The Island of St Barths is a paradise that combines the best of the Caribbean with French Riviera elegance. Its dazzling white sand beaches, superb restaurants, and exciting yet discrete nightlife make it an irresistible place for the jet-set who adore the Caribbean.
The History of St Barths
The small volcanic island of St Barths is a French territory in the northern part of the Caribbean. It is a part of the French West Indies and is known as an overseas collectivity with a degree of autonomy. It is located about 22 miles (35km) southeast of St Martin and has a population of about 2,000 people.
Originally called Ouanalao, this island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. It was originally occupied by Amerindian and Caribbean communities. The name was changed to Saint-Barthelemy in homage to Columbus’ brother, Bartolomeo.
In the 18th century, it was a free port for Sweden but became part of France in 1878. The island remained in French hands until 2003 when its inhabitants voted for independence.
Its pristine beaches, sparkling crystal waters, and lush forests have kept this French Caribbean island as a favorite of the wealthy for years. Its prestigious shopping scene offers an excellent selection of luxury fashion, fine jewelry, tropical beachwear, and exquisite souvenirs.
For those who prefer to shop locally, there are many markets throughout the island. There are also a few large boutiques where you can find a wide variety of items including clothing, furniture, and home furnishings.
Local designers like Lolita Jaca and Pati De St Barth have a strong presence on the Island and can help you to create your perfect wardrobe. They offer a variety of stylish pieces for women, men, and children.
If you are looking for a unique souvenir from St Barths, there is a large selection of bespoke jewellery made in the region by local artists and artisans. These objets d’art are a great way to remember your stay and can be purchased at various local shops.
There are several sales periods on the Island and if you time your visit correctly, there are usually some very good deals to be had. The first is in the beginning of November and the second runs from mid May into June.
Food and Drink
The island is full of amazing restaurants that serve the very finest in contemporary French cuisine. From breakfast to dinner, you are sure to find a restaurant that will tickle your taste buds.
From a delicious seafood platter to an exotic sushi platter, you can eat your heart out at any of the numerous dining options on this idyllic island. The restaurants of St Barths are renowned for their fresh seafood and impeccable service.
For a special treat, head to Le Toiny Beach Club for lunch where you can enjoy the surf and ocean views of this secluded St Barths beach. Or keep it casual with a light lunch at RIVYARA Plage, where you can relax and enjoy a variety of grilled fish or meat, burgers, and creative club sandwiches.