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Photos courtesy of French Government Tourist Office

The island of Guadeloupe is the most French of all the French West Indies. Shaped like a butterfly, it really is two different islands in one – the east side, Grand Terre, is mostly flat and dry, with a great deal of agriculture; to the west, Basse-Terre is a volcanic mountain island. La Soufriere is an active volcano, which causes abundant annual rainfall. It is also the sight of a National Park, containing one of the most beautiful and best preserved tropical forests in the region. This Park has over 300 kilometers of hiking trails. Guadeloupe also has many museums of its history and culture, as well as beautiful beaches.

Club Med has renovated its Caravelle club on Grand Terre. Other attractive hotels there include the Auberge de la Vielle Tour, by Sofitel, at Gosier; the Hotel Eden Palm at St. Anne; and Le Jardin Malanga, a restored plantation house and cottages at Trois Rivieres on Basse-Terre. On the offshore island of Marie Galante, stay at the Hotel La Cohaba.

As a further enhancement, Guadeloupe administers a number of smaller islands, including Les Saintes; Petite Terre; Le Desirade; and Marie Galante, with excellent beaches. Each of these is different, and provides special small-island experiences.

On Guadeloupe, some knowledge of French is virtually mandatory.

Not To Be Missed – Charter a sailboat and cruise for days among beautiful islands.

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