There are some places and activities that are not-to-be-missed when you are on holiday on the Friendly Island.
While you’re waiting for the real thing, the Tourist Office can give you a taste of what you can expect to experience on the island of St. Martin. Whether you choose a culinary, nautical, festive or wellness experience, you’re in for something incredible, and you’ll feel like you’re already there.
Discover the unmissable experiences of St. Martin:
Learn How to Cook a Journey Cake
A journey cake is a small loaf of wheat bread that can be eaten on its own or to accompany a hot meal. This tasty bread has a golden crust and is reputed to be a great energy booster! Having survived the test of time, it is truly part of the West Indian culture and goes hand-in-hand with the cuisine of St. Martin. Journey cakes symbolize the island’s identity, right down to its values of generosity and authenticity.
Say “I do” for Life
St. Martin is the perfect place to say “I do”, the perfect setting to keep the magic flowing and treat yourself to a magnificent honeymoon. It is also the ideal destination to renew your vows or celebrate your wedding anniversary. For anyone who wants an original experience for their wedding, St. Martin is the island of choice. Anything is possible: a floral arrangement with tropical colors, exotic souvenirs for your guests, a luxury villa with a swimming pool to serve as the backdrop for your wedding reception, and traditional musical entertainment with local artists who play Caribbean music.
The Wheel of Fortune is Turning
Many casinos are spread all across the Dutch part of the island. These temples dedicated to entertainment are varied and extremely festive. Local players and passing tourists come together in a great atmosphere filled with hypnotic music, flashing lights, and extravagant colors. The excitement of the game is accompanied by a succession of concerts and shows. Going to the casino is just a part of daily life here. Here, gambling is almost an art of living, a pleasant way to unwind. All sorts of players find what they’re looking for at the casinos of St. Martin/St. Maarten. The casinos are open every day, some of them 24 hours a day.
Go Shopping on Front Street
Front Street runs parallel to the seafront and is the main shopping street of Philipsburg. On the Dutch side of the island of St. Martin, this shopper’s paradise stretches along an entire street devoted to shopaholics. It is the place to go for duty-free luxury shopping. You’ll find everything here, all the biggest brands for clothing, jewelry, watchmaking, leather goods, perfumes, hi-fi, and electronics. There are also some local stores along this shopping street, perfect for finding small souvenirs to bring home from your vacation on the island.
Take the Plunge Over the Caribbean
Skydiving in the warm skies of the Caribbean, you are in for some unforgettable thrills, and you can admire the island from a very different angle. The team at Grand Case airport will take you on a thrilling experience during which you will enjoy the freedom and pleasure of freefalling. Tandem skydiving from an altitude of 10,000 feet with a qualified instructor is a breathtaking adventure, possible from November to the end of April. You will have a briefing session beforehand. You will be dressed in comfortable clothing and with all the necessary equipment (suit, goggles), ready for an experience that makes time stand still. Come and try out an adventure in the skies, to admire all the wonderful shades of blue, to celebrate a special moment, or even if you just want to push your limits!
Happy Bay, Paradise at Your Fingertips
Happy Bay is the ultimate picture-perfect beach with its white sand, blue waters, and coconut trees. It can easily be accessed barefoot, after a ten-minute walk. Its beauty is undeniable and is sure to leave a lasting impression. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the thirty-seven idyllic treasures on the island. It is the perfect place for lovers or couples looking for some peace and quiet. You can’t lie down along the coastal heathland. It is on a first-come, first-served basis. Happy Bay is perfect for a quiet day out, to enjoy the superb setting and have a picnic lunch facing the sea.
Orient Bay, the Saint-Tropez of the Caribbean
Nicknamed the “Saint-Tropez of the Caribbean,” the beach of Orient Bay is one of the largest on the island and also one of the busiest. The mile-long beach with white sand and turquoise-blue waters is on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, and is the perfect beach for a walk along the water’s edge. It is also heaven for boardsports fans, as the trade winds are strong here. The village of Orient Bay has excellent tourist facilities. There are plenty of beach restaurants, hotels, and shops where you can slow the pace and unwind, as well as all the facilities you need for your sports activities.
La Part des Anges
Explore the world of rum and its land of origin at this iconic, unique place that is a favorite among spirit enthusiasts. Much like a big bookcase, the wooden shelves showcase 150 rums from the Caribbean and Central America. The rumtender will teach you all about the art of rum tasting. You’ll learn all about the different notes in rum, some spicy, some woody, its different colors, brilliance, and body. You’ll learn about the exceptional vintages and the importance of choosing the right glass. Your discovery will continue as you learn how to appreciate this divine liquor and its different aromas, to really feel the warmth and strength.
