Guadeloupe is a region of France located in the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. Guadeloupe’s 2 main islands are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east, which are separated by a narrow channel called Salt River that is crossed with bridges. Western Basse-Terre has a rough volcanic relief while eastern Grande-Terre features rolling hills and flat plains. These 2 large islands are often referred to as “the butterfly” because of their resemblance to the shape of a butterfly with its wings open. The other main islands in the chain are Marie-Galante, Les Saintes and Terre-de-Haut. As part of France the official language of Guadeloupe is french and the currency is the Euro. It is where the popular television series Death in Paradise is filmed.
Grande-Terre is the main island to visit for Guadeloupe holidays, offering plenty of water-sports and wildlife tours. It features magnificent white sandy beaches and fashionable tourist resorts. Pointe-à-Pitre is the main city on the island, which is mostly in the south-west but it also spans into Basse-Terre Island. Gosier is quite close to Pointe-à-Pitre and is noted for its semi-busy beaches and reasonable nightlife, while a bit farther east is the busy beach of Sainte-Anne. Most tourists tend to base themselves here or in Gosier, with quality hotels and a choice of bars, restaurants and facilities. Restaurants pride themselves on serving traditional Créole dishes, while the numerous night clubs are famous for their hot Caribbean nights.
Basse-Terre Island is dominated by the Soufriere volcano and is surrounded by quiet beaches. It is home to the Guadeloupe National Park, and has lots of paths and hiking trails. This island has the best driving, with the main route encircling the mountain. Lined with pebbled shores and beaches of ochre, brown, black, and pink sand, Basse-Terre island is also home to La Réserve Coustea, an internationally renowned and protected underwater park. A must see site for divers.
Ferry over to Les Saintes and be mesmerised by Les Saintes Bay, a member of the most beautiful bays in the world. La Desirade offer superb white sand beaches, protected by long coral reefs attract snorkelers and swimmers. A stones throw away, discover the untouched Petite-Terre Islands, which are also listed as Natural Reserves. Marie Galante, has at least a hundred mills, the northern coast is characterised by its high cliffs, most of the island is dedicated to growing sugar cane. Marie Galante reminds you of Guadeloupe as it was 50 years ago.
Guadeloupe has a subtropical climate and is warm all year round, with little change in average temperatures. The best weather is in the winter (the dry season), which is December to April and sees averages of 23°C (74°F). Most people visit at this time, although prices are higher, due to the ideal weather conditions.
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