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French West Indies

Baguettes and cheese in the Caribbean

date of entry 31/03/2008
mileage 628,297

Saint Martin

capital Marigot

area 91,9 km²

population 77.741

official language France

Guadeloupe

capital Basse-Terre

area 1.628 km²

population 404.635

official language French

Martinique

capital Fort-de-France

area 1.128 km²

population 392.291

official language French

The islands of the French Antilles – St Martin, Guadeloupe and Martinique – belong to France and, therefore, to the EU, but because of their location and the autonomy granted to them, they are actually independent territories. The Holtorfs and Otto travelled through the islands on a tour of the Caribbean in 2008. The most difficult part of the journey was finding a suitable boat for the crossings, because many of the islands are not connected with one another by ferry. Like all the French overseas territories, the Antilles are a relatively expensive place to stay. But the Holtorfs enjoyed being able to buy fresh baguettes and good cheese.
  • Beaches like these can be found all along the coast.
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  • Only half of the island of St Martin is French. The other half is called Sint Maarten and belongs to the Netherlands.
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  • In contrast, Guadeloupe is French in its entirety, but just as much of a paradise holiday destination as St Martin.
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  • The impressive cemeteries indicate the strong Creole influence on the culture of the islands.
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  • The sunsets are spectacular.
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  • Otto was among the larger cars on Martinique.
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  • Alongside tourism, fishing is one of the main sources of income for the island.
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  • The majority of the population is Catholic. There are magnificent churches all over the island.
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  • European architecture is often combined with the bright colours of the Caribbean.
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  • Video: The French Antilles – in the Caribbean euro zone