Here are a few places that I like very much on the island. Some you may know, some not. Sometimes, I get up in the morning, drink a coffee, and drive straight there to enjoy the luxury of having these places just for me.
Hike to Colombier beach
This one is probably on all the travel guides that you can find: A 20-minute walk on a natural trail, along the coast, leading to the beautiful beach of Gouverneur. No cars can go there, so people have either to walk or to come by boat. This beautiful bay is crowned by the only visible house, a villa built by the Rockefeller family in the late 1960s. The house is an architectural wonder but has been shamefully neglected for years by its current owner (David Rockefeller sold it in 1982).
To go there: Go to Flamands beach, park at the Petite Anse. Wear sneakers, bring a bottle of water and sun lotion. Hike for 20 minutes. Enjoy the beach. The villa is private property, so you are not supposed to go there.
Swim to the right (when looking at the sea) to see a lot of colorful fish, starfish, and the occasional turtle.
Les Piscines de Grand Fonds (Natural Pools)
A 20-minute hike on the wild, almost barren coast of Grand Fonds, leading a spectacular site with natural pools of seawater encased at the feet of a cliff. Beautiful.
Park at Grand Fonds near the pebble beach. Wear sneakers, bring a bottle of water. Walk all the way to the end of the beach, leaving the road and the hamlet of Grand Fonds behind you. Go up the
rocks, stay on the trail close to the seashore. Walk for 20 minutes, enjoy the view. You may see goats here and there walking down from the hill.
Go slowly and carefully down to the pools. You can dip in them, it’s ok. However, beware of sea urchins (I always look carefully on top of what I put my feet and my hands on).
Beach of Anse Maréchal
This is secret and not so secret. You’ve seen it, maybe not tried it. It is my favorite beach this close to Pointe Milou. Funny enough, this secret spot of mine is located … in the middle of the Rosewood Le Guanahani, the biggest hotel on the island!
Drive to the Guananahni, enter the property. After the small roundabout, go straight and park on your left. These are free, public parking spaces! Who knew? Then, walk down the trail, leaving the Guanahani spa to your left. You go down a few steep steps, along the fence protecting a wonderful wooden villa built by a member of the Rothschild family. On the beach, drop your stuff right there, as the long place to enter the water here is on the left-hand side (when looking at the sea). The other side is blocked by a coral reef and is part of the Guanahani beach.
Not many guests of the Guanahani venture here. When the water is calm, you can see a lot of fish if you swim all the way across the bay, to the foot of the little hill the separates Anse Maréchal from the lagoon.
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