If it’s your first time in St Barts, here are some pictures and information that will help you understand the way to drive on the island.
St Barts is a very small island of only 3 km by 7km for an area of around 19 square km (21 square km including the surrounding islands).
However, St Barts presents a significant relief and the districts (or villages) follow each other between the hills: Salines, Grand-Fonds, Toiny, St Jean, Lorient and its surfing hut, Flamands, Anse des Cayes, Corossol or Public. Gustavia, the harbor and main city is considered as the capital of the island of Saint-Barthelemy. A capital sized to St Barts with a few straight streets drawn during the Sweedish era. The narrow bay designed as a marina welcomes luxurious yachts and ferries with daily connections to St Martin (or Sint Maarten - dutch side).
The roads are narrow and even if the renovation program improves their quality, the concrete surface may surprise you.
The 4-wheel drive are very practical as they are ideal on wet roads and the gear box allows you to climb some very sloped road. And for some villas with very steep access, a 4-wheel drive is highly recommended (the rental agency will specify it). However normal cars, even small, are also adapted to the island to go everywhere.
The speed is limited to 50km/h everywhere and even reduced to 30km/h at some places, but you will soon realize that with the hills, the narrow and curvy roads surfaced with concrete, it’s not very reasonable to drive much faster. Anyway, the island is so small that you are 10 to 15 minutes away from everything. And after all, you are on vacation!..So take your time and embrace the Caribbean rhythm.
Make the most of your time to discover the several beaches of St Barts: Salines, Gouverneur, Flamands, St Jean, Shell Beach or the micro beach of Petite Anse. As for Colombier beach, one has to deserve it as it can only be accessed from a little pedestrian track or by sea…But what a joy and tranquility once there. Don’t forget water and snorkeling kit to enjoy the dive into the Caribbean Sea! At the lagoon of Grand-Cul-de-Sac, one can eat at restaurants on the beach or try some watersports such as kite surfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, diving or the new sport en vogue: fly boarding.
Grand-Fonds and Toiny on the wild coast are under the sea spray of the Atlantic Ocean. You can easily access them by car as the road drives you along the sea. You can park there and the adventurers can walk along the track to reach the Natural Pools.