The French Caribbean island of St Barths is a luxury traveler’s paradise, and if you only have a weekend to explore the beautiful landscapes and enjoy all that this stunning destination has to offer, we know what you should do. Wanting to make sure we had our readers’ best interests in mind, we asked members of our thriving community of St Barth insiders on Instagram and Facebook for their recommendations. The question we asked was: If someone had only a weekend to spend in St Barth, what should they absolutely not miss? Here are some of the highlights!
Hike to Colombier
The stunning Colombier beach is one not to be missed when in St Barth, and St Barth’s visitors echo this sentiment as this was one of the most recommended activities in response to our question.
You can also get to Colombier by boat, which is certainly the easier option. Let’s focus on the hike, though. This is arguably one of St Barths’ most picturesque beaches, and the hike to the beach is just as rewarding with panoramic views and frequent encounters with local wildlife.
There are two hiking trails, a more challenging one starting at Lookout Point and another more languorous one starting at Flamands.
Our advice is to wear comfy shoes and clothing and pack a picnic and lots of hydration. The middle hours of the afternoon can be too hot for some, so it is recommended to either do the hike early in the morning or start later in the afternoon.
Go beach-hopping in a car
St Barths is not big, so it is quite possible to pack in many beaches in a single day, especially if you are driving. A rental car makes getting around the island a breeze, and it can make it possible for you to visit many of St Bart’s beaches to get a true sense of their beautiful diversity.
If you have the whole weekend in St Barth, a great tip would be to reserve one day to see a multitude of beaches and scout them for the next day. Then, you can spend the next day on the beach you like the most, as they all have something different to offer, and enjoy a drink at a beach bar in the evening. This brings us to…
Shell Beach and Shellona
Between the beautiful shells underfoot and the gentle waves, Shell Beach is a popular choice for families with children. But its calm ambiance makes it ideal for those looking for a tranquil swim and a day at the beach, perhaps with a good book in tow.
You can spend the day in and out of the water and wait for a gorgeous Caribbean sunset, and then hop on over to Shellona for some delicious Greek grub by chef Yannis Kioroglou.
Shell Beach’s proximity to Gustavia means you can also always head on over to Gustavia’s many gastronomical offerings for
A meal at Black Ginger, Bonito, or Le Select
The Gustavia gastronomical scene is absolutely sensational, offering a myriad of dining choices for diverse palates. Foodies looking to keep it low-key can choose to have a burger at the iconic Le Select – a no-frills snack bar.
For fans of south-east Asian cuisines, the trio of chefs at Black Ginger offers memorable Thai dinners.
Never out of fashion, Bonito is a chic haunt for travelers looking for a dining experience to remember. A clever mix of French techniques with Peruvian influences, Bonito is the kind of place that remains being talked about.
Saline Beach and Tamarin
A truly unspoiled gem, Saline Beach is only a 5-10 min walk from the road. Even so, the dunes and the general size of the beach invoke a sense of great privacy, making it a popular spot among nudists. There are some waves making the beach perfect for body-boarding, but the waves can get intense on occasion. Carry an umbrella to shade you from the bright sun and snacks to nibble on.
After a day spent at Saline working on your tan, head on over to the lush green oasis that is Tamarin for a delightful world fusion meal. Dine in the main restaurant or in the garden, either way, you will surely come away impressed like many others before you.
Dancing at Le Ti or Bagatelle
If you prefer your dinner with a side of dancing, Bagatelle or Le Ti should definitely be on your list of things to do with only a weekend in St Barth. Get a taste of that iconic Caribbean nightlife on a full stomach without having to change venues between dinner and dancing.
At Bagatelle, you might catch a fashion show, live music, a DJ, all in the course of the same night. The menu never disappoints, and every dinner is a party.
At Le Ti, you can catch one of their legendary cabaret shows. You can witness the fabulous dancers as you dine or even join in the fun with the costumes at hand for customers.
Sunday brunch at Nikki Beach
Sunday brunch at Nikki Beach is a St Barths institution with a playful reputation that is well-deserved. Sunday afternoons are for its famed themed parties at Nikki Beach, with a fabulous oceanfront meal and celebrities frequently in attendance.
The vibe is fairly relaxed, highlighted by great music, with bottle service available, which is not mandatory to partake in, as is sometimes misreported. If you find yourself in St Barth at the right time, don’t miss the season kick-off party here at the end of October.
This is by no means a definitive list of things you could choose from when it comes to spending a weekend in St Barth, but the experience is perfectly encapsulated by the most popular piece of advice we got in response to our question:
Miss your flight out
Our island might be tiny, but it offers many activities that far outsize its tiny proportions. Of course, if you can, carving out more time to spend on the island should always be your first choice, but on the occasion that’s impossible, you know there is a lot for you to cherry-pick from.