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Courtesy of the Tourist Board Council of the Guadeloupe islands

Key Info

Deshaies

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

For a slice of the French Riviera without a long overseas flight, head straight to La Grande-Anse. Draped in soft, khaki-colored sands and tall, swaying palm trees, La Grande-Anse stands as one of Guadeloupe's finest (and longest) beaches, according to many recent visitors who raved about its beauty. Reviewers also reported a nearby beach club renting lounge chairs for 10 euros (around $11) and a variety of vendors selling food and drinks. However, a few were disappointed with the lack of public facilities like bathrooms and showers.

The beach fills up quickly during the weekends, so arrive early if you're hoping to snag a primo sunning spot (and a place to stash your car). If you would rather lay your towel on more isolated sands, head to the powdery shores skirting Les Saintes.

La Grande-Anse sits just over a mile north of the village of Deshaies on Basse-Terre. The easiest way to reach the beach is by driving along the N2. You'll find a parking lot next to the entrance; beach access is free of charge.

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#1 Parc National de la Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe National Park)

Tucked amid Basse-Terre's verdant mountain landscape sits the Parc National de la Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe National Park), a 74,100-acre rainforest filled with picturesque traces (walking trails). The park's trails brush past lush forest foliage, magnificent waterfalls and the summit of La Soufriere volcano. The trails range from short- to long-distance routes that vary in difficulty. Before you strap on your hiking gear, you'll want to pick up a "Guide to the National Park" brochure from the Guadeloupe tourism office (located in St. Claude, Basse-Terre) to map out your journey. If you would prefer to admire the park's natural splendors from behind the wheel, drive along the Route de la Traversee, a scenic 16-mile road that cuts through the forest.

Recent travelers recommended packing bug spray and snacks for the trip and said there is plenty to see and do in the park. Reviewers also warn that the park is muddy – plan to wear shoes with good traction.

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