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Grande-Terre – which despite its name (meaning 'big land') is far smaller than Basse-Terre – is the most visited island of Guadeloupe. Its south coast, with reef-protected waters and golden-sand beaches, is the country's main resort area.

By comparison, the eastern side of the island is barely touched by tourism: it's largely open to the Atlantic's waves, and instead of beaches has crashing surf off much of its rocky coastline. It is popular with surfers, however, who converge on the town of Le Moule.

Northern Grande-Terre is one of the most scenically impressive parts of Guadeloupe, but its tourism industry is very undeveloped. It's a wonderful place to spend a day driving around – towering sea cliffs on one side and excellent beaches on the other make it a great choice for those who want to avoid the crowds elsewhere.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Grande-Terre.