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Lying 10km off Guadeloupe, unhurried Terre-de-Haut is the largest of the eight small islands that make up Les Saintes and feels like a 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. Divers love its waters for their good visibility and healthy reefs.

Since Terre-de-Haut was too hilly and dry for sugar plantations, slavery never took hold here. Consequently, older islanders can trace their roots to the early seafaring Norman and Breton colonists, and many locals have light skin and blond or red hair.

Home to most of the island’s residents, Bourg des Saintes is a picturesque village with a decidedly Norman accent. Its narrow streets are lined with whitewashed red-roofed houses with shuttered windows and yards of flowering hibiscus.

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