Often abbreviated to St-Barth in French, and St. Barths or St. Barts in English, the island lies about 35 kilometres (22 mi) south-east of the Caribbean island Saint Martin and north-east of the Dutch islands of Saba, Sint Eustatius, and the independent country of Saint Kitts and Nevis. , The road that runs parallel to the harbour face of the sea called the Rue de la Republique and two other roads connect to the two arms of the U-shaped bay. In 2003 the island voted in favour of secession from Guadeloupe in order to form a separate overseas collectivity (collectivité d'outre-mer, abbreviated to COM) of France.  Christopher Columbus was the first European to encounter the island in 1493. Its English language abridged version is published as St. Barth Weekly only during the winter months (for Anglophone tourists). The Caribbean’s most elite, most expensive island lives up to its reputation as an adult sandbox, where the rich and famous air-kiss over glasses of rosé. Several international airlines and domestic Caribbean airlines operate in this sector. The fort built in 1787 over a hill slope has ruins of ramparts, guardhouse, munitions depot, wood-burning oven and so forth. Receive exclusive travel deals, insider tips, inspiration, breaking news updates, and more. It also houses a library. November through June is the best time to visit St. Bart's. The new status took effect on 15 July 2007, when the first territorial council was elected, according to the law. However, the island has three FM radio channels, out of which two operate via repeaters. The Caribbean, the birthplace of the calypso, méringue, soca, zouk and reggae music influence the culture tremendously. A French Carnival in February / March held for two weeks before. The height of tourism is New Year's Eve, with celebrities and the wealthy converging on the island in yachts up to 170 metres (550 feet) in length for the occasion. The island has over 70 restaurants serving many dishes and others are a significant number of gourmet restaurants; many of the finest restaurants are located in the hotels. A rock wall encircles the church.  The marine aquafauna is rich in conch, which has pearly-pink shells.  The national holidays observed are the Bastille Day and St. Barthélemy Day (day of adoption of French Constitution). This beach was subject to the strong waves of hurricane Lenny in 1999, which resulted in erosion of the sand. Important plants noted on the island include flamboyant trees, frangipanis, sabal palms, wild trumpet and Manchineel trees. Bartholomew: Sweden's Colonial and Diplomatic Adventure in the Caribbean' in. Although the climate is essentially arid, the rainfall does average 1,000 millimetres (40 inches) annually, but with considerable variation over the terrain. One of the major teams on the island is "Les Barracudas," named after the ferocious fish of the Caribbean. , In the early 1990s, the island had two cooking schools: the Saint Barts Cooking School which emphasizes classical French cuisine, and Cooking in Paradise which emphasizes creole cuisine. These are: The leatherback sea turtles which have leather skin instead of a shell and are the largest of the type found here, some times measuring a much as 3 metres (10 feet) (average is about 1.5 m or 5 ft) and weighing about 450 (jellyfish is their favourite diet); the hawksbill turtles, which have hawk-like beaks and found near reefs, generally about 90 centimetres (35 inches) in diameter and weigh about 60 and their diet consists of crabs and snails; and the green turtles, herbivores which have rounded heads, generally about 90 centimetres (35 inches) in diameter and live amidst tall sea grasses. … The eastern part of the island is greener as it receives more rainfall. Races of 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) are conducted when children, women and men participate in the races. There are many pharmacies dispensing medicines. [page needed], Until 2007 the whole island of St. Barthélemy was a French commune (commune de Saint-Barthélemy), forming part of Guadeloupe which is an overseas région and overseas département of France. The Scandinavian … On the opposite side of the island, near the airport, St.-Jean is a diminutive strip of colorful boutiques and beach bars that has been compared to St.-Tropez. The island sustained damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017 but recovered quickly, and by early 2018 transport and electricity were largely operational. , The island proved economically unsuccessful, and was subject to the activities of pirates (most notably Daniel Montbars aka 'Montbars the Exterminator'), as well as the British, who attacked the island in 1744. Avoid the rainy season in September, October, and November, when many establishments close. Discovered by Christopher Columbus more than five centuries ago, today St Barts is a thriving island paradise dedicated to providing the finest luxury to the world’s most discerning … Barts. The population is mainlyconcentrated around the capital city, Gustavia, but there are some settlementsaround the Islands. French pirate Daniel Montbars, who was given the epithet "Montbars the Exterminator", took shelter in St. Barthélemy during his pirate operations and hid the loot in the sandy coves at Anse du Gouverneur. The windward beaches are popular for windsurfing.  Its capital is Gustavia, which also contains the main harbour.   , International investment and the wealth generated by tourists explain the high standard of living on the island. High fashion magazine L'Officiel publishes a seasonal local edition Scandinavian … the island covers area... 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