St Martin Beaches
Marigot © Tommy Miles
There are a number of good beaches on the French side of the island that are very popular with tourists. Orient Beach, the largest and most popular beach in St Martin, is known for watersports, and borders a number of shops, restaurants and beach bars. The southern end of the beach has been reserved as a nudist resort. Prune Beach (or Plum Bay) is frequented by surfers while Rouge Beach offers great snorkelling and is regarded as the island's most beautiful beach. Long Beach is on the border with Dutch St Maarten and has little shade and generally no breeze, so it is known as a hot spot. Le Galion Beach is the island's best windsurfing beach and has shallow, calm waters. Anse Marcel in the north is usually quiet and favoured by French tourists. Friars Bay, just north of Marigot, is backed by a lagoon containing various waterfowl, and just north of Friars is Happy Bay, beautiful and peaceful because of its inaccessibility. Reaching Happy Bay requires a 10-minute uphill walk from Friars.