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Introducing St Barths

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A view of Gustavia Harbour ©

St Barths is a tiny and luxuriant Caribbean island famous for its beauty and wealthy visitors. Its full name is Saint-Barthélemy and it is an overseas dependency of France, from where the majority of the island's inhabitants originate. St Barths was also once a Swedish colony, a curious fact commemorated in the name of the capital, Gustavia.

There are 23 beaches on the island, all magnificent and relatively secluded. Overall, St Barths is surprisingly undeveloped, preserving much of its small-town character and natural beauty. Celebrities flock here to enjoy to the seclusion afforded by the private villa-style accommodation, absence of mass tourism and top-quality restaurants.

The period between Christmas and Easter is referred to as The Season and is when the majority of visitors come to enjoy St Barth's many distractions. Apart from its shopping, dining and reclining, there is wonderful diving, sport fishing and excellent wind-surfing.

There is no crime whatsoever here, and people invariably great strangers and friends alike with a hearty "bonjour!"

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