Saint Martin – The Art of Island Living

I’m adding St. Martin (or St. Maarten) to my Caribbean bucket list. French St. Martin is a combination of Caribbean and French and Caribbean and takes up the northern part of this two-nation island. While it’s location is sub-tropical, but its mindset is pure Parisian! Casual restaurants with uninterrupted views of palm-studded white-sand beaches serve elaborate Gallic dishes. Even the preferred sports are European-style – snorkelling, diving, sailing, tennis and horseback riding being favoured over motorized sports such as jet-skiing and motor-boating.

It’s not hard to make friends in Saint Martin, which is known for its friendly vibe, its beautiful beaches and its unique status as the world’s smallest island shared by two ruling nations — France and the Netherlands (the French side is called Saint-Martin, the Dutch Sint Maarten). Travelling between the two is hassle-free but we are visiting French territory, which has been accurately described as a little piece of France in the Caribbean.

Strong French and Caribbean cultures – accented by the 100-plus other nationalities who call the island home — have created an extremely cosmopolitan yet relaxed lifestyle. As a result, while Saint-Martin is a small island, it has a lot more than sun, sea and sand to offer visitors.

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I think I’ll need two trips to St. Martin now – one for the French side and for the Dutch side. Where should I start??