There are fourteen beaches on St. Barths, all blessed with gleaming white sand. Few are crowded, even in peak season. All are public and free. Nudism is ostensibly prohibited; topless is not unusual.
For beaches with hotels, restaurants, and water sports, Grand Cul de Sac fits the bill, as does St. Jean, which is actually two beaches divided by the Eden Rock promontory.
There is a smattering of hotels and restaurants at Flamands, a huge stretch of white sand fringed with lantier palms.
The village of Corossol verges on a lovely beach that serves the practical purpose of a fishing port.
The beaches at Marigot and Lorient are secluded and quiet, favored on Sundays by island families.
Petit Cul de Sac is secluded, and usually very quiet; Toiny is wild and beautiful, not for the faint hearted.
Gouverneur is serene; Saline is well worth the hike over the sand dune.
Shell Beach can be reached on foot from Gustavia; Public, pronounced "poobleek", near the commercial pier, is fine for a quick dip.
Hardest to get to is Colombier, reachable by boat from Gustavia or by a half- hour hike down a scenic path.
This beach is a short walk from Gustavia, and the scene of many weekend festivities. Restaurant Do Brazil is on the beach.
It's a bit of a drive to get there, but the reward is a feeling of remoteness and privacy.
While nudism is officially forbidden in St. Barths, it is most likely to be practiced here. Happily, this beach is a favored haunt of the most comely women and the most handsome men.
This beach is popular with surfers. Yet it is not recommended for swimming as the currents are strong.
Because of the depth of the bay, and the size of the fringing reef, the water here is usually quite calm.
Petit Cul de Sac
This beach borders a shallow, well protected bay, and the water is warm and relatively calm. There are several restaurants and hotels on this beach, as well as a windsurfing rental station.
Grand Cul de Sac
Edged by coconut palms, Marigot Beach is a tranquil nature reserve with beautiful crystalline waters — ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
Favored by surfers, due to the usual onshore breeze, and adjacent to the Hotel Manapany.
Anses des Cayes
This long and deep beach can have impressive rolling surf during the winter months. though swimming is rarely hazardous. Hotel St. Barth Isle de France and La Langouste are handy for lunch or a drink.
This beach is still called "Rockefeller's Beach", because, for many years, David Rockefeller owned the property that surrounds it. It is a popular Sunday picnic spot for local folk, who traditionally camp out for the night during Easter weekend.
The fishing village behind this beach remains a typical example of the traditional style of local life.