Visit Saint-Barthélemy in a hire car: the best roads and attractions

Saint-Barthélemy, often referred to as Saint-Barth, is a paradise island in the Caribbean, renowned for its pristine beaches, luxury boutiques and chic, relaxed atmosphere. Hiring a car is one of the best ways to visit this idyllic island at your own pace and discover its many hidden treasures. Here's a guide to the most beautiful roads and attractions not to be missed during your stay in Saint-Barthélemy in a hire car.

Road from Gustavia to Colombier

Start your adventure in Gustavia, the charming capital of Saint-Barthélemy, renowned for its luxury boutiques, fine restaurants and lively harbour. Click here for more info on suitable cars for this route. Leaving the town, take the scenic route to Colombier. This route offers breathtaking views over the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and leads you to one of the island's most secret beaches: Colombier Beach. 

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Accessible only on foot or by boat, this secluded beach is ideal for a quiet getaway from the crowds, perfect for swimming, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the white sand. Along the way, don't miss the picturesque viewpoints, which provide the perfect opportunities for memorable photos of your trip.

The road from Lorient to Grand Cul-de-Sac

The road from Lorient to Grand Cul-de-Sac is a picturesque route that allows you to discover two of Saint-Barthélemy's jewels. Start your journey in Lorient, a charming coastal village renowned for its tranquil beach, ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Then continue on to Grand Cul-de-Sac, a calm, protected lagoon offering a multitude of water sports such as kitesurfing and paddle boarding. 

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This region is also renowned for its seaside restaurants, where you can sample local specialities while admiring the magnificent views over the lagoon and the ocean. This route allows you to combine relaxation and sightseeing in the naturally unspoilt surroundings of Saint-Barthélemy.

Route de Saint-Jean à Saline

The route from Saint-Jean to Saline is an adventure through the varied and magnificent landscapes of Saint-Barthélemy. Start your journey in Saint-Jean, a lively village with a beach famous for its calm waters and water sports. As you follow the winding road, you'll pass through lush green hills and picturesque valleys until you reach Saline beach. 

Famous for its golden sands and peaceful atmosphere, Saline is a must for lovers of nature and tranquillity. Take the opportunity to swim in its crystal-clear waters or simply relax in the tropical sunshine. This route offers an authentic experience of Saint-Barthélemy, between world-famous beaches and unspoilt landscapes.

Route de Flamands à Corossol

The route from Flamands to Corossol is a leisurely journey through some of St Barts most picturesque scenery. Start your journey at Flamands beach, the largest and one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, perfect for a morning stroll or to easily soak up the sun. Then head to Corossol, a charming fishing village renowned for its local crafts and colourful houses. 

This coastal road offers panoramic views of the ocean and coastline, ideal for photography and nature lovers. Stop along the way to admire the Corossol craft shops and discover the local traditions of Saint-Barthélemy, before continuing your journey through this enchanting landscape.

The road from Toiny to Gouverneur

The route from Toiny to Gouverneur is an immersive experience through the wild and unspoilt beauty of St Barts. Start your journey at Toiny, known for its powerful waves and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. As you follow this winding road through lush green hills, you'll discover a series of picturesque viewpoints that offer breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs and secluded beaches below. 

Finish your trip at Gouverneur, where you'll find one of the island's most beautiful and unspoilt beaches. With its white sand and turquoise waters, Gouverneur beach is perfect for relaxing, swimming and soaking up the sun. This route allows you to discover the raw natural beauty of Saint-Barthélemy while offering moments of tranquillity and contemplation away from the hustle and bustle.

Some practical tips for visiting Saint-Barthélemy in a hire car

Visiting Saint-Barthélemy by hire car can be a rewarding and flexible experience, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace and discover its hidden treasures. Here are a few tips to make the most of your trip.

Make a reservation

When planning your stay in Saint Barts, it's highly recommended that you book your rental car in advance. You can Keep reading for more details. This popular Caribbean island attracts many visitors throughout the year. This can lead to high demand for rental cars, especially during peak periods such as holidays and special events. 

By booking, you have the advantage of choosing from a wider range of vehicles and ensuring that your specific transport needs are taken into account. What's more, it often allows you to benefit from more competitive rates and avoid last-minute complications. This ensures a smooth and stress-free car hire experience from the moment you arrive in Saint-Barthélemy.

Choose the right type of vehicle 

When choosing a rental car in Saint-Barthélemy, it's essential to take into account your specific needs and the activities you plan to do on the island. Opt for a compact car if you mainly plan to drive through the narrow streets of picturesque villages like Gustavia. These vehicles are easy to park and offer great manoeuvrability. 

On the other hand, if you intend to explore the rougher roads leading to secluded beaches or if you're planning off-road excursions to natural sites, an SUV may be more appropriate. Make sure you choose a vehicle that suits your needs in terms of size, comfort and load capacity to make your driving experience in Saint Barts as enjoyable as possible.

Check insurance 

Before finalising your car hire in Saint-Barthélemy, it's crucial to understand the insurance options available and choose the one that suits you best. Car hire companies usually offer several levels of cover, including third-party liability, vehicle damage and theft protection. 

Be sure to check which insurances are included in your basic rental contract and whether additional options are recommended to suit your needs. Take the time to read the terms and conditions of each insurance carefully to find out about any exclusions and excesses. Adequate cover will give you peace of mind during your stay in Saint-Barthélemy.

Inspect the vehicle before you leave

Before taking to the road with your hire car in Saint-Barthélemy, it's essential to carry out a thorough inspection of the vehicle. Take the time to carefully examine the interior and exterior for any pre-existing damage, however minor, such as scratches, dents or paint chips. Use the inspection form provided by the rental agency to carefully document any defects you notice.

Exploring Saint-Barthélemy in a hire car is an unforgettable experience that allows you to discover the hidden wonders of this island paradise. From secluded beaches to picturesque villages and scenic roads, every journey is full of surprises and moments of exceptional beauty. Plan your route, follow the driving advice and get ready for a memorable adventure on the roads of Saint-Barthélemy.