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St. Martin Beaches - The Beaches on French St. Martin

ST. MARTIN BEACHES

The first thing you have to know about the beaches on French St. Martin is that they are all, what is referred to as, “clothing optional”. Now that doesn’t mean “nudity mandatory”. With the exception of a single section of beach called Club Orient, most of the beachgoers will be fully suited or just topless.

The signature beach of the French Side is Orient Bay, a two mile long white sand, sandy entry; beach lined with great restaurants and water sports activities. You cannot come to the island without spending a day at Orient. Each section of Orient assumes the name of the beach bar/restaurant it fronts such as Bikini Beach, La Playa, Bay Watch, Waikiki, Coco, Kakao and Kon Tiki. Sort of like “meet you at Bikini”.

Le Gallion is a family oriented beach on a nature preserve known for snorkeling, surfing and other water sports. Its shallow waters make it ideal for children. The beach can also be explored on horseback from Bayside Riding Stables nearby.

Pinel Island is just 5 minutes offshore, reached by large dinghys which leave every few minutes. It’s a picturesque, calm water, beach with restaurants and a great place to get the best prices on some costume jewelry and handmade designer belts.

Baie Longue is the beach at the famous La Samanna. Beautiful white sand in the “high rent” district but no real shelter from the sun. Bring your own umbrella. Nearby is Baie Aux Prunes, better known as Plum Bay and also in the area of some beautiful estates. No services but not a lot of people either. Bring your own stuff. Another very similar beach in the same area is Baie Rouge.

You’ll have to drive over the mountain to get the the beach at Anse Marcel. Lots of beautiful scenic overlooks on the drive and once you get there, lots of privacy although a major resort, “La Habitation” is on the property. The resort itself has restaurants, shopping, etc.

Friar’s Bay is just outside of the French Side capital of Marigot. It’s a very popular beach with restaurants. Kali’s Restaurant on Friars Bay is the home of the famous Full Moon Parties.

If you are adventurous and don’t mind a bit of a hike, it’s a 15 minute walk to Happy Bay which might well be THE most beautiful beach on the island. The ONLY way to get there is the hike from Friar’s Bay and there are no services.

Grand Case Beach runs along the waterfront of the town of Grand Case which is one of the island’s Gourmet Capitals. Just steps up from the beach are the Lolo’s, the famous chicken and rib (among other treats) restaurants. The very popular Calmos CafĂ© is directly on the beach and is a favorite of many.

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