Terre-De-Haut

Overview

Introduction

There's one main road in the French West Indies town of Terre-de-Haut on Terre-de-Haut Island in Guadeloupe. It parallels the shoreline and is lined with pretty cottages, restaurants, bakeries, art galleries and clothing stores.

The area is quiet. There are no vendors hawking wares, no offers to braid hair, no Saint-Tropez-style boutiques and no tour guides at the dock. In fact, there is very little organized tourism infrastructure at all. A tiny tourism office is located on the main square, but the friendly staffers generally speak only French.

There's a different vibe in Terre-de-Haut, a kind of pastoral elegance that would appeal to travelers who've already called at the more celebrated islands of the Eastern Caribbean.

Only a handful of large cruise ships visit the main island of Guadeloupe, and Terre-de-Haut is a few miles off the coast, accessible by small plane or ferry. Just a handful of smaller ships drop anchor in the Les Saintes archipelago.

A few dozen houses dot its crescent harbor, including one shaped like the bow of a boat. Colorful boats bob in the harbor, evidence of the island's fishing industry.

The island's most popular beach is Plage de Pompierre, a wide expanse of coastline loaded with coconut trees that provide shade starting at the water's edge. Huge rock formations opposite the beach protect swimmers from wind and from large waves breaking farther out. It is a prime snorkeling spot, with crystal clear water.

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