach place for lunch and it’s not far away.
7. Colombier Beach is Worth the Hike
In the far north-western part of the island, on the other side of the island’s only nature reserve, lies Colombier Beach. Only accessible on foot or by boat, you can take a 10-minute boat ride from the port, or one of two hikes.
One is straight down from the viewpoint above the beach, but it’s steep and difficult. The other is a roundabout path and the hike is about 20 minutes in the sun (go early so you don’t cook!) So if you can get a boat ride, it’s by far the easiest way.
Colombier is sometimes known as Rockefeller beach, as the Rockefellers bought the adjacent land in the 1960s and built a grand villa overlooking the beach. It’s an incredible spot to snorkel as the bay is protected and the water is crystal clear, allowing you to see many different kinds of tropical fish, starfish and even turtles if you’re lucky.
8. Look For Sea Turtles at Secluded Marechal Beach
One of the charming oddities of St. Barths is that sometimes you’ll need to walk through an entire resort to reach a public beach.
Such is the case at Marechal, a small but exquisitely beautiful beach on the north-east side of the island. It’s worth the walk, as this beach is often pretty quiet but the perfect spot for snorkelling. In the tranquil, clear blue water you’ll be able to hang out with schools of tropical fish and you might even spot a turtle as they tend to frequent this area.
9. Get a Taste of Local Life at Corossol Beach
Not far from Gustavia lies the fishing village of Corossol and its tiny beach. Traditionally a fishing beach, visitors can still see the dozens of colourful boats either pulled up on the sand or going in and out to catch fish.
This is also a great spot to pick up some handwoven souvenirs sold by the local ladies outside their homes.
Have You Packed Your Swimsuit?
Has this tour of the beaches of St. Barths whetted your appetite for a trip to this incredible Caribbean island? Get in touch here and we’ll get your tropical getaway planned.