LIVE OUT YOUR DREAM
Welcome to Grande-Terre, the smaller of the 2 butterfly wings that make up Guadeloupe. Although it’s flatter than its lowland twin, it’s no less colorful! Often nicknamed the little Brittany of the Antilles because of its abrupt cliffs that resemble those of the Breton peninsula, Grande-Terre is ideal for morning daydreaming. Start your morning with an underwater excursion on the islet of Le Gosier before spending a lazy afternoon on magnificent white-sand beaches dappled with shade. At the market, let yourself by amazed by the spectacle of the multi-colored stalls, then savor Creole know-how at a dinner on the Riviera.
The city of night!
Located in the steep terrain southeast of Pointe-à-Pitre, Le Gosier may not have the right landscape for intensive sugar cane plantations, but it has an ideal geographic location for making it Grande-Terre’s premier tourist resort!
Le Gosier owes its name to a species of pelicans known as the “Gran Gosier”, which for centuries has been nesting in the local forests of mangrove trees. And whereas the town’s economy was once rooted in coffee, cocoa and cotton, it’s now centered on tourism.
From the spectacular view from the Fort Fleur d’Epée, looking out on to the Cul-de-Sac Marin, to the beaches of Petit-Havre and Saint-Félix, you’ll discover a little corner of paradise by day or night. In fact, night owls will enjoy meeting up on Le Gosier’s beaches for some wild nights!
Size4 262 HA
Number of inhabitants25 360
Terre d’histoire et d’avenir !
Founded on the eastern coast of Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe’s former capital gets its name from the French word “môle”, meaning jetty. The area was once home to Amerindians from Central America, including the Arawaks and Caribs, until the colonial aristocracy established a base there in the early 18th century.
The small, oceanfront town has experienced multiple earthquakes as well as some occasionally devastating hurricanes, the most recent of which was in 1989. But numerous monuments remain standing in tribute to the city’s history. Admire the pre-Columbian treasures at the Edgar Clerc Museum, as well as the many vestiges of the colonial era, such as the Church of St Jean Baptiste and the old stone mill at the Neron plantation...
Le Moule is also a center of sugar cane production, where you can visit the only cane processing plant on Grande-Terre as well as numerous distilleries, including the House of Damoiseau!
With its historic monuments, ochre-sand beaches and international reputation as a surfing spot, Le Moule is more than ever a place where the past and future come together!
Size8 290 HA
Number of inhabitants20 927
City of the future!
First established as a parish in 1726, Les Abymes is the most populous city in Guadeloupe. Surrounded by swamps, mangroves and the gulf, the city gets its name (according to Père Labat) from the mist that forms from evaporation, which the locals called the “shroud of the savannah”.
Its dramatic history includes the slavery period, strikes by farmworkers and hurricanes, and it was only in 1846 that Les Abymes was established at its current location.
Built on Calvary Hill between 1855 and 1858 under the supervision of the Abbé Poujade, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, with its sculpture of Notre Dame de Guadeloupe, won’t fail to impress you!
Les Abymes is a booming city that absorbed several adjacent towns during the 1960s (Grand-Camp, Le Raizet, Petit-Pérou, La Croix, etc.) and has now emerged as a truly vibrant community.
Home to Guadeloupe’s Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport, Les Abymes offers an easy gateway to the islands of Guadeloupe!
Size8 125 HA
Number of inhabitants63 054
Rue Achille René Boisneuf
Les Abymes + 590 (0)5 93 80 80
Office de Tourisme
97139 Les Abymes + 590 (0)5 68 33 01
Shellfish and crustaceans!
Lying at the heart of Grande-Terre between mangrove forests, ocean seas and fields of sugar cane, the city of Morne-à-l’Eau is a primary destination for residents of northern Grande-Terre.
Initially established in an area known as Vieux-Bourg, the city changed location several times before arriving at its current site. Once a center of sugar cane production, Morne-à-l’Eau is now geared towards tourism.
And if you find yourself passing through the city, we dare you to visit its famous cemetery, featuring monumental tombs covered in black and white tile. For an out-of-the-ordinary culinary experience, taste the area’s numerous specialties made from crab.
If you’re looking for a relaxed, authentic experience, you’ll find everything you seek in Morne-à-l’Eau... and much more besides!
Size6 450 HA
Number of inhabitants17 154
The land of ancestors!
Named for the district’s smallest canal, dug by local workers in the 18th century in order to expand the town and allow barges to travel to Morne-à-l’Eau, Petit-Canal stretches across the full width of northern Grande-Terre.
