It was the second voyage of Christopher Columbus after the discovery of the Bahamas, Haiti and Dominican Republic, when in 1493 the explorer eventually found a small island with a strange name: Ouanalao.
It was the time he discovered the Lesser Antilles, a group of islands inhabited by indigenous people. That name probably was not nice enough, so Columbus decided the island would take the name of his brother, Bartholomew! That’s where the chic St. Barth has taken its name, by the end of 1400!
However, the turquoise sea did not convince Colombo enough who, given the lack of raw materials, decided to leave the island shortly after.
Over the centuries, there were many battles for the colonization of the island. In 1655 it was dominated by the Order of Malta and the inhabitants were moved to St. Kitts, but soon returned to their native island.
In 1674, the island became French and in 1784 passed over to the Swedish kingdom (Gustavia and its port were named after King Gustav).
In March of 1878, after a referendum, the island came back again under the control of France. In 1946, the first plane landed on the island and the rest we know it all: St. Barth has become the chicest island of the Antilles that attracts mainly high-level tourism!
When to Go
The best time is from December to May with slightly lower temperatures, but with fewer rains. In the rest of the year, the temperatures are higher but with likely more rains. At the risk of hurricanes the months of September and October.
How to Get There
The international airport is located nearby in St. Martin. From there, you can get to St. Barth by plane (the airstrip is very small and located behind a hill). As alternative, you can arrive by boat.
There are luxurious resorts, but you can also find small charming hotels with holiday packages for all budgets (or almost all).
If you are looking for St Barts villa rentals, contact Marla Villa, a real-estate agency established in Gustavia since more than 15 years, offering an extensive concierge services and the best comfort and privacy of the island, with more than 160 villas available.
Language and Currency
The official language is French, but they also speak Patois and Creole. Currency is the euro.
Where to Eat
Raw fish is the specialty of this place, among the most famous of the island. Tables overlooking the beach.
Plage de Saint-Jean, tel. 00590-590276464, from 50 euro menu.
One of the most expensive restaurants of the island. Well worth a stop, also to admire the eclectic furnishings. Pointe Milou, tel. 00590-590511580, from 80 euro menu.
Small restaurant on the beach in Grand Cul de Sac, it offers delicious seafood dishes.
Grand Cul de Sac, tel. 00590-590293327, from 25 euro menu.
Enjoy your time in St Barts!