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st barthelemy, Baie St. Jean, Ile Frégate

Ile Frégate from St. Jean Beach in St. Barthélemy

ST. BARTHELEMY / Beaches / Plages

There are about twenty spectacular beaches on St. Barthélemy, each with its own unique personality. Regardless of where they sleep, most visitors explore a new beach (or two) every day. Few are ever really crowded, even in peak season. All are public and free. There are no designated clothing-optional beaches but nude swimming and sunning are often practiced at Saline and Gouverneur. Toplessness is acceptable and common at pools and beaches.

The famous beach of St. Jean includes hotels, restaurants and watersports. Grand Cul-de-Sac on the northeast shore is a haven for windsurfers with its own hotels and restaurants. To the west, the broad expanse of sand at Flamands also offers a few lodging and dining possibilities.

The little beach at Marigot and the broad expanse at Lorient on the north shore are secluded and favored on by island families. Gouverneur in the south offers excellent privacy and the spectacular sands of Saline are popular but strong winds are often a factor. Lovely Shell Beach in Gustavia is a favorite spot to watch the sunset and Colombier Beach, reachable by boat or by a 20-minute hike from Flamands, is worth the effort. Toiny is beautiful but the waves and undertow make it off limits to most swimmers. The same is true of nearby Washing Machine Beach at Grand Fond.

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