Caribbean Snapshots: Anse des Flamands, St. Barts

This north-coast stretch of sand provides a quiet beach getaway


Much like the jet-set crowd that make seasonal pilgrimages to its beaches, St. Barthelemy can seem larger than life. Though the island is just nine miles long and a mile wide, it can seem much larger when driving the winding roads that hug the hillsides and round elevated curves to reveal breathtaking bays and hidden crescents of white sand.

To escape the seasonal flocks of beautiful people who occupy eastern hot spots such as St. Jean, head north from the port city of Gustavia. The drive will carry you through several small villages and over the island’s central spine to the quiet north-coast village of Anse des Flamands. Here, a half-mile stretch of silken-white sand lies tucked between green headlands. You’ll have no trouble finding a quiet patch of sand to park a beach towel, and don’t forget the sunscreen, as there’s minimal shade among the scattered palms and sea grapes that line the shore. Fortunately, shelter and refreshment can be found just a few steps away at local beach bars.

After some time at water’s edge, you might want to lace up the walking shoes and climb the hill overlooking the bay. This extinct volcano is credited with giving the island its mountainous terrain, and the views from up top are stunning. After your decent, stay for dinner at one of the small hotels and restaurants located along the shores to add the final touch on a perfect day.