Practical information : Sightseeing Guadeloupe
In the West Indies, it is usual to get up early, with the sun, and to start your working day (especially in the construction industry) before the sun's rays become too strong
In the cities of Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse Terre, the shops are closed on Saturdays from about 1pm and also on Sundays.
During the Easter period, the beaches are literally taken by storm. This is a local tradition: Guadeloupeans gather with their families all along the coast, but also on the river banks. Pitches are "reserved" up to 2 or 3 weeks in advance in order to get the best place. For the Easter weekend, everyone arrives with full equipment (refrigerator, TV, radio, barbecue, tent, tarpaulin, generators ...). If you enjoy the serenity, avoid planning a lazy day.
In addition to the eleven public holidays in France, there are nine non-working days in Guadeloupe: Shrove Monday and Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Thursday of Mid-Lent, Good Friday, Saturday Gloria, May 27, July 21, November 2 for which the administrations, schools, banks ... are closed. May 27th is the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Guadeloupe: many shops are only open in the morning.
To be booked
The museum offer is particularly important in the archipelago. Many establishments do not allow you to make a reservation in advance
Heritage Days: if you are in the archipelago on the date of this annual event, you will have the opportunity to visit sites that are normally closed to the public (parks with incredible flora, colonial houses such as the Maison Zévallos in Le Moule). These visits must be booked via the Heritage Days website
Budget & Tips
www.ekonomiz-guadeloupe.com : this leisure guide allows you to benefit from free discounts on more than 70 local shops. All you have to do is present the coupon on the EKONOMIZ mobile application or present the paper page of this guide which is distributed locally in tourist offices and hotels, among others
The Caribbean Pass allows you to benefit from a 10 € discount to visit 4 parks: the Guadeloupe Zoo, the Habitation Côte-Sous-le-Vent, the Jardin de Valombreuse and the Coffee Museum
Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for one of these establishments individually online and get a €1 discount on the entrance fee.
The shipping company Express des îles offers very attractive fares to Marie-Galante provided you travel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Group buying websites (www.shopping-97.com ; http://dealsdesiles.com ...) allow you to benefit from particularly interesting rates in all areas (accommodation, catering, leisure, beauty, well-being ...)
The Guadeloupe archipelago is punctuated with events, some of which have an international reputation (non-exhaustive list):
The carnival, unavoidable in Guadeloupe, does not begin, here, on Shrove Tuesday, but well before. It begins on the first Sunday of January (Epiphany day) and ends on Ash Wednesday (day of the "Brulé Vaval"). Parades are organized in many communes, the main ones being those of Basse Terre, Pointe-à-Pitre, Bouillante and Saint-François.
The classical music festival Nuits Caraïbes in February. Concerts are organized in prestigious places (www.nuits-caraibes.com)
The Easter festival gives rise to picnics on all the beaches and river banks of the archipelago.
The crab festival in Morne à l'eau during the Easter period
The Gwo Ka Festival takes place in Sainte-Anne in July.
The international cycling tour of Guadeloupe is one of the most popular events for the population. The 70th edition will be held in August 2021 with stages in many communes.
The minitransat (minitransat.fr/f). Solo departure without assistance from Les Sables d'Olonne. Direction Saint-François (Guadeloupe) via Santa Cruz de la Palma (Canary Islands - Spain) for 7,500 km on board 6.50 m boats (mini class). The departure takes place in September every two years
November1st and 2nd: the cemeteries are illuminated by thousands of candles placed on the graves which are cleaned and repainted on this occasion. The most impressive is the Morne-à-l'eau cemetery with its black and white checkerboard staircase. Families gather around the final resting place of their loved ones in a friendly atmosphere. November 2nd (Day of the Dead) is a public holiday in Guadeloupe
The Route du Rhum takes place every 4 years (www.routedurhum.com/fr). The next departure will take place on November 6, 2022 at 1:02 pm.
The "chanté Nwel" starts at the end of November. Traditional Christmas carols are sung in meetings in neighbourhoods, churches... Traditional Christmas dishes are Christmas ham and its dog sauce, pig stew, Creole pâtés and puddings, redcurrant syrup, yams, wood peas or pigeon peas, Shrubb (spices and orange peels soaked in rum)..
Take an ecological guided tour by electric tuk-tuk or rickshaw. Your guide will take you to the Place de la Victoire, where the prefecture is located, or to the Renaissance cinema, a listed historical monument, to discover traditional Creole houses, flower and spice markets..
Visit the cities of Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre on foot with a guide to discover the history of the city and its architecture.
Visit the mangrove swamp on a pedal-powered ATV (small catamaran) with an enthusiastic naturalist guide.
Go for a ride in an oxcart in Marie-Galante or Le Moule.
Call a taxi specialized in tailor-made tours. The ride is organized according to your taste
Artisans and artists are very numerous in the archipelago. They offer many objects and creations made from sand, seeds, driftwood, gourds, coconuts... Some stalls sell products from Asia bought at low prices that have nothing to do with quality and local know-how. Be careful in your choice of shops when you buy.
Do not hesitate to rely on the establishments that we put forward in each commune for this purpose
Be vigilant about the "good deals" that may be offered on site (purchase of lambi outside the fishing season, dish based on turtles or their eggs whose consumption is prohibited ...).
What's very local
In contact with the population, you will notice that some expressions are used very frequently such as "Do this for me"; "See you tomorrow if God wills"..
All visitors, even if they are on holiday, are asked to dress appropriately in all shops and not to enter in swimsuits or without a T-shirt for men, otherwise security may refuse entry.
The practice of topless is not very widespread because it is rather badly seen on the beaches of Guadeloupe. It is better to settle down on the beach of Tarare in Saint-François which is authorized for naturists because of its isolation.