Seniors Seek “Francophonie” in Terre-de-Haut

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Terre-de-Haut Island is an island in the Îles des Saintes archipelago, in the Lesser Antilles. The island in the tiny Les Saintes archipelago just south of Guadeloupe is a little slice of Francophone heaven in the midst of the Caribbean.

You seniors who island hop in the Caribbean may already know of this area. It is the most populous island of the archipelago of les Saintes. Looks to me a like a great place to “get away from it all and unwind”. Travel ads note that “visitors are free to explore without modern-day intrusion.”

The island lives on fishing and tourism. The fishermen are recognized through the Caribbean islands as being among the best. The Bay of Les Saintes is said to be one of the most beautiful bays of the world. Like its island neighbor Terre-de-Bas, it holds its name from the maritime vocabulary which called the islands exposed to the wind, highland and those protected from the wind, lowlands.

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Small villages are seen spread out in the rolling hills in the interior. Fond-du-Curé, the most important village of the island is located in a natural harbor. Yachts and huge cruise ships are a common sight in the harbor. Read what Huffington Post has to say about Terre-de-Haut.

 Seniors Enjoy French Ambiance

The beaches on Terre-de-Haut are beautiful. There’s Pain de Sucre, a miniature version of Rio’s Sugar Loaf, a perfect arc of a beach best in the early morning and late afternoon when the day-trippers from Guadeloupe aren’t around and the water is stunningly clear. The island’s most popular beach, Plage de Pompierre, is studded with coconut trees, but be aware that it is typically full of people (and goats!).

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Here’s Fodor’s take on the island: “Part of Iles des Saintes, a group of eight tiny islands off the coast of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Terre-de-Haut is blissfully low-key. Home to Les Saintes’ only accommodations and a population of 1,500, this hilly and photogenic five-square-mile island has a distinctly French ambience—think a less-flashier St. Barths—and is ideal for a simple yet sensuous romantic escape where the raison d’etre is relaxation by day and delicious food and fine wine at night.

There’s just one tiny town, bistro-lined Bourg, an historic fort with panoramic views, and plenty of colorful cottages and grazing goats ready for their close-up. Frommer’s joins in with their take on the island.

The Euro is coin of the realm and credit cards are widely accepted. A small airport built in 1973 welcomes private planes from Guadeloupe and other Caribbean islands. Experienced guests note that Terre-de-Haut marries its Frenchness and its Caribbeanness in a hybrid that can only imperfectly be described as idyllic.

So yank up your anchor and head out for Terre-de-Haut. Senior visitors will discover Terre-de-Haut to be unspoiled with wonderful French and Creole dishes. Enjoy.  jeb

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