One thing we absolutely love about St Barts is the diversity of its beaches. There are 16 of them in total, each with its own distinct personality. At Saline Beach you’ll find topless women frolicking in the translucent azure water and stretches of soft, white sand that feels like powdered sugar between your toes. What you won’t find: tiki-style tourist traps hawking sugary cocktails. Saline, like most other beaches on St. Barth’s, is rather bare bones—no bars, no shops, no restaurants—so be sure to pack your own snacks and water.
Another local favorite is Colombier, an isolated haven accessible only by boat or a rugged, roughly 30-minute hike. Be warned: The downhill trail to get there is deceivingly easy. The way back…not so much, but try to head here early to avoid the hot afternoon sun.
If you prefer a more vibrant scene, head to St Jean, where hot spots like Eden Rock and Nikki Beach provide ample people-watching. During the day, you’ll find the surfers at beaches like Toiny or Lorient and the snorkelers at Gouverneur or Petite Anse, but for sunset, everyone descends upon Shell Beach. It’s covered in millions of thumbnail-size shells and home to Shellona restaurant.
Colombier is a remote beach accessible via a 30 minute hike, although many visitors take a more convenient route by boat. Visitors are to sure to enjoy an excellent spot for both swimming and snorkeling, and from certain areas you can spot the home once owned by David Rockefeller. Many locals often camp here overnight too.
This is perhaps the beach with the calmest waters as it’s protected by a coral reef and remains shallow for quite a way out into the lagoon. It’s quite popular with families and the lagoon is also a mecca for windsurfers, kiteboarders, and sailboaters. The beach is lined with hotels and restaurants too!
Gouverneur Beach is another unspoiled gem and a favorite among locals! It’s powdery white sand and crystalline water is postcard perfect. There’s a convenient parking lot for beach guests, and the little tidal pools among the rocks are great for kids. As with Saline Beach, be sure to bring your snacks and drinks etc.
To get to Saline Beach, you have to follow a hike over a sand dune, but the it’s completely worth it, the beach is unspoiled! And, while nudism is “forbidden” here, you’ll manage to get away with it at this beach! Be sure to bring your own food, drinks, umbrellas, and chairs and you’ll be sure to enjoy the day here!
Shell Beach is covered with beautiful shells and is located right by the main town, Gustavia. You can rent a chair from Shellona restaurant overlooking the beach, or just bring your own towel to lounge. If you swim out about 20 meters, you’ll see a rope used by adventurous swimmers to climb out of the water and cliff-jump.
This beach is arguably the IT beach on the island, and split into two parts by the Eden Rock Hotel. To the left of the hotel, you can watch airplanes landing while to the right of the hotel, indulge in the trendy atmosphere at Nikki Beach, where dancing on the tables and Champagne showers are encouraged. The beach is calm & shallow.