Ultimate Pleasure at Samanna Spa
In the west of the island, at the heart of Terres-Basses in the magnificent five-star hotel overlooking Long Bay, there is a spa treatment and massage sanctuary with expert knowledge and calming therapies to offer. Samanna spa only uses natural and certified products, some of which are made using Caribbean plants such as annatto and aloe. Take advantage of the very best facials and body treatments, facing the Caribbean Sea or in the midst of a luxurious garden, lying in your own private room. The esthetician’s expert hands and their miraculous techniques will help you reconnect with your body and mind, and feel fresh and rejuvenated.
Go Diving at Creole Rock
Off the coast of Grand Case, just a 5-minute boat trip away from the beach, there’s a diving spot where even beginners can explore the sheer wealth of the St. Martin seabed. Creole Rock is the ideal place to try out scuba diving for the first time and do an introductory session as a couple or with family. You’ll be able to explore the surprising underwater world, which is so full of life, silent, and awe-inspiring. You’ll learn all about the tropical species down there. You will most likely catch a glimpse of a lobster, parrotfish, boxfish, or even a lionfish. You’ll find out all there is to know about lambi, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see a sea turtle swim by.
A Scintillating Experience for Body and Soul
Founded in 2016, the SXM Festival welcomes around a hundred international artists, who take it in turns on the decks, producing a show-stopping musical marathon over five days. Today, this has become a key event for fans of the underground music scene, as well as house and techno. From sunrise to sunset, eighty DJs take turns on the decks, their beats echoing across the island for this immersive experience. Festival-goers from all over the world come to the craziest of parties, held across several venues: beaches, lagoons, tropical forests, villas, nightclubs, and even boats. Incredible places to welcome clubbers from all over the world.
Explore the Nature Reserve
The Nature Reserve is made up of a 7,000+ acre marine area and a 370 acre terrestrial zone, including the islands off the east coast. Between Pinel, Petite Clef, Green Cay, Tintamarre, the small islands of Coconut Grove, and the famous Creole Rock, the Nature Reserve is a sanctuary for biodiversity. It ensures the preservation of the island’s five main ecosystems: the coral reef, the mangroves, the phanerogam seagrass bed, ponds, and the coastal dry forest. You can observe the seabed and wander around the areas on land, as long as you respect your surroundings.
Stay in a Luxury Villa
Magnificent luxury villas available to rent in vast, preserved estates, far from the crowds and noise. These villas are on the seafront and have direct beach access. The island of St. Martin can provide the most beautiful settings for these villas. Some of the most beautiful, exclusive properties are in Orient Bay and Terres-Basses. They have thought of everything to ensure your comfort and serenity. You can delegate all the daily chores to the concierge service, and get a professional team to take care of organizing your trips out, your desires, your craziest of dreams, or anything else you feel like.
Fly Over St. Martin in a Gyrocopter
Head to Grand Case airport to discover a surprising little contraption, a two-seater microlight aircraft that is completely open. Exceptional panoramic flights await you aboard a gyrocopter Once the cameras have been affixed to the aircraft, the helmet and microphone firmly in place and seatbelt on, you’re ready for take-off. Come and enjoy the breathtaking views, flit over the tropical forest, and through the clouds. Your instructor pilot will take you on a journey through the skies, with their commentary acting as the soundtrack to your very own spectacular film.
A Boat Trip for a Day
Recreational boating is one of the best activities to do on St. Martin, whether you choose to go out on a catamaran or a motorboat. Venture out to sea to take advantage of the sea spray and explore nearby lands, for a complete change of scenery guaranteed. Set off for a whole day on the turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean around St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla. Visit Tintamarre Island Let the waves carry you and admire the views. Drop the anchor if you want to stop off for a diving session to enjoy the crystal-clear waters, white sand and rocks, and explore the world of silence. Experience true freedom and astonishment!
Dance to the Rhythm of the Carnivals
Every year, two carnivals get the island of St. Martin buzzing with excitement. The first takes place in February on the French side, and the second is in April on the Dutch side. The festivities go on for weeks, between the seafront and the shopping streets. St. Martin’s carnivals are among the island’s most iconic events! Dressed in colorful costumes, the people of St. Martin take to the streets and move to the Caribbean sound. The feathers and glitter fly through the air and blend into a whirlwind of confetti and streamers, from Marigot to Philipsburg.
When the spirit of celebration takes over the island, that’s when the magic happens, and you’ll experience the incredible bond shared by the locals.
Fly Over the Treetops
At the foot of Paradise Peak, the highest point of the island of St. Martin, there’s an eco-tourism refuge offering excursions up in the trees, over platforms, and rope bridges. At Loterie Farm, the tropical forest stretches as far as the eye can see and there are some exceptional treetop adventure trails. Take to the treetops in this forest, home to a wide range of plant and animal species, for a thrilling adventure and then a zipline all the way down to enjoy the peace and quiet of a spring-water swimming pool. All the joys and emotions you could dream of, all in one place. Come and see this Garden of Eden for yourself!