The IslandThe Island

Often referred to simply as St. Barths, the official name for the island is St. Barthelemy. The island is approximately 8 square miles with a population of roughly 7,000 people. The official language on the island is French, although English is commonly spoken. Dress on St. Barths is casual. Cotton and linen are the best options for hot weather. Even in the nicest restaurants, the dress code is “smart casual.” Learn more on Wikipedia.

The CultureThe Culture

The island has a mixture of European cultures. It was first overrun by the Spanish, but they found very little worth their time, as they were fanatically interested in gold and silver. The Swedes then took control, and finally the French took possession. This makes St. Barths the only island in the Caribbean that has a Swedish heritage. The majority of the people are of European descent, either from Sweden or the French provinces of Brittany and Normandy. French is the official language, although English is widely used. The culture is therefore very much like European Normandy with a little Afro-Caribbean influence. Many of St. Barths’ natives speak a form of patois — a French dialect which even French visitors have some difficulty understanding.

The WeatherThe Weather

While it's often thought that the West Indies become uncomfortably hot during the summer months, the fact is that average temperatures rarely vary by more than 5ºF year-round. The cool refreshing tradewind from the northeast helps to maintain a very comfortable climate. Average air temperatures in coastal areas range from 22º to 30º C (72º to 86º F), and coastal water temperatures stay between 20º and 23º C (68º and 74º F). As with any Caribbean island, there are dry and wet seasons. December through May is considered the dry season, while June through November is considered the more humid season. Even during the wet season storms often pass quickly to reveal a cloudless, sun-filled day.