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When the French Riviera gets cold and rainy during winter, many tourists and millionaires decide to travel west, to the Caribbean. With most of the area being in the tropics, the temperature usually never drops below a pleasant 18°C. While there are many stops available in the Caribbean, by far the most well-known is Saint-Barthélemy, better known to English speakers as St Barths.
Part of the Renaissance Islands archipelago, St Barths has historically been a French colony after being discovered by Columbus on his voyage to India, then being settled and used to grow cacao, despite frequent attacks by the indigenous peoples of the islands, known as Caribs. After a trade deal in the 1780s passed the island to Sweden, the island began to prosper as a free port, becoming a safe zone for the trade of goods, both legal and illegal. Until the 1840s, slavery was legal on the island. In the 1870s, the island was returned to France.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that any attempt to make the area popular for tourists was made. While Saint-Barthélemy is a beautiful island, getting there by plane was impossible until the construction of an airport, and island-wide electricity availability was only procured by 1961. But from there, St Barths has been a popular destination for holiday-goers, honeymooners and the rich, where the beautiful scenery, clement weather and deep, peaceful waters are perfect for recreational yachts.
While Gustavia is the capital and largest city in Saint-Barthélemy, most of the tourist attractions are spread out across the island, with famous hotels like Eden Rock, Hotel Le Toiny and Cheval Blanc located close to the best beaches and harbours on the island. The island has a large nature reserve which can be visited, along with sporting events, a vibrant local cuisine and beautiful azure waters home to massive superyachts and small boats. When Winter strikes the Mediterranean, St Barths is one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean.
If you’re looking for a super yacht charter based in St Barths and Antibes with access to ports around the western Caribbean and the Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Caribbean so you can see some of the natural beauty of the region for yourself.