Before the trip to Saint-Barth, I guessed it’s an expensive destination. And after the trip, I found out that it’s fabulously expensive. The atmosphere of Saint-Barth is not similar to other Caribbean islands and is more like the French Riviera. There are more vacationers than locals. Everyone lives in an expensive relaxation. I would call the island – a museum of oligarchic life. Here everything costs 5 times more than it should cost, and you feel like the main character of Tatler magazine. Well, let’s figure out how to survive here?
Saint-Barth: expectation vs reality:
Expectations. You land on a mini-plane to the island. Go out from the plane, wearing sunglasses and a straw hat, your hair fluttering in the wind. Rent a blue cabriolet and drive to a private villa with a swimming pool and stunning views. Have breakfast by the pool, spend a day on one of the chic beaches of the island. And have lunch and dinner in chic restaurants as a true gourmet.
If you are willing to spend 1000 euros per day, and such a vacation suits you, then immediately close this article. And for the real people…
Reality. There is no cheap housing on the island, really not. We lived in a sports hostel with rooms for 4 people and a shared kitchen for the entire hostel. It cost $ 30 per person, but only athletes who have anything to do with the island’s sports base can reserve a bed. And so, housing prices start at 400 euros per night. Of course, it will be a luxury villa with a pool and breakfast. Prices in restaurants – start from 30 euros per dish. And in the supermarket you will pay 7 euros per bottle of milk.
For the same money, you can get a good vacation in the Maldives with a beach 10 meters from your bungalow, caring service and an included dinner by the ocean. While in San Bart you have to drive from the villa to the beaches and go to restaurants or a few grocery stores of the island for food.
How to visit Saint-Barth and don’t sell your soul?
I offer not to have a vacation on Saint Barth. The size of the island is 21 square kilometers, and you can go around it several times in 1 day. That is, you can safely become a passenger on a cruise in the Caribbean or escape for a day from neighboring islands: San Martin, Guadeloupe, where vacation is much cheaper. Fly to Saint-Barthelemy for one day, play a millionaire and fly back
One day at Saint-Barth
On a plane take a window seat and watch the landing. If you arrive from the waterside, at the last moment the pilot sharply tilts the plane to the left, and if you fly from the mountain, then down. This moment is just breathtaking.
Rent a car. By the way, they are not expensive at all, if you book in advance, you can keep it at $ 30 per day. Cabriolets and mini cars are very popular on the island with its narrow paths and tight parking lots.
- The first stop is the mountain above the airport. Get to the first ring, park and wait for planes with a camera. They fly appr every 15 minutes, and a plane literally passes a couple of meters from you.
- Drive to Colombier Beach. On the way, you will pass through the highest point of the island with a viewpoint. Park your car right there and go on foot to the beach following the signs. The walk is about 20 minutes in the mountains and off-road. But the result is worth it. In my opinion, Colombier is the best beach on the island. It is very beautiful, quiet, and almost solitary.
- Have lunch in Gustavia. Tuna is especially good in the Caribbean.
- Find a secret natural pool.
- Spend the rest of the time on the Saint-Jean beach, which is near the airport. Take a lounger in the restaurant closest to the runway, order a cocktail and enjoy the take-off of planes and the landscape.
- So, first, you need to get to the rocky and not at all welcoming Gran Fond beach. At the very beginning of the beach (on the right, facing the sea) there is a parking lot for 4 cars.
- Then, follow the path along the fields with cows towards the beach.
- Approach to the rock in the right corner of the beach (again facing the sea).
- There you will see a small, well-trodden path right on the stones. This is where the path to the natural pool begins.
- A walk along the trail takes 15-20 minutes. On the left are amazing sea views. On the right are the mountains. On the way, you can meet mountain goats.
- The path ends with a sharp descent down. Get ready to climb. But it’s worth it. Below you will see two natural pools with fantastic views. Only a photoshoot from different angles can take about an hour.
Caution! Do not step on the sea urchin.
Interesting facts about Saint-Barth:
- Only very small planes fly to the island. Before each flight, the passenger is weighed together with baggage so that the total weight must match;
- There is no public transport on Saint Barth. At all!
- The price of a taxi on the island is 25 euros/minute;
- Here lizards resemble crocodiles, huge turtles, and a million mosquitoes;
- Almost all the beaches on the island are wild and equipped with nothing but soda cans hanging on the stand for cigarette butts;
- At St. Barth Airport there is no boarding control. They don’t check your luggage!