Often abbreviated as St. Barts in English or St. Barth in French, Saint Barthélemy is an island in the French West Indies in the Caribbean. Travellers venturing to this island can rent a car via Skyscanner and enjoy stunning ocean views found all around this tropical island.
Saint Barthélemy Car Rental Options
Since Saint Barthélemy is an island, travellers heading to the island must arrive via airplane or boat. For those travelling by airplane, Gustaf III Airport, or Saint Barthélemy Airport, provides transportation. Since it is a small airport, it cannot accept airplanes larger than 20-seaters. As a result, many visitors arrive at the larger nearby airport in Saint Maarten, the Princess Juliana International Airport, and then take a smaller charter to Saint Barthélemy, which is a 10-minute jaunt.
The Saint Barthélemy Airport offers travellers several car rental options on-site, including Budget, Soleil Caraibe, and Sixt. Other rental companies on the island include Avis, Europcar, Thrifty, and Turbe Car Rental. Drivers can choose from a variety of vehicle types, including convertibles, four-wheel-drive, and luxury cars. Some companies even offer electric vehicles. Travellers should opt for automatic cars unless they are comfortable changing gears constantly due to the steep hills.
Tips for Driving in the Area
Because the island is so small, it only takes drivers about 20 minutes to get to almost anywhere. All the roads are two lanes, with the main road being D209, but there are blind corners throughout the area. For those parking in tight traffic areas, they should pull in the driver's side mirror; otherwise, it might get snapped off.
The island only has two gas stations, and both are not open on Sundays. The one near the airport has hours on Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until noon and then 2 until 7 p.m. The other one is in Lorient and open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The station near the airport has an all-night credit card gas pump, but on occasion foreign credit cards do not work.
Must-See Attractions in Saint Barthélemy
With an average of 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, Saint Barthélemy has plenty of shoreline to enjoy. The island boasts more than 20 different beaches, all of which are free. One such beach is Baie St-Jean, which is popular for snorkelling and windsurfing. The beach is just 1 kilometre from the airport, so travellers can watch the planes. For a more tranquil visit, they can trek to the south side of Eden Rock, which separates the beach into two.
Another popular spot is the Anse de Grand Cul-de-Sac beach, found 5 kilometres from the airport and on the northeast side of the island. With reef-protected waters, this beach is a favourite of water-sport enthusiasts as they enjoy kite surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking.
For those who want a break from the beach, they can check out the island's capital Gustavia and all its shopping. Designer brands have shops in the city, which is just 2 kilometres from the airport. As a bonus, the island does not have tax on goods.
For travellers venturing to Saint Barthélemy, they can download the Skyscanner app to help them find cheap flights, car rentals, and hotels. Then they can enjoy all this Caribbean island has to offer without paying too much.