Caribbean getaway tip: Try St. Martin's tranquil Le Galion beach
During our recent tropical island getaway to St. Maarten/St. Martin, the Island Runaways oohed and aahed over the bright turquoise seas at Mullet Bay beach and the secluded splendor of Baie Rouge or Red Bay. Both beaches were alive with the sound of waves and crashing surf; Mullet Bay especially was popular with body borders and even surfers. Yet we'd come to St. Martin with our littlest "island runaway" and so eventually we wanted someplace tranquil and soothing to swim. Did we succeed in our mission? Take a look:
(The calm waters we were thrilled to discover. Photo (c) Island Runaways/Z.A.)
Fortunately, one guidebook suggested a beach that initially we had not noticed on our road map of this half-Dutch, half-French island. Called Le Galion, it's situated on the French side of the isle, just down the road from the one of St. Martin's most popular attractions, the Butterfly Farm. Off we set in our trusty little rental hatchback. Fortunately, this beach didn't prove difficult to find. We parked in a small dirt lot, and soon we were carrying our beach towels out onto the sand.
(The calm seas of Le Galion beach. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
Toward the left, we spotted a beach-side restaurant, and a place to rent lounge chairs and kayaks. This side of the beach bustled with families enjoy the calm ocean waters. In fact, we realized that if we'd turned into the more crowded parking lot, we could have parked just beside the restaurant (called Tropical Wave) and been in the middle of all the action.
(Chairs and umbrellas for rent. Photo (c) Island Runaways/Z.A.)
While all these amenities seemed very convenient, in the other directions we spotted an almost-deserted stretch of beautiful sand...
(The sea looked so appealing. Photo (c) Island Runaways/Z.A.)
The lack of throngs on this side of the beach surprised me, because the water appeared equally inviting. In the end, the three of us decided to experience the best of both worlds: lunch at the restaurant, and then install ourselves down toward the other side, where we practically had the beach to ourselves. The water was just as clean and clear as it looked from a distance. And the best part, at least for us that day? Waves that came ashore as calm ripples. It turns out, Le Galion is a perfect spot to swim and float and simply relax in the sun. I'm glad we went exploring, and if tranquillity and smooth seas are important to you, be sure to stop at Le Galion if you're ever in St. Martin.
(What gorgeous scenery. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
To reach Le Galion, head to the east side of St. Martin. Le Galion is south of the famous Orient Beach. Make for the Butterfly Farm, and then keep driving east, in the direction of the coastline.
Do you have a favorite beach you'd like to recommend? Be sure to post a tip on our Guest Island Experts page. Thanks, fellow island lovers!