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Often known as Îles des Saintes, which translates to Island of the Saints, Les Saintes is a beautiful archipelago of the French Antilles situated to the south of the Basse-Terre Island, north of Dominica and west of Marie-Galante. It is also a dependency of the overseas French department of Guadeloupe. The volcanic archipelago of Les Saintes is surrounded by stunning shallow reefs, which contains an abundance of intriguing marine life including fish, crustaceans, molluscs, turtles, sharks and rays as well as a variety of underwater fauna. The lush flora and fauna on land is also heavily populated by an array of wildlife, most famous of which is the island's native iguanas. Les Saintes' fascinating local culture alongside its breath-taking and secluded natural landscape gives the region its wonderful character and unique charm.
Les Saintes' coastline is a fantastic place to try scuba diving and observe the incredibly marine environment found all along the island's coastline. The archipelago also boasts several brilliant beaches where visitors can relax or enjoy thrilling water sports in the surrounding oceans. Other notable attractions include:
Terre de Haut
Terre de Haut is an enchanting and tranquil fishing village situated within Les Saintes. The village contains a range of quaint local buildings, including wooden houses and a local church made from the island's volcanic rock. Visitors can easily spend a whole day in the village, observing its picturesque views out over the local beaches and wandering around the area's peaceful streets and green spaces.
Terre de Bas
Connected to Terre de Haut via an efficient ferry service, Terre de Bas is also a quiet and sleepy fishing village with several excellent local restaurants and hotels. Visitors can access many of the Les Saintes' areas of natural beauty is easy from Terre de Haut, including routes to the port of Anse Muries, the village of Petites Anse and the regions stunning coastline, which offers fabulous ocean views.
Fort Napoleon was erected between 1844 and 1897 on the ruins of a previous fort, which had been destroyed by the English in 1809. The fort was occupied, but never attacked, until 1889, when it became a jail for political prisoners during the Second World War. After it was abandoned, the structure was restored in 1980 and is now a museum celebrating the history and culture of Les Saintes. The castle also contains a wonderful garden, where local flora and fauna grow and native iguanas roam freely.
A collection of interesting and intriguing shops are situated around the archipelago of Les Saintes, including stores where visitors can pick up a range of gifts and souvenirs, such as arts, crafts, fragrances and soaps. Several grocery stores, markets and pharmacies are also littered across the region.
As a culture greatly influenced by the surrounding oceans, seafood is the most popular local dish, and is therefore available in the majority of restaurants across Les Saintes. Visitors may also find a range of international cuisine and familiar meals in many eateries throughout the archipelago.
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