A day at the Désirade

La Désirade

travel suitcase  travel as a couplemedium budgetFrance
Travel made in April 2019
Duration: 1 day

Welcome to the Désirade !!

Who has never wanted to isolate themselves on a desert island? Recharge your batteries to forget the hassles and stresses of everyday life? Do you dream of authenticity? Paradisiacal beaches, wild landscapes with unspoilt nature? Idleness? And especially to be cut off from everything and that time stops? Come and recharge the batteries on a much desired island! Here you are transported in Myoxybubble la Désirade in Guadeloupe. A small French island in the West Indies about ten kilometers long and 2 km wide. It owes its name to the fact that it was the 1st land seen and therefore so desired by Christopher Columbus and his crew during his second voyage to the West Indies in 1943.

Our itinerary

You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format

A day at the Désirade!

Go to the pier of Saint-François, east of Grande Terre in Guadeloupe, and take a ferry to this haven of peace that is the Désirade. The crossing will be only 45 minutes. It will cost you 30€ round trip per person. I advise you to take your tickets the day before directly at the port. We recommend the company Archipel 1 but it is not possible to book via the internet.
The boat is comfortable and has an air-conditioned room so plan a small sweater for the chilly. The crossing is often very hectic between Saint-François and La Désirade so I also advise you to bring a medicine for motion sickness if you are likely to be seasick, even if the crossing is short. Departures from Saint-François to the island of Désirade are at 8 am and 4:45 pm and returns from La Désirade to St François at 6:15 am and 3:45 pm.
During your crossing, you will witness a magnificent panorama with a view from the sea on the tip of the castles, one of the ends of Grande terre in Guadeloupe.

the tip of the castles the tip of the castles the tip of the castles

Arrived on the spot, several modes of transport are available to you to move on the island. Including cycling, scooter, car and of course walking. But the best way to visit the island and make the most of it is the Quad! You can rent one when you arrive at the port of La Désirade at Global Pêche locations. The rental by the day will cost you 70 € all the same! A deposit of 500 € with the imprint of the credit card is required in case of accident with the machine (not debited if no accident).
The island has a single paved road but also a bumpy path through the ridge on the mountain plateau which culminates at 273 meters. This is the path of the lataniers. It is accessible only by quad and 4×4 (and on foot). This walk will offer you a breathtaking panorama of the island. And quad bike lovers will have a blast ! 

The tip of the Hummingbird

I suggest you start your excursion of the Désirade by going to La Croix de la pointe des Colibris located in the south of the island.

The Cross of the Pointe des Colibris The Cross of the Pointe des Colibris Atlantic Ocean

The place is wild with stunning views of the ocean. On your way, look around because iguanas are often seen on the roadsides or in the trees.

Lesser Antilles iguanas Lesser Antilles iguanas Lesser Antilles iguana

The Chapel of Our Lady of Calvary

Then, head to the Chemin des Lataniers and go to the very pretty chapel of Notre Dame du Calvaire. I warn you it goes up! It is located at an altitude of 200 metres. The Chapel is very pretty with blue and white Mediterranean colors.

Chapel of Our Lady of Calvary of the Désirade Chapel of Our Lady of Calvary of the Désirade Chapel of Our Lady of Calvary of the Désirade

From the orientation table you have a magnificent view of Beauséjour, the island and the turquoise blue of the ocean. At your disposal are binoculars to observe more closely the surroundings and the islands opposite as the tip of the castles in Guadeloupe.

view of Beausejour from the chapel of Notre Dame du Calvaire de la Désirade orientation table of the chapel of Notre Dame du Calvaire de la Désirade view of Beausejour from the chapel of Notre Dame du Calvaire de la Désirade

After visiting La Chapelle, be careful to close the door behind you to avoid the intrusion of cabris.

the chapel of Our Lady of Calvary of désirade

Continue your journey and walk along the ridge of the plateau while having fun with your quad through puddles and very bumpy dirt terrain.

Quad La Désirade

You will arrive at the mountain plateau where wind turbines are located (towards Morne Souffleur). La Désirade benefits from renewable energy to provide electricity on the island. The view is splendid.

wind turbines to Morne Souffleur in Désirade view of the wind turbines of the Désirade

Mahault Bay

Do not hesitate to make photo stops and soak up this very wild, authentic, peaceful atmosphere and little touched by the tourist effervescence, especially towards Morne Cybelle. On your way, I suggest you go down to Mahault Bay. The landscape will be less green than on the mountain plateau. The surroundings are drier and arid due to the coastal winds of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s quite lunar and there’s no culture. Before, there was a cotton factory but today only vestiges remain.