The critical role played by the sugar industry is immediately apparent from the numerous sugar mills and miles of railway track – vestiges of the Duval processing plant.
The abolition of slavery was followed by years of social unrest in the mid-19th century, commemorated by the municipal government with several monuments. They include the incredible stairway of 49 stone steps – a truly remarkable novelty in this tropical setting and one you shouldn’t miss on any account!
With its meandering lanes, annual heritage festival, small fishing port and especially rich history, Petit-Canal invites you to discover a community with wide-ranging appeal!
Size6 600 HA
Number of inhabitants6 200
A city of history and the arts!
Located at the center of the Guadeloupe butterfly, Pointe-à-Pitre is also the island’s economic heart. Once a vast swamp surrounded by mountains until English settlers began construction there in 1759, Pointe-à-Pitre is now the subprefecture for Guadeloupe.
After the revolution, Victor Hugues expelled the English invaders and named the city’s famous square the “Place de la Victoire”.
And while the city hasn’t been spared by natural catastrophe, including hurricanes, earthquakes and fire, it has always come back. With its museums, public buildings, markets and port, the city certainly has no shortage of attractions to draw you in!
Pointe-à-Pitre is part of the larger municipal area known as CAP Excellence that includes the communes of Les Abymes and Baie-Mahault, and serves as the hub of the entire archipelago.
Number of inhabitants20 948
The land of sugar cane!
The rural seaside community of Port-Louis was for many years the centre of Grande-Terre’s sugar cane industry before becoming a Caribbean port. The changes in the town are reflected in its name:
it was once known as Pointe d’Antigues, and later as Port Libre. Today a vital Caribbean fishing port, Port-Louis reflects the blending of cultures typical of Guadeloupe.
Its attractions range from the Plage du Souffleur beach to the sugar cane museum, the maritime cemetery where the tombs are adorned with sea shells and the all-new shipping hub. Whether you’re interested in sport or culture, in Port-Louis the holidaymaker is king!
Size4 400 HA
Number of inhabitants5 580
Built on the middle of Grande-Terre’s southern coast, the city of Sainte-Anne (in Creole: Sentann’) extends from the seaside to the island’s interior. Sainte-Anne was the major town on Grande-Terre in the 17th century, before the rise of Pointe-à-Pitre, and its largest and wealthiest parish, overseen by the Capuchin friars. These days its focus is on the sea, its greatest source of wealth thanks to tourism!
For an exceptionally colorful cultural excursion, come watch one of the traditional local dances such as the Dansé Lewoz, the Gwo Ka or the Mayolé, a stick dance that dates from the somber days of the slave trade.
Alongside the old windmills reflecting its past as a sugar hub, its fishing port, its traditional dances and its idyllic coastline, the community can boast of some of the most beautiful beaches to be found on mainland Guadeloupe, including La Caravelle, the Bois Jolan and the Plage du Bourg.
From the magnificent Caravelle beach lined with coconut trees to the emerald green waters of Bois Jolan, you’ll find a place of enchantment!
Size8 027 HA
Number of inhabitants20 410
City of sport and culture!
Considered one of the biggest centres of tourism in all of Guadeloupe, Saint-François is the ultimate in seaside communities, located at the extreme southeastern tip of Grande-Terre.
Since the closing of the last sugar processing plant, Saint-François’s economy has been primarily based on tourism.
With its hotels and restaurants, its international golf course designed by the celebrated architect Robert Trent Jones, its regional airport, its marina and natural sites that include the famous Pointe-des-Châteaux peninsula, protected by France’s National Forests Office, Saint-François offers a wide range of sporting and cultural activities.
Size6 100 HA
Number of inhabitants10 659
The island that takes your breath away
Formerly a haven for the last Island Caribs at the extreme northern tip of Grande-Terre, Anse-Bertrand was part of Port-Louis until 1737. This small rural community, home to cotton and sugar cane plantations since the 17th century, offers an authentic setting and a warm welcome, stretching from the famous Madame Coco Hole, a cave dug out of the cliffside by the Atlantic Ocean, to the magnificent beaches at Anse Laborde and the heavenly setting of the Porte d’Enfer (Gates of Hell).
In addition, if you love horse racing, Anse-Bertrand is home to the region’s only race track.
Come celebrate Easter and Pentecost Sunday in Anse-Bertrand to discover the range of local folklore in a breathtaking setting!
Size5 380 HA
Number of inhabitants5 023