Why Is St Martin Divided In 2 Sections?
Saint Martin is a Caribbean island paradise that offers a delicious mix of incredible beaches, the chance to explore a variety of cultures, a bustling nightlife, and of course, lots of sunshine. The island is split into two territories: Saint Martin, to the north, which is the French territory, while Sint Maarten, to the south, is governed by the Dutch.
The story goes that the Dutch-French border was drawn during a legendary race across St. Martin. The Dutch and French had agreed that the boundaries between their islands should be set in a mature manner and thus the race was conducted to better determine how much land each nation would be able to claim.
One thing is for certain, no matter which side of the island you choose, there’s no denying that one of the main draws of this destination lies in its selection of sublime beaches, with a truly world-class variety on offer to the travelers who land upon this Caribbean island’s shores. From broad popular bays with bars, restaurants and other amenities to the tiniest secluded coves, there is a beach to suit every preference on this charismatic island. Whether you’re looking for a beach as a family, as a part of a couple or as a group of friends, St Martin and its catalogue of seaside opportunities are sure to please.
Best Beaches On The French Side
1. Orient Bay Beach
Often referred to as the “St. Tropez” of Saint Martin, Orient Bay is one of the most remarkable and popular beach destinations, with an endless list of activities to do. An ideal destination for couples, families, or an adventurous vacationer, Orient Bay is the largest beach on the island. The warm tropical water, along with the shores lined with palm trees, makes it the perfect place to soak up the sun.
Visit this breathtaking beach and indulge yourself in a variety of enjoyable activities, including scuba diving, swimming, jet skiing, live music performances and exploring the beach’s wonderful assortment of restaurants and souvenir shops.
Villa Monte Verde is one of the best accommodations on Orient Bay as it overlooks the white sand beach and turquoise waters of French St Martin. This 4 bedroom vacation home is a modern gem and has been designed and furnished with exceptional care, to ensure that your stay will be a truly memorable one.
2. Friar’s Bay Beach
If a hidden gem is what you’re looking for, Friar’s Bay Beach is a great place to visit. Combining a relaxed atmosphere with an exciting lineup of activities offers a perfectly serene, yet exciting beach day. Friar’s Bay is home to an array of fantastic Caribbean restaurants, so you can sit back and enjoy the tropical scenery while you dine at picturesque beachside locations offering some of the best local food you can find on the island.
This spot is also quite popular among surfers of all levels as the waters here are calm and gentle. If you’re up for something different, we recommend a hike in Happy Bay – one of the most iconic and picturesque hikes on the island.
Come for the pure white sand and calming ocean, but stay for the intoxicating ambiance. The soft breeze and tranquil, crystalline waters set the stage for an unforgettable experience.
This exquisite 6 bedroom villa is nestled high on the slopes of Mont Choisy, an exclusive ocean view neighborhood, located on the northern coastline of French St Martin. Ocean 5 offers its guests a breathtaking view over the Caribbean Sea with Anguilla off in the distance. The nearby Friar’s Bay and Happy Bay are just waiting to be explored.
3. Baie Rouge (Red Bay)
This charming beach can be found on the western French side of St. Maarten, by the village of Marigot. The quirky pink-hued sand is a favorite attraction for visitors who come from all over the world. This beach is most popular for swimming, lounging, and sunbathing. Its ultra-casual atmosphere is complemented by convenient access to various amenities.
The middle section of the beach is where the younger crowd tends to flock to whereas the right portion of the beach is best for families with children looking for fun-filled activities and the left side is where you can freely sunbathe in the nude. There’s really no better way to spend the day than basking in the tropical splendor of Baie Rouge. Enjoy a cocktail or a bite to eat and get ready to take a lot of photos!
One of the finest luxury vacation rentals available in the exclusive gated community of Baie Rouge, Villa Le Reve will exceed all your expectations. This lavish villa is complete with 7 bedrooms, a tennis court, private gym and spa, heated pool, jacuzzi and a media room.
4. Grand Case Beach
Ready to relax? Grand Case Beach is your destination. Surrounded by miles of sheer beauty, Grand Case Beach welcomes you to a quiet and unique Caribbean experience. Swimmers are drawn to the calm, turquoise waters, while day-trippers come for the easygoing fishing village nearby.
Lazing on a lounge chair, you can take in the surroundings of a tropical paradise framed by an azure sea and the nearby island of Anguilla. This is also the perfect spot for those who enjoy beach combing and searching for seashells and other little treasures that may have washed ashore. When it’s time to eat, you want the “in” spot, so you’ll definitely want to check out the ‘lolos’ (traditional island eateries) that serve up some of the best local Caribbean dishes.
Tucked away on a secluded road at the end of Grand Case, you’ll find Petite Plage 5. This is a 6 bedroom beachfront, contemporary villa in Saint Martin providing an unparalleled location and award-winning luxury to complement your exclusive Caribbean escape. The open terraces and large private pool add a beach-like feel to the vast living space.
5. Pinel Island
The perfect place for a memorable day trip, Pinel Island is situated on the North shore of the French side of Saint Martin. Getting there is easy and only takes about 5-10 minutes by the Pinel Island Ferry. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt in on taking a kayak or paddle yourself over to the island!
With a couple of secluded beaches, Pinel Island in Saint Martin is a beautiful location with a laid-back vibe. If you are looking for St. Maarten excursions to take you through the lesser-known side of the island, Pinel Island is worth your time. Here you can choose from a range of activities to suit your needs, such as various watersports, hiking to the top of the mountain to revel in the panoramic view, feeding the friendly local iguanas, snorkelling in the clear waters, playing a game of beach volleyball or simply taking a refreshing walk down the shore. There are also 2 beach bars on Pinel Island where you can wind down with a cocktail and some tasty treats after an exciting day of exploring.
