Surrounded by aqua blue waters a vacation to the Caribbean island of St Barts can accurately be described as pure bliss. Known for upscale classiness St Barts villas on the beach are some of the best in the world. Add in a high number of sunny days and it is near paradise.

Located about 250 kilometers from Puerto Rico St Barts is a popular tourist destination. In 1493 Christopher Columbus named the island after his brother Bartolomeo. It has been under Swedish and English rule, however it is primarily a French colony. French is the official language, but most of the residents speak English.

The island itself is about 25 square kilometers and is a volcanic island completely surrounded by shallow reefs. There are rugged cliffs, lush greenery, lots of sunshine and the winds keep the humidity pleasantly low. It has made its mark as a top destination for the rich and the famous yet still maintaining a welcoming and laid back island vibe.

If you are looking for your next blissful vacation spot, here is why St Barts should be on your list.

The Beaches

Almost nothing more needs to be said other than the beaches at St Barts are amazing. There are fourteen public beaches around the island and all of them have their own special zen. Whichever ones you decide to go to make sure you are conscientious and environmentally sensitive visitor. Coral reefs are extremely sensitive and literally take life times to grow and regenerate. If you do any snorkeling never touch, stand or kick any of the coral. Make sure you put your sunscreen at least twenty minutes before you go in the water so it has the time to set in. Even though you may be on vacation, we can each do our part to help our marine wildlife. If you see a plastic bottle floating in the water, pick up and put it in the trash. These small steps are a benefit to us all. As you narrow down your list of choices, here are two beaches to consider:

Anse des Flamands: This gem of a beach is easy to overlook if you aren’t staying on the north side of the island. It’s only three miles from Gusatvia but it can feel a world apart. Something that makes this beach special is the chance of catching a small patch of shade from the palm trees that linger near the beach. That is a rarity on St Barts. For those looking for a bit of exercise they can take a semi strenuous hike from the beach to the nearby dormant volcano. This volcano is the one believed to have formed the island. You can be enjoying great views from here but don’t forget to wear a hat and carry plenty of water.

Baie de St Jean: This wonderfully idyllic stretch of beach is a windsurfers and snorkelers delight. The waters near here are generally calm as they are protected by the shallow reefs. This is a busy and happening beach on the island so this makes for a great place for people watching. There are also cute boutiques and tasty bistros on hand as well. This beach is also near the small airport so you can keep tabs on how many people are coming and going from the island.

Visit the Inter Oceans Museum

Nestled along the western side of the island is the worthwhile Inter Oceans Museum in the village of Corossal. Set up by the passionate oceanographer Ingenu Magras this quirky and different museum is one of the more unique things to see on the island. There is a sea shell collection with over 9000 shells and a variety of other interesting marine objects and specimens. Visitors can take a tour of the ocean floor and learn what else is living down there between the reefs and sandy beaches. When you are done getting your local ocean lesson, save enough time to explore the town of Corossol. It has its completely own unique charms about it.

Stay in Awesome Accommodation

St Barts is a place that takes luxury and then kicks it up a notch. This island community has found a way to embrace and welcome those who are seeking reprieve and looking for the finer things in life. A recent trend has been for travelers to veer away from traditional hotel bookings and instead opt to rent a private villa just for themselves. Particularly if you are able to travel as a group of friends or as a family, splitting the cost of private accommodation can still be reasonable affordable. One of the best things about going this route is you will still get all the creature comforts of home yet more amenities to remind you that yes you are on vacation. Plus when you are staying at a place that is right on the beach it will be so convenient to go out the door for those sunrise or sunset yoga sessions.

Enjoy the Views and History from Fort Gustav

Heading up to Fort Gustav is worth it for the views alone. This fort was raised back in the 18th century when St Barts was under Swedish rule. The soaring white washed walls and red-tipped light house rises in the center. Visitors can still see the remains of an old bake house and the cannon studded bulwarks.

If you are looking for a blissful vacation destination so you can unwind and recharge make sure you keep St Barts at the top of that list.

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