There are more than 20 splendid beaches on the island. The most popular ones, with hotels, shops, water sports centres, restaurants and bars, are Grand Cul-de-Sac andSt. Jean.
The former is located in a sheltered lagoon in the western part of St. Barts. The water here is so calm that even small children will enjoy it. St. Jean lies in the central part of the island, not far from the airport, and, in fact, comprises two beaches separated by Eden Rock.
Lorient Beach, located to the east of St. Jean, is not so crowded with tourists. The coral reef protecting the beach from heavy surf makes it a perfect place for family leisure and also an attractive spot for snorkelling enthusiasts.
Another great place to visit for families with younger kids is Shell Beach in the town of Gustavia. It is a calm and windless shore, one of the few places on the island where there are plenty of shells for picking. In the afternoon, locals come here to relax on the warm rocks and watch the sunset.
In the northwest, there is Flamands Beach, a typical Caribbean paradise with sugar-white sand and palm trees. It has a handful of hotels and restaurants, and the ambience is ideal for a lazy day on the beach. Sometimes, the surf gets too strong, and it becomes perilous and scary for swimming, but instead, you can have a great time admiring the beauty and power of the sea breaking against the rocks on the shore. The natural conditions on Flamands Beach attract bodyboarding and skimboarding fans.
Anse de Toiny Beach, located on the southern coast of the island, is a magnet for windsurfers. Those who like to sunbathe in the nude choose Anse de Grande Saline andAnse du Gouverneur, although naturist beaches are officially prohibited by the local law at St. Barts. These spectacular pearly-white beaches have almost no shade, so holidaymakers will definitely need a parasol and plenty of sunscreen.
Some beaches at St. Barts can only be accessed on foot or by sea. For instance, in order to reach the heavenly Anse de Colombier, you would have to catch a boat or a catamaran in Gustavia. However, the trip is well worth the effort because this beach is one of the island’s prettiest and longest. The hard-to-reach shore of Petit Cul-de-Sacin a calm lagoon to the northeast of St. Barts is visited mostly by the locals. Tourists are rarely spotted in this tranquil and secluded spot.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs with numerous colourful inhabitants, so any part of the coast is great for snorkelling. A significant part of coastal waters are classified as protected areas, so the sea around St. Barts offers an amazing variety of flora and fauna. The bestdiving sites are next to the rocks at a fair distance from the shore, near the Pain de Sucre islet and L'Ane Rouge, a small cape in Colombier Bay. In April through August, sea turtles come here to lay eggs.
Surfing and windsurfing are also quite popular due to favourable weather conditions. Almost every beach offers an opportunity to ride the surf, but the most spectacular, rolling waves, crowned with white foam, can be enjoyed atToiny, Lorient, Anse des Cayes, and St. Jean.