St. Martin St. Maarten: One magnificent island.
St. Martin St. Maarten, which is it? Wondering why one island has two names?
In 1648, one Frenchman and one Dutchman stood back to back at one end of the island and set off walking in opposite directions. The point where they met up at the other end of the island concluded the line of demarcation between Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten.
The uneven division was not without controversy. The Dutch accused the Frenchman, who had walked farther, of running. The French explained away the Dutchman’s slower gate on his choice of gin over wine to hydrate. Nevertheless, the boundary was official, and the island is still divided roughly 61/39.
St. Martin St. Maarten: Double the Fun
Today, St Martin St Maarten offers a delightful mélange of Caribbean, French and Dutch cultures, plus 117 more. In all, over 120 nationalities are represented that include communities from other Caribbean islands, South America, Asia and Africa. This diversity is proudly manifest through customs, cuisine, attractions and offerings.
The physical diversity ranges from gentle hills to forested mountains that tumble down to white sand beaches.
The island is 34 square miles, with 37 gorgeous beaches. There is surf for surfing and kitesurfing, ripple-free shallows and snorkeling trails for kids, scuba dive sites, paddle board spots and miles of powder white sand for sunning. Le Galion reef and coral beach is a top surf spot.
The French side has an air of Caribbean refinement, France with a dash of carefree abandon. Shopkeepers choose their merchandise with great care, galleries represent exceptional artists, and island living has attracted many superb French chefs.
The Dutch side is more multi-cultural and more congested. There are restaurants of every description, from Caribbean barbecue to Indonesian buffet. The duty-free shops are busy, you can roll the dice at 13 different casinos, and entertainment lasts until dawn.
The Best of Two Worlds
On a luxury yacht charter in St. Martin St. Maarten, you can anchor off the French side in the afternoon and off the Dutch side at night. Spend the morning in Philipsburg’s alleys of gingerbread architecture and duty-free shops. Then lunch in Grand Case, the French culinary capital. Spend the afternoon sunning and swimming at a family friendly beach or a clothing optional beach.
St. Martin St. Maarten is enjoyed by everyone. There are many family-friendly attractions, from candy shops and carousels to dining and zip-lining at Loterie Farm. Groups of friends can explore clothing optional beaches, dance to live music and try their luck at glitzy casinos. Be romantic at cozy French cafés, indulgent at spa treatments for two and decadent with cocktails on deck beneath the stars.
Before your flight home, spend your final moments at the Sunset Bar & Grill, right at the end of the runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. It could blow you away. Literally.
St. Martin St. Maarten is easy to reach with many scheduled flights to Princess Juliana International Airport, IATA SXM. The island is a favorite port of embarkation for private charter yachts with itineraries that include the nearby Leeward islands.
Discover more about luxury yacht charter in St. Martin-St. Maarten:
Caribbean Christmas: Select Yachts Overview in Mega Yacht News