St. Martin’s French side is known for its distinctively European atmosphere, with small boutiques, bistros, and clothing-optional beaches. You won’t find high-rises or fast-food restaurants here – more like striped awnings, alleyways, and morning markets. The region’s charming capital, Marigot, is must-visit, with colorful houses and art galleries, as is Grande Case, “the gourmet capital of the Caribbean.” The island of St. Martin is known for its astounding number of quality restaurants, and the crème de la crème can be found in Grande Case.
St.-Martin is also home to the islands most popular beach at Orient Bay, which is famous both for its breathtaking beauty and the nudist resort located at its southern end. With the exception of Orient Beach, which offers a number of beach bars, restaurants, and water sports facilities, many beaches on the French side of the island are quiet and remote; some, like Happy Bay Beach, are only accessible by boat.
Combine the laid-back chicness of the French side with the bustling nightlife of the Dutch side, and you have an island vacation with the best of both worlds.
“If you’re traveling with children, I recommend going to the Butterfly Farm in the morning, when it’s cooler and the butterflies are feeding. It’s by far the best time to go.” ―Marilyn, Condé Nast Traveler Villa Rental Specialist
“Le Galion Beach, just past the Butterfly Farm, is the perfect beach for families with young ones. The water is shallow, calm, and crystal-clear.” ―Linda, St. Martin Villa Rental Specialist