St Barts Beach :: Gouverneur Beach :: Photo Courtesy of yacht_chef
This St Barts Beach is by far my favorite on the entire island. It is virtually unspoiled and it’s long white beach seems to stretch endlessly. There is no building on this beach, so when you go there, you can expect a feeling of total privacy.
To get to Gouverneur Beach, you must drive a bit, but your travel is well worth it. Go up to the top of Lurin Hill and then head straight down for about a mile to arrive at your destination. The road is very narrow, so please drive with care. When you come to a stop, you will be above the beach, overlooking Gouveneur Bay. This view is one of the most beautiful sights on all the island. Relax for just a few moments and soak in the crystalline water – the colors of the water are like no other that you’ll ever see; trust me on this one. In fact, there is a company on the island, Saint Barth Tours and Travel that gives tours, and they make it a point to stop at Gouveneur’s Beach, they put it on their agenda.
If you continue on down to the small public parking lot, you can leave your car and then head to the beach for the day. What is so interesting about Gouverneur’s Beach is that it is actually owned by an individual. Yep, the whole piece of land, including the beach. But, according to French law, no beach may be private, so there is public access to this beach. The owner has been gracious enough to establish a very nice parking lot. Please remember this when using this area, and respect the tranquility and cleanliness of the area.
After you get out of the car, you will need to walk through a small area of trees and soon you will come to the southern tip of the beach. I find that this area is typically where families will set up camp for the day because there is an area of shallow water there right by the rocks, plus there is a bit of shade, which can be really nice when you have small children with you. If you’re by yourself, you can walk a bit further because the entry in to the water is easier from the trail. Even further down the path, you will find some stones that have been uncovered by the waves, so be careful because it can get slippery. At the other end of the beach, total nudity is tolerated.
On the off season, I have been lucky enough to have this beach entirely to myself – at least before 9am. But even year-round, this typically is one of the least crowded beaches. Here on St Barts, a beach is crowded if there is someone less than 30 feet between you and your beach neighbors.
If you love to snorkel, head to the left hand side of the beach as it is great right by the coast. If you are a strong and confident swimmer, you can easily enjoy an hour of good snorkeling. The snorkeling isn’t dangerous by any means, but you will drift a bit while you’re out there so you’ll need to swim you way back to the beach.
Legend is that one of the most famous French pirates, Monbars, had hidden his treasure in one of the caves by Gouveneur Beach. Imagine the vacation tales you could bring home if you opened your eyes wide when you were snorkeling and you spotted a golden Louis at the bottom!!
Recently, there has been some construction going on on the upper flank of the hill, right above the bay. The villa owner has chosen to paint his home orange, which is not very discreet, and frankly, I don’t like it much. At least not the color. The house itself is beautiful and pristine.
One final note, this beach is much like Saline in that it does not offer much shade. And since there is no building on the beach, there is also nowhere to grab a bottle of water or a snack, so come prepared. This is especially crucial if you’re traveling with children!!! Enjoy Gouveneur Beach – maybe I’ll see you there!!
St Barts Beach :: Gouveneur Beach :: Photo Courtesy of guyshurley