Lying 10km off Guadeloupe is Terre-de-Haut, the largest of the eight small islands that make up Les Saintes. Since the island was too hilly and dry for sugar plantations, slavery never took hold here. Consequently, the older islanders still trace their roots to the early seafaring Norman and Breton colonists and many of the locals have light skin and blond or red hair.
Terre-de-Haut is unhurried and feels like a small slice of southern France transported to the Caribbean. Lots of English is spoken here thanks to a big international sailing scene, and it’s definitely the most cosmopolitan of Guadeloupe’s outlying islands.
Terre-de-Haut is only 5km long and about half as wide. Ferries dock right in the center of Bourg des Saintes, the island’s only village. The airstrip is to the east, a 10-minute walk from the village center.