Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Land of contentment and cultures, Guadeloupe welcomes you for a stay between wild and lush nature and leisure... The Caribbean islands open their arms to you!

Before taking off for Guadeloupe, you have to prepare thoroughly: bathing suit and sunblock are requirements. But if you want to venture inland, you will also need trekking shoes and sportswear. Gather everything to be ready for anything. Nou kontan wè zot!

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Day 1

9:00 a.m. – Promenade at the Pointe des Châteaux
The Pointe des Châteaux, small peninsula linked to the Saint-François town, is located at the very East of Guadeloupe. It is an essential point of interest that can be accessed from the beach, walking down marked paths in the midst of nature for 1 mile. Once you reach the Great Cross at the very top of the cliff, you'll enjoy a 360° view onto the bay. Back on the parking lot, take a break and indulge in a coconut sorbet sold at the back of a truck, usually referred to as ‘lady with a hat': the best on the island.

10:30 a.m. – Visit of the Damoiseau distillery
West Indies obviously evoke images of distilleries, rum and punch drinks. Sugar canes, of which rum is made, are the emblem of the island, as well as an economic cornerstone. The butterfly island owes its name to the shape of its two largest pieces of land – Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre – each producing their favourite rum. On Grande-Terre, we recommend the Damoiseau rum and on Basse-Terre the Bologne one. As you are on Grande-Terre today, head to Le Moule for a visit of the distillery. You'll learn everything about the history of sugar cane and the different types of rum. Take some time for a tasting! And of course, drink responsibly...

Damoiseau distillery
Bellevue
97160 Le Moule
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 23 55 55
http://damoiseau.fr/en/

2:30 p.m. – Stand up paddle on the Moule beach
After lunch at the Spot, surfer's den, head for the Moule beach. Whether you just start out or have rowed your entire life, the Moule beach is the ideal place to practice paddle in Guadeloupe. Once you get accustomed to the equipment, a guide will take you to the heart of the mangrove for an unforgettable tour.

Le Spot
Boulevard Maritime
97160 Le Moule
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 85 66 02

7:30 p.m. – Dinner at the Gosier marina
For dinner, head towards the Gosier marina. The Voile Blanche is the gastronomic restaurant where to eat if you find yourself near Pointe-à-Pitre. In a refined setting, you'll try the mi-cuit salmon or a supreme of corn-fed chicken in white truffle dressing. For late evenings, make for the nearby Pam Pam for a last drink or XXL ice cream.

La Voile Blanche
Marina du Gosier
97110 Pointe-à-Pitre
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 90 25 79

Le Pam Pam
1, mol portuaire
Marina du Gosier
97110 Pointe-à-Pitre
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 90 83 92

10:00 p.m. – Settle in your hotel
Between the land and the sea on the South of Grande-Terre, the Auberge de la vieille Tour was built around an 18th century windmill.
Conceived in a Creole style, the building stands amidst a 3-hectare tropical garden and displays multiple hues that match the various fabrics of the 103 rooms, all decorated in a colonial fashion.

Auberge de la Vieille Tour
Montauban
97190 Le Gosier
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 84 79 83
http://auberge-vieille-tour.fr/en/
Rooms: from 180 EUR

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Day 2

7:00 a.m. – Market in Pointe-à-Pitre
The central market in Pointe-à-Pitre is assuredly the most fascinating of the whole island. There, you will find a fruits and vegetables market, right next to flowers developing enchanting smells. Close by in a covered market, spices are being sold. Do not hesitate and stop at the stalls to ask for advice, Creole merchants being quite pleased with giving tourists a few tips on how to prepare a delicious homemade rhum arrangé or the best Colombo recipe ever when you get back. While you wander around, take a break to listen to the drums and admire the gwoka dancers. The memories of this visit will stick in your mind for a long time. Word!

Pointe-à-Pitre central market
Corner of Frébault and Peynier streets
97110 Pointe-à-Pitre

10:00 a.m. – Sainte-Anne beach
This idyllic beach is THE ultimate postcard beach. Imagine the scene for a second: Caribbean Sea, sun, white sand and coconut trees as far as the eye can see. Isn't it the ideal location for a tanning session? Make sure you wear a lot of sunblock and don't come up too late. Perfect place to get idle, this little piece of heaven is very popular. Note that by going a little further on the beach, you may very well find a quieter beach spot.

1:00 p.m. – Lunch at the Le Grand Bleu
To reach Le Grand Bleu restaurant, you have to enter the Toubana hotel in Sainte-Anne. The chef cooks an excellent Creole cuisine in a gorgeous setting. From the terrace, you will enjoy an unobstructed view onto the Désirade, Saintes and Marie-Galante islands. Choose the lobster, it's the house special.

Le Grand Bleu
Fonds Thézan
97180 Sainte-Anne
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 88 25 57
www.toubana.com

3:00 p.m. – Dive at the Cousteau reserve
Guadeloupe has the advantage to offer some of the most beautiful diving spots ever. The Cousteau reserve in Bouillante is one of them. After lunch, head for Basse-Terre. An hour of driving should be enough to reach it. In the heart of Guadeloupe's National Park, it faces the Malendure beach. You will dive in a 1,000-hectare protected underwater environment where you'll see tropical fish, corals, turtles and dolphins. With a bit of luck, and according to the season, you may even hear a humpback whale singing.

www.reserve-cousteau.com

8:00 p.m. – Dinner, Creole style
Right in front of the Cousteau reserve, La Touna restaurant offers a thousand different flavours of West Indian cuisine. On the menu: codfish balls, blue marlin carpaccio, chicken Colombo, Creole lambis fricassee and banana flambée for dessert.

