Will be in Guadeloupe early dec.
would like to go 1 day or 2 to one of these islands..
.please give me your choice and TELL me WHY...
I always recommend Les Saints for a first time visit. It is tiny, car free and has several fine restaurants and perfect beaches. It is unique and worth a special trip. I would do two days if possible because in the evenings and early mornings the hundreds of day trippers have left and you have it to yourself.
Marie Galante is lovely, but much larger and takes a couple of days just to figure out. You definitely need to rent a car. Also, in my opinion, the terrain and geographical feel is similar to Grande Terre so there is less contrast with the rest of your vacation. We often found ourselves to be the only people on a beach, which is nice, but not safe for swimming. I highly recommend Marie Galante if you have 3 or 4 days to explore. It is very quiet, so bring a book.
Desirade reports to be desolate. I have not had a chance to go, but it is dry and has little population. It is by far the least visited of the off-islands, si might be better for a second or third visit to Guadeloupe.
If you TELL us WHAT you want to see or do, we might be more helpful.
your response was more than we usually get, factual with informative...Les saintes it will be...
any recommendation of area to favor É
I recommend sleeping in town, especially if you are walking and haven't rented a golf cart or moped. Then you can walk out to Pain de Sucre for snorkeling one day and walk to the picturesque Plage de Pompierre on a second day. The hike up to Fort Napoleon is also not far from town. In two half days on foot or one day by cart you can 'see' everything. Allow extra time if you want to 'do' things (scuba, surf, sit and relax etc.) By spending the night in town, you can more easily eat in the restaurants. Walk up and down the main sreet when you get off the ferry and make reservations for ones you like because they will fill up.
You can see everything in one day but it will be a hot and frantic day and you will not be able to eat dinner on the island. I prefer 3 days and take it slow, but of course there are lots of things to do on Guadeloupe also so everything is a trade-off. If you are there overnight then try to get to Pain de Sucre early in the morning before the ferries and their crowds arrive and the water will be much clearer for snorkeling. There is a little trail behind the huge rock so you can swim a loop around the whole thing and walk back if you are a confident swimmer. (Sense or ask which way the gentle current flows to make it easier.)
I really appreciate all your comments,,,I have an ultimate question.
do you think I could wait on arrival to find a lower cost accommodation than the very few and quite expensive ones offered on internet... . or maybe do you have a name or two to suggest ( phone nbr or email address)..
thank you again...
There’s not a lot of options for accommodation on the Saintes, so I’d advise booking something well before you leave. There are a few Gîte complexes on Les Saintes, try the Gites de France website and refine your search to Guadeloupe/ les Saintes.
Also, a great side trip is over to Terre den Basse, the neighboring island to Terre de Haut. You can catch the ferry from Petite Bourg or the hotel Bois Jolie.
I agree with ECTravelerBoston that the sooner the better. I have seen things advertised on AirBnB that seemed quite affordable, but have not used them. I think the hotels are all locally owned and are not big corporations trying to raise and lower the rates with computer algorithms. I personally would lean toward small places that were easy walking to the town and not worry too much about waterfront or waterview and just use the bed for sleeping.