Third largest island of the French West Indies, Marie Galante is mostly preserved from mass tourism and stands out due to its numerous mills, mainly used for the production of sugar and rum
A diameter of 158 km2, a round shape and a flat topography have earned the island the nickname of “the big biscuit”… During the colonial era, Marie Galante developed the cultivation of numerous agricultural products such as indigo, tobacco, coffee and even cotton. Since the 17th century, the vast majority of the agricultural activity is nonetheless dedicated to the crop of sugar cane. In order to grind the sugar crops, no less than 106 mills were built on Marie Galante, a particularity that has given the island its other nickname: “the isle of a hundred mills”. The juice created by this grinding process is used for the production of sugar and rum. Nowadays, Marie Galante still counts a sugar refinery and it is not rare to get a glimpse of ox carts wandering next to the three distilleries of the island. The rum commercialized by these distilleries, labeled the best rum in the world by locals, has an alcoholic strength of 59° and is used in various dishes, served all around the island. Numerous remnants and traces from the plantation economy are still present today. Indeed, you can contemplate more than 70 towers, among which two restored windmills, colonial habitats and old sugar refineries. It is with the utmost pleasure that our collaborator will guide you along the different trails leading to these many historical ruins.
A truly authentic island
Despite the development of tourism, Marie Galante managed to conserve the authenticity that characterizes the West Indies. The biodiversity and the heritage of the island have thus been perfectly preserved, allowing the visitor to admire the beautiful rural landscapes. You could also choose to relax on the numerous sandy beaches of the island, with palm trees protecting you from the warm sun. In 1993, UNESCO classified the isle of Marie Galante as a “biosphere reservation” and, thanks to this new status, various species, both animal and vegetal, are now protected. Furthermore, if the hotel industry is present, it remains discrete. In fact, the local islanders usually adopt an atypical way of life, filled with traditions and authenticity as well as with modernity. You could also take part in one of the numerous activities proposed on the island: nautical sports, hiking, discovery of the island while riding an ox cart, but also visit museums, sites or breath-taking sceneries present all around the isle.
Sand beaches and palm trees
You may have the opportunity to rest on one of the marvelous sand beaches of « Capesterre-de-marie-galante », « l’anse de Mays » or « Canot ». A true ode to the beauty of the island, the town of « Capesterre-de-marie-galante », surrounded by the vivid blue water of a sublime lagoon as well as by a large coral reef that perfectly showcases the biodiversity of the region, offers a peaceful atmosphere like no other. The town is furthermore the starting point of various hikes and trails. You will also find a small haven where you can buy some of the finest seafood of the French West Indies. Tarzan puts at your disposal, for an entire day, a passionate guide who will show you the folklore, customs and beauties offered by the “Isle of a hundred mills”.
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