A tropical paradise awaits you at this stunning Caribbean island retreat. Caye Blanche is a magnificent luxury villa located in Anse Marcel. Caye Blanche boasts stunning Caribbean views from every room, along with beautiful furnishings and superb amenities. Boasting seven lush bedrooms, this luxury villa rental on Saint Martin is perfect for a large group of friends or a family vacation.
Best Beaches On The Dutch Side
1. Maho Beach
Just steps from the Princess Juliana International Airport on the southwestern coast of Saint Martin, Maho Beach is known for its close proximity to the landing strip, where guests enjoy watching the many aircrafts come and go over their heads as they take off or land.
This popular beach at Maho Bay offers something for everyone. Whether you want to do some snorkeling, take a jet ski out for a ride, or just lounge around on the white sand beach, you’ll find it here. You can also enjoy several restaurants or bars, all within walking distance from the beach, which make a great setting for a sunset cocktail.
Villa Alma is a modern luxury villa with four bedrooms, located in Beacon Hill in Simpson Bay, which is conveniently close to Maho Beach. Complete with a private pool, spacious terrace and unobstructed ocean views, it is a wonderful choice to spend your holiday in Saint Martin with your partner, friends or family.
2. Great Bay Beach
Great Bay Beach is a local favorite for a reason. The perfect place to mix up the staples of beach living with a little adventure, it is a place where you can get away from it all while still being close to everything.
Located in Philipsburg, this sprawling stretch of sand welcomes sunbathers from around the globe and offers a quaint spot for sunbathing and various beach activities. Walking the mile-long boardwalk is a must. You can soak up all the atmosphere of this lively beach and capture some stunning photographs along the way. Enjoy the laid back vibe of the local restaurants, bars, music, and entertainment. Don’t forget to rent jet skis or go parasailing!
Set on a hill overlooking Indigo Bay, Villa Emeraude is a great place to enjoy the sun-kissed beach below. Complete with 4 bedrooms, the villa’s design offers luxury, relaxation, and natural beauty in an effortless way. Nestled between Philipsburg and Simpson Bay, it’s perfectly located to make the most out of your vacation. Just 10 minutes away by car is Philipsburg where you’ll find duty free shops and the beautiful Great Bay Beach.
3. Mullet Bay Beach
The Mullet Bay beach is a stunning destination where guests can unwind and enjoy a relaxing time in the Caribbean. With pristine blue waters and soft, white sand, it is truly one of the top beaches in St Maarten. It’s no doubt that the Caribbean is a haven for surfers and Mullet Bay has it all – trade winds, perfect waves, and serene surroundings.
After a day spent exploring the beaches and waterfront, Mullet Bay restaurants serve up refreshments and delicious meals with a view. The chic beachside setting is the perfect way to relax and savor paradise.
An inspired combination of home and holiday villa, Allegra Villa is a truly unique property. Not only does this inspiring villa offer luxurious accommodation with 5 bedrooms, but also direct access to the water via its own private dock. Surrounded by lush tropical palms and green lawns, this spacious three-story villa is your gateway to a sun-drenched holiday.
4. Cupecoy Beach
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise with majestic scenery, come to Cupecoy Beach. This beach is known for its natural limestone cliffs enhanced by the stunning turquoise waters that surround them. The large rocks not only enhance the beach’s natural beauty, but also make it a unique experience. The boulders throughout the shoreline gently slope into the pool of clear blue water, creating three different coves.
While you’re surrounded by spectacular ocean views, you can sip a fresh cocktail, served by the beach bar. This all makes Cupecoy the perfect location for sunset watching. It’s important to mention that due to the nature of this beach with it’s steep drop offs and surging waves, it’s not the ideal place for small children and inexperienced swimmers.
The combination of luxurious accommodations, stunning views, and an unbeatable location on Cupecoy Beach make Villa Farniente at Shore Pointe the perfect choice for your dream vacation in Saint Martin! Complete with 4 bedrooms, an open floor plan and infinity pool, Farniente offers a luxe yet homey feel that can strongly complement any vacation or business trip.
5. Dawn Beach
This long, wide stretch of pure white sand winds along the sparkling waters and is shielded by the islands’ spectacular green mountains. Secluded yet central, Dawn Beach captures the ultimate Saint Martin vibe. It’s both community driven and laid-back with a welcoming Caribbean flare.
While the cove of Dawn Beach offers breathtaking sunrise views, it’s the underwater landscapes that steal the show. Offshore, this location offers you one of the most picturesque swimming and snorkeling experiences in Saint Martin, as the calm, clear waters allow for amazing underwater exploration with breathtaking views of tropical fish and coral reefs. However, if all you want to do is lounge on the beach, loungers and umbrellas are provided everywhere on the beach. Just pick a spot, grab your book, sit back and enjoy the island breeze.
L’Agua Villa is an amazing 3 bedroom vacation retreat in the exclusive gated community of Oyster Pond, Saint Martin. It offers stunning views of the sea and bay, luxury amenities, and close proximity to restaurants, attractions, and more. Ideally located just a few minutes from Dawn Beach, this home is a great choice for your next tropical vacation with family or friends.
While these beaches are all certain to provide you with a fine experience, there are equally many others to be discovered and enjoyed. Allow Rental Escapes to help you plan the perfect tropical retreat, with villas perfectly positioned to help you embrace St Martin’s enchanting coastline. Let our knowledge and experience design the perfect villa rental vacation for you, and unearth the charm of this charismatic island.