Amazing Day Trips to Take From St Martin by Boat

Philipsburg is popular with sailors visiting St Martin
Philipsburg is popular with sailors visiting St Martin | © Brian Jannsen / Alamy Stock Photo
Lexi Fisher

An eclectic fusion of French, Dutch, and Caribbean cultures, St Martin is a vibrant and rejuvenating holiday destination. Excellent restaurants, easily-accessible offshore islands, duty-free shopping, and shallow, sandy bays make day trips by boat a pleasure. Anse Marcel makes a great jumping-off point, whether you’re looking for serenity and seclusion or lively beach culture. So pack your bags and set sail for an unforgettable day on the water in St Martin.

Feast your eyes and your senses with a tour around St Martin.

Anguilla

North of St Martin, Anguilla is surrounded by shallow, sandy bays of impossibly blue water, secluded anchorages, and hidden coves. Horseback ride through Rendezvous Bay before heading around the island for a barbecue lunch at Roy’s Bayside Grill in Road Bay. Continue north along Crocus Bay, then check out Little Bay, barely big enough for a single boat, for some snorkeling and sunbathing in solitude.

Spend the morning in Marigot, the capital of French St Martin, sipping lattes and taking in the smells of freshly-baked baguettes. Walk the short but steep path up to Fort Louis, the 18th-century fortress overlooking the bay. On your way back, pick up sandwiches from one of the many bakeries and head north, just past the headland, to Lovers Beach. This tiny, secluded white-sand beach sits between a break in the rocky shoreline.

Tintamarre and Pinel Island

Clay-red cliff faces line the north side of the anchorage, contrasting the turquoise waters that surround this uninhabited offshore island. Spend the cooler morning hours walking to the wild, windswept cliffs on the eastern side. After lunch, cool off in the water and snorkel around the northern headland to explore the colourful reef, looking out for green sea turtles and southern stingrays.

Orient Beach and Green Cay

Orient Bay and its long sweep of beach, is a lively holiday area with boutique hotels, beachside cottages, restaurants, and watersports. Parasails glide high above the bay while windsurfers cruise along the horizon. Lounge on the beach with a cold cocktail, or make your way to the south section, where clothing is optional. For the best snorkeling, head across the bay to Green Cay.

Philipsburg

Many people travel to St Martin just for duty-free shopping, and there is no place better for it than the Dutch capital of Philipsburg. Anchor in the bay and make your way ashore to tour the latticework of streets lined with glossy handbags and glittering jewels. Make sure to check out the Guavaberry Emporium to try some of the island’s fruity, one-of-a-kind liqueur.

Simpson Bay and Maho Beach

Live the resort life for a day in Simpson Bay. Snorkel in Pelican Key, then head to Kim Sha beach to enjoy a cocktail under the shade of an umbrella at Buccaneer Beach Bar. For a once in a lifetime experience, the adventurous should dinghy over to Maho Beach at the end of the airport runway for the thrill of having a Boeing 747 airplane swoop shockingly low over your head.

Grand Case

For an excellent French meal, sail to Grand Case and spend the day exploring the culinary mecca of St Martin. Stroll down the narrow waterfront street where beach bars and boutiques overhang the sandy beach. Take your time browsing the sandwich boards of menus and daily specials, window shopping, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of this thriving tourist village.

Îlet Pinel

Iguanas roam freely on this tiny, sand-swept island just off the eastern coast of St Martin, where palm-thatched restaurants and beach umbrellas provide much-needed refuge from the sun. Walking paths meander across the dry, scrubby landscape to the rugged windward coastline. After you’ve worked up a sweat, cool off in the shallow sandy bay, or savour a refreshing local fruit plate from the Yellow Beach restaurant.

Explore some of the St Martin’s most beautiful spots at your own pace.

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