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Cupecoy Beach auf Sint Marteen, Bild: Steve Heap / shutterstock

St. Martin & Sint Maarten – One Island, 2 Countries

One of the peculiarities of the Caribbean is that the distance between two islands can be as little as an hour and you can still find yourself in a completely new world. This contrast is particularly evident when heading from a destination to the island of Sint Maarten. The peace and tranquillity that can be found on many of the smaller islands is exchanged here for cosmopolitanism and a permanently active nightlife. St. Maarten has become the pulse of the Caribbean and is now a sought-after destination for vacationers from all over the world. The island itself can boast some interesting features.

The divided island of St. Martin & Sint Maarten

Happy Bay Beach
Happy Bay Beach, Image: Stephanie Rousseau / shutterstock

A special feature of the island still shapes life here today: St. Martin is an overseas territory of two European nations. Only here is there a separate border crossing in the middle of the Caribbean on one of the islands. It is possible to cross the French and Dutch sides (Sint Maarten belonged to the Netherlands Antilles until 2010) with relatively little effort, because even before the introduction of freedom of movement through Schengen, there were corresponding agreements between the originally colonial masters of the island. It is perhaps this peculiarity that has ensured that the reputation of St. Martin and its cosmopolitanism has emerged. Meanwhile, the island is not only popular with tourists who want to experience a little of the island’s culture, but also the jet set, i.e. the rich and famous, are regular guests on the island.

If you want to go on holiday to St. Martin – or Sint Maarten – you have a wide variety of models available. On the one hand, of course, there is the classic relaxing holiday in the Caribbean. On no other island have so many luxurious resorts and hotels been built in the last two decades, where holidaymakers can simply unwind and be pampered. The walk to one of the wonderful white sandy beaches is short and within a short time you are on an adventure of swimming, exploring, feasting and diving. But adventure holidays are also possible on the island. Those who come to the island for parties will not be disappointed either.

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What is there to see on St. Martin?

St. Martin
View of St. Martin, Image: Multiverse / shutterstock

Compared to other Caribbean islands, St. Martin is rather flat and therefore there are no large volcanoes to dominate the picture. Instead, it is mainly the beaches that enjoy a high degree of popularity and popularity all over the world. They can be found everywhere. The most famous of them even runs directly under the approach path of the island’s airport and is known for the pictures of tourists who can almost touch the undersides of the planes on their approach. Of course, the two capitals of the island are also of special charm. Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch part, for example, is known for still having the charm of the colonial era and offers tourists an interesting insight into the era.

If you want to see a little more of the island, you can rent a car and take a tour around the island either on your own or with guides. Even today, traces and testimonies of the past can be found here, showing a little of the island’s eventful history. In the end, however, you always end up on a beach and can enjoy this wonder of nature when you plunge into the waters at 28 to 42 degrees in summer and enjoy the pure sea. If you are a fan of diving, St. Martin is also the perfect base for your own activities. The seas of the Caribbean are not known all over the world for nothing. Many old ships from the time of the settlers can also be found on St. Martin and the seabed is an adventure playground for those who seek their fortune below sea level.

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Culinary delights and life on the island of St. Martin

Philipsburg Aircraft
Everyone knows this sight. The landing of the planes in the capital Philipsburg, Image: Just dance / shutterstock

Compared to other islands in the region, St. Martin is more European. This means that there is a typical restaurant and club life here, which you would also find at a holiday resort on the mainland. Nevertheless, the Caribbean charm remains, which can be found especially in the restaurants. The combination of European cuisine with Caribbean cuisine is interesting and conjures up many an exciting dish. If you still feel like doing something afterwards, you will certainly find a place in the many clubs and bars that make up the famous nightlife of the island.