La Touna
Pigeon-Malendure
97125 Bouillante
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 98 70 10
www.la-touna.com

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Day 3

Les Saintes island

After two busy days, take a break and embark on a boat bound for Les Saintes archipelago off the southern coast of Guadeloupe. From Pointe-à-Pitre, the crossing takes one hour. You will need about 30 minutes to reach Terre-de-Haut or Terre-de-Bas from Trois-Rivières.
Once on Terre-de-Haut, you will have to visit Fort Napoléon, both for the view and the magnificent flora that makes this little piece of archipelago. On Terre-de-Bas, the fishermen villages are worth a stop, and so is the Grande Anse beach, the most beautiful of the island. Make time for dive into the Caribbean Sea.
Make sure to book your ticket one or two days before you leave. On site, accommodations are available, like the Lô Bleu Hotel, and small restaurants will give you a warm welcome, Ti Kaz' La for instance.

Lô Bleu Hôtel
Fond de Curé
97137 Terre-de-Haut
Les Saintes
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 92 40 00
www.lobleuhotel.com/en/
Rooms: from 98 EUR

Ti Kaz' La
58, route de l'Anse Rodrigue
97137 Terre-de-Haut
Les Saintes
Tel : +590 (0)5 99 57 63
http://ti-kaz-la.restaurant-les-saintes.com

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Day 4

8:00 a.m. – Climbing up the Soufrière volcano
A morning entirely devoted to trekking. Do not forget your hiking shoes and put on a windcheater as small shower rains frequently burst in. Take your walking pole if you need it and you are ready to go! The starting point is on the Bains Jaunes parking lot, at an altitude of 950 metres. Keep on the Pas du Roy pathway, cross the Savane à Mulet plains, and then follow the chemin des Dames to reach the top of the Soufrière volcano.

www.la-soufriere.com

2:00 p.m. – Visit of the Grand Café plantation
Lunch at the small and genuine Ti Pic restaurant in Capesterre on the island of Basse-Terre. Then head to the Grand café plantation located in the same town to learn all there is to know on the banana tradition in Guadeloupe. The visit consists in tractor and pedestrian promenades on the premises, a discovery of the former colonial mansion, as well as coffee tastings – of course – but also of bananas, fruit juices and punch rum.

Le Ti Pic
37, rue Schoelcher
97130 Capesterre-Belle-Eau
Tel : +590 (0)6 90 71 48 69

Grand Café plantation
Locality of Sainte-Marie
97130 Capesterre-Belle-Eau
Tel : +590 (0)6 90 63 51 01
www.plantation-grand-cafe.com

7:00 p.m. – Dinner and evening at the Jardin Malanga
For your fourth night in Guadeloupe, you will switch islands and hotels, and stay at the Jardin de Malanga in the town of Trois-Rivières, inside a former colonial estate turned haven of peace. You'll be able to sleep in the main house, or in one of the three Creole cottages. Before dinner, make the most of the infinity pool, then sit down at the Panga, the hotel restaurant. One of the best in the region, it offers a large choice of tropical fruits and vegetables, spices, fish, lobster and meat.

Jardin Malanga Hotel
60, route de l'Hermitage
97114 Trois-Rivières
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 92 67 57
http://jardinmalanga.com/hotel-guadeloupe/
Rooms: from 215 EUR

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Travel notebook: 5 days in Guadeloupe to get your fill of sunshine

Day 5

9:00 a.m. –Deshaies botanical garden
In the heart of Deshaies on Basse-Terre exists a small piece of heaven well known of nature lovers. Formerly owned by French comedian Coluche, the botanical garden spreads over 7 hectares of dazzling plants, animals (from koi fishes to parrots and pink flamingos) for the enjoyment of the little ones.

Deshaies botanical garden
Villers
97126 Deshaies
Basse-Terre
Tel : +590 (0)5 90 28 43 02
www.jardin-botanique.com

11:30 a.m. – Carbet falls
Not far from the botanical garden, Carbet falls are a must-go-to for all nature enthusiasts. Please note that you'll need your hiking shoes there too, in order to better climb up the steep paths leading to the falls. The highest of the three is 115 metres high and reveals an incredible spectacle.

Carbet falls
97130 Capesterre-Belle-Eau
Basse-Terre

1:30 p.m. – Idle afternoon on the Malendure beach
Your stay is almost over, and it is time to discover the loveliest beaches on Basse-Terre near the Soufrière volcano, offering black sand. A small restaurant on the Malendure beach will satisfy your appetite with chicken or fish, depending on you. At the end of the meal, the owner will serve you the house special: homemade rhum arrangé that only he knows how to prepare. Finally, lie down on the beach and wait for the sunset to take some pictures, before boarding for your flight, with your mind full of soothing memories.

Chez Loulouse
Malendure beach
97125 Bouillante
Basse-Terre

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