Guadeloupe includes the butterfly-shaped islands of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, as well as the nearby, smaller islands of La Desirade, Marie-Galante and Les Saintes. Columbus discovered the archipelago in 1493, which became a French colony in 1635 and a French overseas territory in 1946. This results in a strong French influence, from the ingredients and food to the currency of Guadeloupe. The islands not only offer white sand beaches, but also tropical rainforests with a variety of animal species as well as the highest waterfall in the Caribbean. Basse-Terre consists of rugged, volcanic terrain, while Grande-Terre presents itself with a hilly to flat landscape. There are also green mountain ranges with breathtaking and unspoilt tropical landscapes in Guadeloupe, and the islands are a real paradise for divers. Jacques Cousteau even ranked them among the ten best diving areas in the world. But there are also numerous restaurants and bars as well as dance clubs in Guadeloupe, where you can experience typical music and dance styles. Guadeloupe’s most famous dance is the biguine, to which colorful Creole costumes are still worn today. Don’t forget to try the rum punch. See other countries in North America on historyaah.
Arriving by plane
Condor (DE) flies once a week from Frankfurt/M. non-stop to Pointe-a-Pitre. Air Caraïbes (TX), Guadeloupe’s national airline, Air France (AF) and Corsair (SS) have non-stop flights from Paris (Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly) to Guadeloupe. Feeder flights to Paris are offered by Lufthansa (LH) from Germany, Austrian Airlines (OS) from Austria and Swiss (LX) from Switzerland.
Frankfurt/M. – Guadeloupe: 9 hours 45 minutes (non-stop with Condor) or 14 hours 5 minutes (with a stopover in Paris); Vienna – Guadeloupe: 14 hrs 30 mins (with stopover); Zurich – Guadeloupe: 12 hours 30 minutes (with stopover).
Arrival by car
Tolls: There are no toll roads on Guadeloupe. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by ship
In Guadeloupe’s main port, in Pointe-à-Pitre, cruise ships dock and ferries and hydrofoils depart for the Caribbean islands of Martinique and St. Lucia, among others.
The shipping companies Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seabourn have Guadeloupe on their cruises coming from the USA. Seabourn also offers cruises that depart from Lisbon, Portugal and call at Guadeloupe.
L’Express des Iles ferries regularly connect Pointe-à-Pitre with Martinique and St. Lucia, among others.
Traveling by plane
Air Caraïbes (TX) connects Pointe-à-Pitre with Marie-Galante daily. Charter flights between the islands are available from various providers.
Traveling by car/bus
Guadeloupe’s road network is around 2,000 km long and well developed. The Pont de la Gabare bridge over the Salée connects the two main islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. On Basse-Terre the roads are often very steep and difficult to drive on. Toll: There are no toll roads. Gas stations are sufficiently available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The roads are in good condition.
Car rentals are available in Pointe-à-Pitre downtown and at the airport, as well as in other cities. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held their driver’s license for at least one year. For drivers under the age of 26, an additional young driver fee is sometimes charged on site. Local providers are often cheaper than international ones.
Taxis are available everywhere. The fare should be agreed in advance and is considerably higher between 9pm and 7am and on Sundays and public holidays than at other times.
Bicycles and scooters can be rented.
There is a good public bus network. Buses run from Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre to all towns.
Traffic regulations: – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. – A measuring device for determining alcohol must be carried along. – A fire extinguisher must be present in the car. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – on country roads: 90 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
The national driving license is sufficient.
Traveling in the city
Due to their small size, the island towns can be explored very well on foot or you can order a taxi or stop it on the street. In Pointe-à-Pitre, a small train on rubber wheels offers city tours.
Locally on the way by train
There is no rail transport on Guadeloupe.
Traveling by ship
There are regular ferry services between the islands. CTM Deher ferries operate daily between Trois-Rivières and the islands of Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut, and between Basse-Terre and Terre-de-Haut. Icigo connects Trois-Rivières with Les Saintes and Saint François and Pointe-à-Pitre with Marie-Galante and Les Saintes.