Introducing St Martin
Discover St Martin on a honeymoon holiday: this cosmopolitan Caribbean island famously embraces two distinctly different European cultures – French and Dutch, (French: Saint-Martin; Dutch: Sint Maarten).
Renowned for gourmet cuisine, luxury accommodation, duty free shopping, picture-perfect beaches and an astonishing array of water- and land-based activities, the island nation of St Martin offers all the ingredients you need for a memorable Caribbean honeymoon.
Collectively the two territories are known as ‘St Martin-St Maarten’ (French: Saint-Martin; Dutch: Sint Maarten). It is the world's smallest inhabited island to be partitioned between two nations, roughly 60/40 per cent between France (53km2) and the Netherlands Antilles (34km²).
The amicable division dates to 1648 when the first European settlers divided the island. Each territory has retained much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture, although crossing the border is almost unnoticeable.
What to do and see on St Martin
On the French side of Saint Martin, discover lavish resorts, secluded beaches, the latest French fashions, gourmet cuisine and picturesque colonial villages.
In the pretty capital city of Marigot, experience a distinctly Gaelic ambiance while exploring streets lined with colonial houses, chic cafés, friendly bistros, pastry shops and luxury boutiques. The entire city is only four streets wide, so it is very easy to get around.
Browse the elegant duty free stores offering the latest in European designer fashions and fine jewellery. Don’t miss the tiny fishing village of Grand Case – the so-called ‘Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean’ – where you can choose from a superb selection of fine dining restaurants that overlook the beach.
On the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, discover idyllic beaches, a bustling commercial centre, duty free shopping and the busy cruise port of Philipsburg, which commands a scenic position surrounded by lush green hills facing the turquoise waters of Great Bay harbour.
Stroll the palm-fringed Great Bay Beach Promenade, lined with cast iron street lamps, benches, clock towers and a choice of inviting bars and cafes. For panoramic views of the bay, climb up to the remains of Fort Amsterdam, which dates from 1631.
Explore the narrow alleyways lined with interesting duty free shops between Philipsburg’s two main streets: Voorstraat (Front Street) and Achterstraat (Back Street). Inland, hire a car to discover the ruins of several plantation mansions set in scenic wooded hills around Mount Flagstaff, an extinct volcano. Or hire a mountain bike to explore the coastal road and the trails around Paradise Peak.
St Martin/St Maarten offers a range of accommodation options to suit all honeymoon budgets. To splash out in style, try the elegant and world class La Samanna, famously home to a signature restaurant overlooking the stunning white sands of Baie Longue.
Or check out the intimate Le Petit Hotel, a small and chic hotel facing the white sands of Grand Case Beach, just a short stroll away from a choice of fine dining restaurants.
Best time to honeymoon in St Martin / St Maarten?
The best time to visit St Martin is any time. The average temperature is around 27°C, with cooling trade winds. The rainy season runs from late May to mid-November and sees occasional showers.
For more climate info: St Martin Weather Guide
St Martin/St Maarten is part of the Leeward Group of the Lesser Antilles, lying 8km south of the British territory of Anguilla and 24km northwest of St Barts (St Barthélemy). St Maarten is one of five island territories of the Netherland Antilles; the other four are Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba and St Eustatius.
By air, St Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport (the second-busiest airport in the eastern Caribbean, after San Juan, Puerto Rico), receives daily non-stop flights from the USA, Europe and other Caribbean islands.
Find out how to get to St Maarten. . .