Welcome to the island of Marie Galante, located south of Guadeloupe and composed of the towns of Grand Bourg, Saint-Louis and Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante. It is in surface area (158 km2), the largest of the three islands that surround Guadeloupe (La Desirade and Les Saintes). This islands that can be reached by sea transport and an aerodrome, has kept all its charm of yesteryear. The pace of life is peaceful, the environment and landscapes are preserved with the “hundred mills” and pools that once served as a water point for consumption and everyday activities. In terms of activities this island is quite diverse with its hiking, beautiful white sand beaches and homes that are the only to titrate a rum to 59 degrees in Guadeloupe. You will necessarily find your happiness between nautical, pedestrian and cultural activities. In terms of services, the island is home to artisans with shops, restaurants with beautiful settings and various atmospheres. You will find banks, stations, gas stations in each municipality. The island is quite large, so it is better to rent a car on your arrival in the town of Grand Bourg.
The island has many things sites to discover such as its trails and preserved beaches.
Access by boat
To access the island of Marie-Galante, you have two main accesses from Guadeloupe by sea transport. From the Bergevin Marine Guard located in Pointe-à-Pitre and the ferry terminal of Saint-François, you will have 45 minutes to 1 hour crossing.
We left from Pointe-à-Pitre. For schedules and reservations, check the website of the company “Express des îles”. Other companies exist but we were satisfied with it. The crossing may be hectic on the way out, predict the seasickness if you fear it.
When you arrive in Grand-Bourg, it is better to rent a car because the island is big. (Plan ahead). Many local or more familiar companies (Hertz) exist on the island.
To reach the start of the hike, leaving from Grand Bourg, join the N9, towards the town of Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante. You will cross the town of Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante and then go along the coast. Stop at the junction for a view of the east coast. This is the starting point of the hike. There is no parking, so you will have to park a little before on the roadside.
The east coast trail
The East Coast Trail is a loop that will offer you magnificent panoramic views of the white sand beaches and flush rocks. The walk is accessible to all the family and is 7 to 8 kilometers round trip. The walking time is from 2h to 2h30 with a positive elevation of 190 m.
Beware of the harmful effects of the sun, hiking in the sun.
The trail begins on the road by a slope taking you in front of the Forest Domaniale Littoral “Les Galets”. From here you can contemplate the different landscapes around you.
You will observe on your right, a cross on the cliff. This is another path that we will also discover, “The Galleries Trail“.
To continue the east coast trail, turn left and walk along the wooden barriers.
The show is at the rendezvous between the waves drawing the coast and the white sand beach on the horizon approaching step by step. The entrance to the beach is near a small car park.
The scenery changes again and you will go along this beach of white sand that contains shell of all kinds. A real treasure. You will have to pass rockier passages where you will have the pleasure to benefit from the misting effect of the waves smashing on the rocks.
And if this effect is not enough for you, bathing in turquoise waters can be a very good idea. Be careful, however, around the small natural pools formed by rocks, you can have sea urchins that can tickle your feet.
Another fifteen minutes to walk and then you will arrive at the feet of Morne Constant. From the slope of this dull, you will have a magnificent panorama on the coast.
End of the trail, you can either continue to the Roches Noires and Piton Cove (implying that you have left a car at Borée) or retrace your steps by the same path. We turned around in the heat and found a path through the meadows on the way back to the east coast road.
The path is located halfway, shortly after the cattle pens, you will see one of the many ponds on the island on your left.
You will join the road and you will only have to walk to the starting point of the hike.
To you to discover it now!
Ø Traffic on the island of Marie-Galante: Prefer the rental of a vehicle because the island is quite large. You will enjoy driving on this island between landscapes and very fluid traffic, you will have no time constraints, a real pleasure.
Ø Equipments : good pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes bag with (knife, rain coat, lamp, hats or caps, sun glasses, sun cream and mosquito repellent).
– Difficulty: 4 out of 10, possible course for the whole family following the physical condition. Trail in full sun, adapted shoes because rocky passage.
-Take your time and go as you wish, plan the time that you will need depending on your physical condition.
-Important tip: always have a bottle of water per person and a snack in your bag.
-Normally, always start hiking at the earliest in the morning. The daytime heat during minimal sports activity can become quite stifling. This hike is largely in the shade in the forest except on the course health.
Various: other hikes can be found in the surroundings, the Galleries Trail or Caye-Plate and the ballad of Anse du Coq. You can also go back to the town of Capesterre-de-Marie-Galante to enjoy and eat on the Plage de la Feuillère. You can visit the Bellevue Distillery and discover the many mills located in the surrounding area (Moulin de Borée, Moulin de Boulogne, …).
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OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide