The best time to go to Guadeloupe is between the months of December through to May. Consider travelling to the region in April or May, here the weather is still very tropical at an average temperature of 28°C-29°C with around 7-8 hours of warm sunlight per day.
Flights and hotels tend to drop their prices at this time as it’s end of the peak season so you should be able to pick up a good deal for your trip.
Hurricane season is usually in the summer months of August and September bringing a lot of rainfall but if you don’t mind the rain, it’s also a beautiful time to visit as there are fewer tourists and will won’t hurt the wallet as much compared to the peak season.
If you’re looking to travel in the peak season, consider booking 6-9 months before to give yourself time to pay up for your trip.
Let’s get to know Guadeloupe a bit better!
Guadeloupe is a beautiful French archipelago that invites all types of travellers to its breath-taking landscape. The mainland, which in fact is two islands, is known as ‘Le Papillion’ (the butterfly) that is connected by a few bridges and a large mangrove swamp.
To the west lies Basse-Terre, a mountainous terrain enveloped in tropical rainforest that is crowned by the famous La Soufriere Volcano and home to the incredible Parc National de la Guadeloupe.
To the east is Grand-Terre, a tourist hotspot with perfect white sandy beaches lined with luxurious hotels and resorts.
Off-shore lays the smaller, more tranquil islands of Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Désirade. Travelling to these islands, you will notice the untouched natural beauty of this place that provides more of a romantic setting.
Regional Capital: Basse-Terre
Currency used in Guadeloupe: The Euro with most establishments such as hotels and restaurants accepting Visa and MasterCard.
Main airports: Marie-Galante Airport | Pointe-à-Pitre Airport | Saint-François Airport
Visa & Entry requirements: You must carry a valid passport and return ticket. Most countries such as the UK do not require a Visa.
Average Temperature: The hottest month is June at an average temperature of 28°C and coolest in January at 25°C.
Check out some of the best things to do when your there!
What to do in Guadeloupe
When you go to Guadeloupe, you need to join in and celebrate some of these incredible festivals!
Culture & Festivities
Guadeloupe is a melting pot of cultures, it’s art, music, cuisine and religion have all been influenced by France, India, Africa and other Caribbean nations.
The people of Guadeloupe are relaxed and very friendly and welcome all visitors to their home to enjoy and join in on their celebrations.
If you are looking to make any event on the calendar, make it Carnival.
It is held the week before Ash Wednesday where locals get together and dress up in colourful, masquerade costumes dancing to upbeat, rhythmic music through the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre where the two main parades take place.
There are plenty of activities for children to take part in too.
Held for a week in October, locals and people from around the world come to Guadeloupe to honor and celebrate the Creole heritage.
There are various cultural events celebrating the Creole language such exhibitions, concerts, plays, poetry reading and communal competitions.
L’Open de Saint-Francois
This world renowned golf tournament kicks off at the end of May into the start of June.
It is held on Grand-Terre at the luxurious Saint-Francois Golf Club. The tournament is part of the European Alps Tour with Saint-Francois being a main stage.
There are around 100 professional European golfers that take part with a prize fund of €43,000.
Spectators are given free access to the tournament where they can discover golf during an unprecedented level of the European tournament.
Definitely one for any golfing fans out there!
Karujet Jet Ski World Championship
This championship is held over 3 days in mid-May.
Karujet is exclusive to Guadeloupe where competitors navigate open blue oceans on jet skis, darting past beach goers as they line the beaches around the coast of the island.
With its festive atmosphere, the Village of Karujet host many stands, attractions, concerts and activities.
This sailing event is held over a few days at the start of November.
It is recognised as one of the largest regattas in the French Caribbean, it is distinguished by the number and the diversity of its participants.
Boats from nearby islands of Martinique, Antigua and Saint Lucia are always to be expected but crews from France, Italy and Holland usually turn up to showcase their talents on the coast Guadeloupe.
For those who love attending regattas, you are not going to want to miss seeing the beautiful boats of Guadeloupe, Martinique and other surrounding islands.
All Day In Music Festival
The All Day In music festival takes place on July 21st and 22nd at Plage Raisins Clairs in Saint-Francois.
This festival brings together local and international artists to the shores of Guadeloupe that will surely be a few days of singing, dancing and absolute entertainment.
Now, let’s visit some of the best beaches in Guadeloupe!
Best beaches in Guadeloupe
The island of Guadeloupe is so unique in that it’s beaches has such a diverse terrain from wild, untouched, secluded spots to areas that are luxurious, well-maintained and highly populated.
The waters here are warm and tropical that varies from large surfing waves to calm, shallow bays, perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Here in Guadeloupe, you should have no problem in finding some of the nicest beaches in the world.
You can find this beautiful beach on the south coast of Grand-Terre, in the Saint-Anne area.
Arriving at this beach you will notice the absolute beauty it beholds with its fine white sand, turquoise water and waving palm trees dotting the beach that offer plenty of shade.
The water here is excellent both for swimming and water sports – courtesy of Club Med (you can get a day pass). La Caravelle is protected by a reef so it is a very safe beach.
You can rent a lounge chair for the day from Club Med, with a charge of around €10-15.
