Saint Barth is a French island which was once part of the Department of Guadeloupe.

It became an entirely separate overseas territory of France in June 2007.
Once inhabited by Native Americans who named it Ouanlao, it was discovered and made known to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 who christened it Saint Barthelemy after his brother Bartolomeo.
Purchased by France in 1674 from the Order of Malta, which had owned the island since 1651, St Barth was later given to Sweden in exchange for access rights enabling French ships to unload and trade goods at the port of Gothenburg.
The island was returned to the French at the end of the 19th century, at which point it became part of the Department of Guadeloupe. The island enjoyed increasing growth from the 1980s onwards with tourism activities gradually becoming the driving force behind its economy.


Covering an area of 21 km2 (24 km2 with its islets), St Barth is situated 25 km west of Saint Martin and 200 km north-west of Guadeloupe.
Its capital is Gustavia, which is the island’s economic and cultural hub and where you will find the Caribbean, French and Swedish architectural influences which make up the island’s history.
The locals speak French and Creole, and the influx of tourists and American billionaires has made English a commonly-used language here.
St Barth also encompasses numerous islets just off the coastline which can be visited by boat: Île Chevreau, Île Coco, Île Fourchue, Île Frégate, Île de la Tortue, Île Le Boulanger, Les Grenadins, Pain-de-Sucre, Île Pelée, Île Petit-Jean and Île Toc Vert.