The small Caribbean island of St Barts is home to many things: beautiful landscapes, French culture and cuisine, beautiful azure waters and coral beaches are some of the things that St Barts does best. If you ever choose to go to this gorgeous locale, consider visiting these impressive attractions:

Colombier Beach

Hailed as the seaside jewel of St. Barts, Colombier Beach curves around the end of a headland on the extreme north-western edge of the island. It’s secluded, sun-kissed and home to a turquoise-blue bay that’s always peppered with bobbing yachts.

The sands themselves are powdered coral: They glow white and come dressed in sporadic bouts of sea vines that crawl towards the salty shore. What’s more, the route to the beach is nothing short of breath-taking, with a path weaving through cacti groves and over the rocky cliffs for 15 minutes before hitting the sands themselves.

Sun, Sand and Salty Dogs: Baie de St-Jean

The liveliest and most fun-loving beach on all of St. Barts is also a pretty tropical affair, arching its way along the northern coast, just a stone’s throw from the runways of the island’s airport. With the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea as the backdrop, visitors here can hit the swells on a jet ski, rent boats, or simply do as most do: kick-back with a cocktail in the iconic cocktail joint of Nikki Beach.

This covered little cabana of a bar spills onto the sands in a medley of bean bags, tipis and loungers, serving up meticulously mixed fruit infusions and Caribbean cuisine.

Shop Around in Gustavia

With its famous trio of high-fashion shopping hotspots and oodles of bespoke design outlets and stores peppering its lanes and alleys, Gustavia is one of the undisputed shopping capitals of the Caribbean.

The center of the retail action surely has to be along the iconic Quai de la Republique, which rings the port of the town and offers up the likes of Bulgari and Hermes and more. Then there’s the upscale Carre d’Or Plaza; the home of St Bart’s local brands and creative designers – think black Tahitian pearl necklaces and handmade beachwear. Finally there’s the La Savane Center, laden with high-street stores just across from the airport.

Fort Gustav

Raised way back in the early 18th century by St. Bart’s one-time Swedish masters, this historic fort complex not only offers a glimpse into the island’s colonial past, but also some of the most breathtaking panoramas over the harbour of Gustavia. Today, the site is recognisable thanks to the soaring whitewashed and red-tipped lighthouse that rises at its center.

However, there are still some interesting remnants of the citadel’s former glory, from the dilapidated baking house to the old cannon-studded bulwarks. Visitors can stand atop and look down to where pirate ships and naval frigates would once have done battle in the seas.

Go Surfing

Unlike many other destinations in the Caribbean region, St. Barts is a veritable surfing Mecca. The island is blessed with some great swells that roll in off the Atlantic Ocean and onto the rugged bays of the north and west shores.

Spots like Lorient Beach, Anse des Cayes and Saint-Jean all have their own rollers, with swells that are perfect for every level of rider. There are surfboard rentals and outfitters to be found right across the island. Windsurfing is also a popular pastime with the locals, and good waves and breezes make for favourable conditions at accessible beaches like Grand Cul de Sac.

Get a Taste of France in Lorient

Fringed by its own gorgeous beach, the welcoming town of Lorient makes its home on the coastal hills that run along the northern edge of the island. Famed for its pretty churches and small-town charm, the town comes blooming with bougainvillea and tropical flowers.

It’s also got a series of charming little churches, like the Eglise de Lorient, raised in natural stone and looking like something out of northern France. Add to the mix that long stretch of powdery golden sand that runs along the shoreline of the town, complete with sunbathing spots, French seafood joints and even surf swells, and it’s easy to see why Lorient remains such a popular stop-off for visitors to St. Bart’s.

There’s far more to St Barts than beaches and sunshine: a rich history from its colonial days to the present, a unique and yet familiar culture and a variety of retail and leisure opportunities all provide a better Caribbean experience than many islands that rely on tourists just looking to soak up some sun. St Barts is a popular stopping point on a superyacht cruise, with You Charter Direct offering several cruises that pass by the area and other coastal attractions along the Caribbean.