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Marie-Galante, moulin

One of the many ancient sugar mills still standing on Marie-Galante

MARIE-GALANTE / General Description

This enchanting island has long been the best-kept secret in the Caribbean. Located about 30 km (18 mi) south of Guadeloupe, fortunate visitors to Marie-Galante will discover rolling green hills, turquoise lagoons, picturesque villages and magnificent beaches. The magic of the true Caribbean awaits within its circular coastline.

The white sand beaches of Marie-Galante are considered to be among the most beautiful in the entire Caribbean. But they are only the beginning of the island's wonders. Visitors will feel they have moved back in time to an era of charming architecture, nineteenth century windmills and colorful markets. Traditional oxcarts are seen bringing in crops from the cane fields. This is a place of mystical beauty with lush greenery and fascinating historical sites such as the 18th century Château Murat. There are unique natural attractions to explore as well, such as the breathtaking Gueule Grand Gouffre (the Mouth of the Giant) and the Trou à Diable (the Devil's Hole) with its subterranean lake. Marie-Galante is a perfect island to explore by car, scooter, mountain-bike or hiking.

The gentle inhabitants of this extraordinary island have, in their wisdom, preserved the timeless quality of Marie-Galante. It remains untouched by mass tourism. About half of the island's population of 13,000 lives in the main town of Grand-Bourg. Most of the others are divided between the coastal villages of Saint-Louis and Capesterre. With an area of about 164 sq km (63 sq mi), Marie-Galante is one of the larger islands in the French West Indies and offers a fascinating new world to explore.

Marie-Galante is on Atlantic Standard Time (Eastern Standard Time plus 1 hour or Greenwich Mean Time minus 4 hours). This island does not convert to daylight savings time. Time is indicated in the 24 hour format, in other words, 1:15 p.m. is 13:15 or 13h15.

Politically, Marie-Galante is one of several dependency islands of Guadeloupe, which in turn is an Overseas Department and Region of France.

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