Old cotonnerie Désirade

The land is not suitable for agriculture. The Désiradiens, inhabitants of the island, live mainly from fishing and cabris.

cabris de la Désirade

The Iguanas are kings in the Désirade. The Lesser Antilles Iguanas are an endangered species and therefore a protected species on the island. The presence of common iguanas (recognizable by its zebra tail) other than the Lesser Antilles iguana should be reported as they are the cause of the disappearance of the latter.

Lesser Antilles iguanas at Mahault Bay Lesser Antilles iguanas at Mahault Bay

Ride in step to preserve them! It is also forbidden to feed them. They are everywhere, in trees, on the road or in grasses. Their color ranges from black gray to fluorescent green. They are very beautiful.

Lesser Antilles iguanas Lesser Antilles iguanas Lesser Antilles iguanas Mahault Bay

You can park at the car park located right in front of the old cotton factory to see them very easily. The view of the bay is magnificent. Mandatory stop!

view of Mahault Bay view of Mahault Bay

Then continue to the lighthouse of the doubled tip and then push to the old weather station. This station is now disused. It was used until 1987 to monitor possible Caribbean cyclones. It was first heavily affected by Cyclone Hugo in 1989.

lighthouse of the doubled tip at the Désirade the former meteorological station of Désirade weather station Désirade view of Mahault Bay at Désirade

The place is peaceful and desert. Continue your walk to the tip of the north that I let you discover for yourself. Did you like the mountainous plateau and its 360-degree view of the island? Did you enjoy this calm and wild nature that reigns over Mahault Bay? Now it’s time to let go, forget everything and recharge your batteries! Treat yourself to a moment of exoticism, escape and sunny tranquility by strolling on the paradisiacal beaches offered by the Désirade. Its beaches are quiet, relaxing; the white sand and turquoise blue waters will mesmerize you. The seabed is suitable for snorkelling, so don’t forget your fins, mask and snorkel! Walk along the coast along the paved road that passes through Mahault Bay to the port of Beausejour. You will pass by The Marine Cemetery.

Désirade Marine Cemetery

On this road, dream beaches will follow one another. 

The blower’s beach 

You will be alone in the world on this beach of fine golden sand called the beach of the blower ! It’s paradise! This is my favorite 😍. Sit in the shade under a coconut tree and relax admiring the blue of the sky and the sea. Beware of coconut! You can admire some colorful fishing boats and some crabs strolling. Possibility to picnic but also to eat on site at the beach restaurant. 

the blower's beachthe blower's beachthe blower's beachthe blower's beachthe blower's beach the blower's beach

Do not hesitate to swim, cool off and explore the seabed. I promise you an exceptional moment of relaxation! At the beach of the blower we blow a good shot! 

Beach in fifi of Beauséjour 

The beach in Fifi de Beauséjour is a beautiful beach with fine white sand. It is larger and wider than the blower’s beach but a little more touristy because 250 meters from the port, but we had it to ourselves at that time. It also offers a view of the beautiful lagoon. Do not hesitate to hydrate yourself with a good homemade coconut punch at the beach restaurant “ la payotte” or taste freshly caught seafood. You will appreciate the cheerfulness of the  colors of the straw huts. 

beach in beausejour fifi beach in beausejour fifi beach in beausejour fifi beach in beausejour fifi beach in beausejour fifi

After you are rejuvenated, if you have time to stretch your legs while wandering in the splendid botanical garden of the desert.    The entrance will still cost you 10€ per person. The garden is beautifully maintained. If you like cacti and succulents this place is for you.

desert botanical garden in La Désirade desert botanical garden in La Désirade

It’s time to get back on the boat and reach the butterfly island, Guadeloupe. To summarize to the Désirade time stops and we disconnect. I recommend you 100% this haven of peace.

And to discover more about Guadeloupe and its surroundings, I invite you to discover my articles Two days in Les Saintes and Guadeloupe, the butterfly island. Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences (the form can be found a little further down). Need advice to organize your trip? Contact me!


Getting around the island

Several possibilities are available to you:
– rent a 4×4 car: it is the luxury option, not necessarily essential, except in case of heavy rain or with young children
– by quad: certainly the most practical and fun way. Very convenient to access the bumpy and muddy paths. That’s what we did and recommend you.
– the scooter: cheaper but you have to stay on the asphalt road, which limits the possibilities of visit – the mountain bike, but you have to be a fan of this means of transport because it climbs the path of the lataniers
– on foot, for good walkers and brave. It takes 6 hours to go around the island. But it leaves little time to visit and enjoy the island.

It is up to everyone to see according to their budget, physical fitness and desire.


Have a little change on you for small purchases (souvenir, drink …).
Otherwise the rental of quad and bike take the CB.

Before you go

Do not forget to take:
– one bottle of water per person.
– sunscreen and sunglasses
– medicine against seasickness
– a swimsuit and towel if you want to swim, as well as fins, masks and snorkels.

Logo Myoxybubble

Leave a Reply