Part of the Guadeloupe archipelago and 19 miles away from the island of Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante is the third island of the French Antilles. The island is still protected from tourism but it is gradually becoming more and more exposed to it. After developing its sugar cane industry, Marie-Galante has taken up fishing as another source of income. Marie-Galante is not just a place where people spend a couple of days after going to Guadeloupe; it is in itself a genuine holiday destination. Relaxation on its heavenly beaches, water sports, visiting distilleries and mills and discovering exquisitely beautiful natural sites are all on the agenda here.
Surface area : 158.0 km2
Population : 12000 inhabitants
Note that most of the decorations and fabrics come from Asia. However, do not hesitate to get madras cotton. Also bring back brown sugar, tropical fruit jams, spices and rum. That of Marie-Galante, produced in small quantities, is very sought after. Shops open from 9:00 am to 18:00 pm. Most shops open on Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Take time to look for small spots to taste real Marie-Galante cuisine. It is authentic and makes use of a variety of local products. Papaya and plantain gratins, cooked roots and turban squash are served with West Indian traditional dishes like colombo or black sausage. Fish and lobsters are rare. For drinks, rum produced by the three distilling companies, is well appreciated.
Marie-Galante people are warm and welcoming if you respect them. You need to take time to meet and talk to them.
It is preferable to seek their permission before taking photos.
Not saying "good morning" is seen as ill-mannered. These few rules open many doors.
Marie-Galante is a peaceful island. Take your time. It is a picture of Guadeloupe 30 years ago. You can take a week's rest or a few days after a trip to Guadeloupe.
Some of the most elegant beaches in the French Antilles are found in Marie-Galante. Feuillere beach, southeastward - close to Capesterre - is heavenly, between lagoons and golden sand.
Northwards, the path leading to Caye Plate offers a splendid view of Bois d'Inde and Piton coves.
In 1930, Marie-Galante had over one hundred cane mills. Visit the Bezard and Agapit mills to discover sugar cane and its history.
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