The french Island in the Caribbean
The Guadeloupe archipelago is composed principally of two separated islands by the Salty River. The Basse-Terre is wet and hilly with its volcanoes from the Sulfur mine climaxing at 1467 m; the Gabare Bridge connects her to the Grande-Terre, calcareous, with no large relief. A genuine geographical contrast between the two islands, a paradise for lovers of nature, and those that will rather choose leisure, on the golden sand, under the shades of coconut trees and blue waters. To that is combined its addictions: the Grande île of Marie-Galante, la Désirade, and les Saintes; Guadeloupe has a baffling resources.
- Flight-only as from: Depending on seasons, 450 € in the off season, approximately 950 € in the peak season.
- Procedures: All French citizens possessing a national identity card or a valid passport can reside in Guadeloupe.
- For a touristic stay of less than 3 months, tourists from the European Union, Americans, Canadians, Swiss or Norwegians must submit a valid passport.
- Flight duration from Paris : 8 hours from Paris
- Time Difference: GMT – 4 (-5h in winter, -6h in summer)
- Language: French is the official language; English is mostly spoken in main touristic centers and in Northern islands (Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélémy).
- Religion : Majority are Christians, Other communities: Jews, Muslim, Adventists, Baptists, Jehovah witnesses
- Currency : Euro
- Health and safety : No particular vaccination
- Botanical exportations are prohibited to the exception of trimmed flowers and purchased flowers in the authorized sales points.
- Area : 1702 sq km
- Population: 411 000 inhab.
Towards the 9th century, the Arawaks, the first inhabitants of the island are wiped out by the tribal and cannibal warriors of the Caribbean, the Karibs. Christophe Colombus’ fleet landed on the 3rd of November 1493.
The Spanish were less interested by this unwelcoming island contrary to the French colonials that are dispatched to the island in 1635. The Caribbean are in their turn wiped out, before the deportation of African slaves.
The first cultivation of coffee, cocoa, cotton, spices and sugar plantations starts.
The abolition of slavery is voted on 4th February 1794 and Victor Hugues is dispatched to ensure its application. In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte restored slavery, but resistance groups started seeing daylight: under the leadership of Louis Delgrès in 1802, Amongst the English that bans slavery in 1807, at the Vienna congress that prohibits it in 1815. But Victor Schoelcher has to be expected in 1848 for the vote of the abolition decree.
With strained relationships between the former masters and slaves, a new form of workforce takes place: the coolies, free and remunerated workers, with Annamite, Chinese and mostly Indian origins. To overcome an economic crisis and several strikes and to limit the reliance course of sugar, the production and cultivation of banana, pineapple and rice is developed and diversified.
On March 19th 1946, Guadeloupe becomes a French county. The laws applied are outside France laws with minor specific modifications regarding civil servants salaries, educational equipments and medical and social care. In June 2000, bill on the orientation for the development of overseas departments is drafted.
On December 7th, 2003, after a referendum, the districts of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélémy full became French territorial units.
Guadeloupe has a core and upkeep an active cultural life, and is well know for. Its intermingling makes her the most culturally enriched island, with a strong folk tradition, a musical, artistic and literary vibrancy.
Its landscape carries the prints of its history through its galleries like that of Schoelcher and of Saint-John Perse at Pointe-à-Pitre, the archeological gallery of Moule, the Pointe-à-Pitre Arts Centre which hosts any kind of artists, and national Artchipel-scene in Basse-Terre, a classified town of Art and History. The country’s cultural wealth enables the celebration of the « lewoz and gwoka», traditional parties in Guadeloupe, local fairs, cockfights, pulling shows, carnivals or artistic exhibitions.
The jump of the crack is one of the unmissable: thirty minutes walk and we arrive at a twelve meters cascade, something to freshen up under a sunny day. The crayfish waterfall enables one to catch sight at crayfishes under the condition of wearing masks. The Valombreuse domain is a botanical and animal park with free and enriching walking path for the kids.
It goes without saying that the gastronomy and the music with well-known Zouk singers like Francky Vincent, Kassav or Zouk Machine, equally constitute the important cultural elements of the island.
Weather & Geography
Guadeloupe is an island located in the North hemisphere in between both Americas. The Island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea equally known as the sea of the Antilles. Until 1997, the French county of Guadeloupe was sub divided into three districts (Basse-Terre, Pointe-à-Pitre and Saint-Martin / Saint-Barthélemy) and broken-down into 43 cantons and 34 municipalities. Since July 15th 2007, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy will be henceforth overseas collectivities.
The Basse-Terre Island in the West is wet and hilly with its apex the mythic volcano, La Soufrière. It protects exceptional vegetation covered across by numerous fresh and swirling rivers and waterfalls. This part of the issland is interesting to discover black sand beach and top hiking spot. Basse-Terre also shelters the Guadeloupe National Park, classified by the UNESCO in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In the east is Grande-Terre which is comparable to a plain, with a calcareous soil and beaches that are more beautiful than the others, at times touristic and et brighten up by doughnuts sellers, freshly cut coconuts and shirts, and sometimes completely empty.
La Désirade is a calcareous island extending over 11km and looking like a plateau, or an inverted rowboat, a calm island where life is simple and relaxed, all sorts of animals which are sometimes endangered species.
- Petite Terre is a small 2 square km located at tens of kilometers in south of la Pointe des Châteaux in Guadeloupe and of la Désirade, the ideal site to dock a sailboat.
- Marie-Galante, at times known la Grande Galette due to its rounded shape, with a diversified vegetation, it is before all the island of sugar cane.
- Les Saintes, small pod of Guadeloupe with its two inhabited islands: Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-bas, a lovely population and a caring place for its tourists, scooter rides and the inevitable « tourment d’amour » sang by Francky Vincent.
- Basse-Terre and les Saintes are outcomes of a volcanic chain, the other islands are originating from corals; Guadeloupe is located on a seismic area.
The temperature is lovely throughout the year, freshened up by windward side, that of the air oscillates between 23°C (in winter) and 32°C (in summer), for the swimmers, the sea displays temperatures in between 25°C and 28°C.
Two seasons: dry, called Lent, from February to June showers brings, notably in mountains; the rainy season from July to January, the most abundant rains and increased risks of hurricanes in September.
Please book your stay in Guadeloupe for your next holiday.