There is also a lovely restaurant with outdoor seating at the end of the beach belonging to Club Med that is open to the public that serve some excellent dishes.
Discover Grand Anse on the northern coast of Basse-Terre, in the Deshaies area.
Grand Anse is a long stretch of beach white stunning, powdery white sand that blends into beautiful, turquoise waters. It has a hilly backdrop, covered in luscious greenery that is lined in palm trees that provide an abundance of shade – this is where you can find the local restaurants and beach shacks
The water is very safe to swim in at the shore, as you venture further out the waves become stronger, perfect for boogie boarding.
Consider travelling to the beach early in the morning as the car park can become full quite quick.
Petite Terre is of the smaller islands located south-east just off shore of Grand-Terre.
You can get here by boat, some local vendors sail to it by catamaran offering lunch on board.
Once you arrive, you can see mesmerizing turquoise waters, white sand and palm trees dotted across the beach. Colourful hammocks are strung up between these palm trees which provide a meeting point for when you return to the boat, you can leave your belongings here and head off to explore.
There are some fantastic snorkeling spots where you may see turtles, lemon sharks, sting rays, giant conchs and a myriad of tropical fish.
Further inland, you’ll be amazed to see enormous hermit crabs and dozens of iguanas
This beach will definitely unlock the explorer in you.
Raisins Clairs can be found at the south-eastern coast of Grand-Terre, in the area of Saint Francois.
The beach here is beautiful with soft white sand that is shaded by tall palm trees – you might even see a vendor climb one of the trees to secure a bundle of coconuts. It is more a quieter beach compared to others mentioned so excellent if you are looking for a tranquil beach day out.
The water is gorgeous with clear, calm turquoise water, ideal for swimming and snorkelling in.
There are food trucks and a restaurant nearby that provide tasty food.
You can visit Soufleaur beach at Port Louis on the north-coast of Grand-Terre.
It’s a typical, postcard Caribbean beach with stunning white/golden sand and calm, turquoise waters that is great for swimming and snorkelling in.
One side of the beach has big waves that attracts surfers and boogie boarders.
But to get the best of your day at this beach, travel to the far end of the car park and where you will find private little pullouts for parking that lead to short footpaths to your own private beach, some complete with covered picnic tables.
There are food trucks that serve here so you grab a quick bite to eat too.
Check out the scenic beach of Petite-Havre. It can be found on the south coast of Grand-Terre, in the Mare Gailard region.
This is a little coved beach which is quiet and peaceful, perfect for a romantic stroll. It boasts stunning white sand and calm cerulean waters.
The strip of beach is small and tight that gives more space to calm, shallow waters but there is more room towards the palm trees.
Swimming can be limited by the fair amount of coral reef close to the shore, just be careful around here as it is quite sharp.
There are showers and clean bathrooms available.
Close by is a conveniently located restaurant where you can buy food and drink and even bring beer to your own secluded spot on the beach. Just be respectful and make sure to clean up after you.
Now, after a long day at the beach you may want to check out these mouthwatering restaurants!
Where to dine
There are many beautiful cuisines to taste in Guadeloupe that will surely cater to every ones needs…even the pickiest of eaters.
Try out some of highly rated restaurants when you go to Guadeloupe.
- Kawan Restaurant – La-haut Matouba, Deshaies (French, Caribbean)
- La Playa – Lieu Dit Bernard, Capesterre (French, Caribbean, Seafood)
- Pam – Le Rifflet, Deshaies (Italian, Pizza, European)
- KAZ A PAT – Boulevard des Poissonniers | À l’entrée de deshaies venant de st rose, Deshaies (Asian, French, Bar)
- Paradise Kafe – 83 Boulevard des Poissonniers, Deshaies (Chinese, Asian, Thai)
- Au bon Vivre – 31 Rue Jean Calot (Seafood, French, Caribbean)
- Le Metis Cafe – Salines Est, Saint Francois (French, Caribbean, European)
- Kote Sud – Route de l’Hotel Rotabas, Sainte-Anne (French, Caribbean, European)
Just like many other Caribbean islands, Guadeloupe has suffered a turbulent and difficult history.
The first inhabitants of the island where the Arawak Indians, they named the island Karukera, which means “the island with beautiful water”.
The Spanish tried to colonise the island when Columbus discovered it in 1493 but due to the powerful defenders of the Caribs they never managed to settle.
The French managed to colonise Guadeloupe in 1635 and was able to take control of island after defeating the Caribs.
During the Seven Years War (1756 to 1763), the British besieged Guadeloupe and took control from 1759 to 1763. It was during this time that the city of Pointe-à-Pitre was established.
The French Revolution made its way across the Atlantic to Guadeloupe, where the French rebelled a colonial assembly took control. The assembly remained in control for 3 years, then just 2 years later, slavery was abolished.
Slavery was reintroduced in 1802 and it would be almost 50 years before it was abolished again
The volcano La Soufrière threatened to erupt in the mid-1970s but it was Hurricane Hugo in 1989 truly delivered a punch to the island.
More recently Hurricane Irma caused destruction to the island in August 2017 and the island is still trying to recover from it but many establishments and public areas are back open again.