The two main islands of Guadeloupe are Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, separated by a stretch of sea of 200 meters, but linked by two bridges. Basse-Terre (838 sq. km.) is the largest and most mountainous of the two, it is of volcanic origin and its highest mountain, the Soufrière (1,467 m.) is still an active volcano, the second island, Grande-Terre (595 sq. km.), is made of limestone and flat. There are several dream beaches, especially on Grande-Terre with a great number of hotels at all price ranges.
The other inhabited, but much smaller islands are: La Désirade, Marie-Galante, Les Saintes, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin. The island of Saint Barthélemy, also called Saint Barth by locals, has a particular fertile soil and is like a massive botanical garden. It is about 200 km. from the two main islands, and with its steep hills and small sandy coves it is one of the most exclusive locations in the whole of Caribbean. Wonderful villas and first class hotels attract many prominent figures seeking peace and quiet on Saint Barthélemy. The harbor of Gustavi is worth a visit. It is located in a picturesque bay and is one of the prettiest harbors in the Caribbean.
The island of Saint Martin, about 260 km north of the two main islands is a historical curiosity. It is shared between France and the Netherlands, without having drawn up a border. Its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and forms part of the Netherlands Antilles, its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe. Fans of watersports and those looking to relax in cultivated and expensive hotels should feel at home here. There are more than 30 different beaches on the island, offering ideal conditions for all sorts of water sports, and nature lovers.
Air France flies into Guadeloupe every day from Paris, with connecting flights from Britain and most of Europe. Air France also offers services from Miami to Guadeloupe. Air Canada flies between Montreal and Guadeloupe every Saturday. Local flights get you to the smaller islands.
Guadeloupe remains a warm destination year-round, although the most popular time to visit is December through April. May through November is less busy, and May to June can be an ideal time to visit when the weather is pleasant and there is no threat of hurricanes, and prices tend to be lower. Between July and October there might be short rain showers and a danger of hurricanes, that can cause serious damage and which are also feared by the local population.