As the cold Canadian winters approach, you may already be fantasizing about laying out on a beautiful sandy beach and watching the sun reflect off the clear blue waters. For those who plan to fly south for the winter, St. Martin is the ideal destination for an extended holiday, boasting nearly perfect weather year-round. Join your fellow snowbirds and live out those warm daydreams by heading to St. Martin and enjoying everything it has to offer: its energy, its elegance, and its unbelievable atmosphere.
There are many benefits to choosing St. Martin as a long-stay getaway destination. Of course, the beaches, delicious food, and dynamic dual-nation identity are among the most compelling reasons to go. Not to be overlooked, however, is St. Martin’s convenient proximity to other incredible Caribbean islands, making it the perfect starting point for an island-hopping odyssey. You can easily access islands such as Anguilla, St. Barts, and Saba from St. Martin, to name a few. Do something different this winter: enjoy the full scope of the breathtaking Caribbean when you make St. Martin your luxurious base of operations. Let us worry about the itinerary: we’ve helpfully laid out a few of the islands you won’t want to miss below
Photo courtesy of Anguilla Tourist Board
Sail to the incredibly laid-back island of Anguilla and experience its tranquil yet luxurious atmosphere. Much of the action on Anguilla takes place at the west end of the island, which conveniently is exactly where the ferry from Marigot in St. Martin arrives. The ferry from Marigot in St. Martin runs frequently and usually takes only 25 minutes to reach Anguilla. Entering Anguilla from Blowing Point Terminal means you’ll be greeted by the lovely locals as well as a plethora of taxis to take you to your next temporary residence. If you prefer to travel via plane, you can also do so from St. Martin. It’s only a 10-minute flight!
During your stay in Anguilla, expect to see sparkling white-sand beaches, secluded coves, gorgeous resorts, and maybe a celebrity or two. You’ll fall in love with the many picturesque beaches on the island, such as Meads Bay and Shoal Bay. For the days when you feel more active, tee off at world-class golf courses or enjoy a day in the water snorkelling. Ultimately, you should take your time and enjoy the island because although it is small, there is plenty to see.
Photo: "St. Barths" courtesy of Fodors Travel Guide
In only 30 minutes, you can reach the island known as the ‘French Riviera of the Caribbean’: scenic St. Barthélemy or St. Barts as it’s often called. The island of St. Barts is small; there are fewer than 10 square miles of land, so you won’t find an international airport. One of the best ways to visit St. Barts is by taking the ferry from St. Martin. Three of the main ferry ports in St. Martin (Marigot, Simpson Bay, and Philipsburg) offer ferries to St. Barts. Most ferries from St. Martin to St. Barts arrive at its capital, Gustavia, within an hour. Taking a ferry to Gustavia is definitely the easiest and most affordable way to get to St. Barts. Small commuter jets are an option for those who get seasick but tend to run on the more expensive side.
Gustavia is a lovely town with buildings that feature beautiful red roofs, chic shops, and delicious restaurants backed by rolling green hills. On the island, you can enjoy many activities like kitesurfing, fishing, surfing, and sailing. St. Barts lives up to its reputation as a lively and luxurious destination!
Photo: Saba, courtesy of Saba Tourism
Travelling to the mystical island of Saba from St. Martin is surprisingly easy! Whether you prefer to reach the tiny island via plane or ferry, you can do so with ease. If you choose to fly to Saba, you’ll be pleased to know that chartered flights only take 12 minutes to reach the island. Most people who visit Saba from St. Martin head over to the Dutch side of the island, Sint Maarten, and take The Edge ferry across. This high-speed ferry departs Sint Maarten three times a week and will reach Saba within 1.5 hours. You will arrive at the main ferry terminal, Fort Bay.
Once you’ve reached the island of Saba, you’ll be blown away by its serene, untouched essence. The island offers a much slower pace than many other islands in the Caribbean. Saba may be tiny, but this special municipality of The Netherlands is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy the natural beauty. You’ll be surrounded by lush rain forests, mountains, rocky cliffs, and of course, clear-blue oceans. If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest you try to climb Mount Scenery, which is a dormant volcano and the highest elevation in all of the Netherlands.
After island hopping throughout the neighbouring islands of St. Martin, you can return to the island with great memories, sun-kissed skin, and ease. Take some time to unwind upon your return, shop in Marigot, explore the Loterie Farm or relax at Grand Case Beach.
There you have it! You’ve managed to skip the cold Canadian winters by staying on one island shared by two countries (France and the Netherlands), while also visiting your neighbours: a British island (Anguilla), another French island (St. Barts) and another Dutch island (Saba) – all from your base on St. Martin! Talk about an island-hopping winter you’ll never forget!