"Gustavia - The St. Tropez of the Caribbean" Gustavia by MikeAtSea

Gustavia Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 22 photos

Anyone who would have traveled to Gustavia or St. Barts in the 1960's would have turned around and left. Even though it was and still is spectacular island it was one of the poorest in France. One would not think so today.
The history of this island Caribbean was originally French. The island was given to Sweden in exchange for trade rights in Gothenburg in 1784 and Sweden founded the Swedish West India Company. Prospering during the Napoleonic Wars, assets were low thereafter, and the island was sold back to France in 1878. Hence many of the buildings in Gustavia, including its name have Swedish origins.
With the development of tourism the boom started in Gustavia; and over the years it has become one of the most upmarket islands in the Caribbean; a place where the rich and famous gather during the winter months. During Christmas and New Year it is the peak time in Gustavia and a few hundred yachts and mega yachts meet in the port and outside in the bay enjoying the festive season in style.
The island is part of the French overseas territory and its citizens are part of the European Union. With that the Euro is the currency on the island.
With its history slaves were never utilized on the island and St. Barts is the only island in the Caribbean which does not have a slave history.
Gustavia the capital of the island is a charming town that surrounds the port of Gustavia, home to many boutiques, restaurants and fine hotels making Gustavia the spiced up version of St. Tropez.

The climate of the island is a tropical one with only feeble variations in temperature. The island?s small surface of 24 m2 allows it to take advantage of the smooth and pleasant blow of trade winds. Average water and air temperatures move around 27 °C, and the year is divided into two seasons: a dry one, referred to as Lent, and a more humid one in winter. This latter season sets in between May and November, and the ever-present sun is overcast by short passages of rainclouds with brief showers of 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Last visit to Gustavia: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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