Shell Beach

”Where is Shell Beach ?

”Excuse me…could you direct me to Shell Beach?“ Every Saint Barth native or regular visitor will have heard this question hundreds of times, usually proffered by a confused tourist fresh off a cruise ship, and intent on making the most of his day on land. It’s true that Shell Beach, whose real name is Anse de Grands Galets, (which translates “Big Stone Inlet”), is the only beach within easy walking distance from Gustavia. But its nearness to the town is not the only attraction of this chic little spot in the wild. Elegantly nestled between the former Fort Karl and the steep cliffs of Lurin, Shell Beach encapsulates the beauties of the island: its sandy beach dotted with shells (which explains its nickname), its large, sea-rounded stones (which explain its real name!) and crystal clear waters invite you for a swim and to partake in the carefree pleasures of the beach. A bit further south, facing rocky “diving platforms” for the very bold, lies a small paradise for snorkelers. Anchored at a respectful distance, three or four yachts disembark their passengers for lunch or a glass of wine: the restaurant at water’s edge is as famous for its finesse and multicultural culinary inventiveness, as it is for its friendly, relaxed atmosphere. When the setting sun sets the cliff ablaze, the setting comes very close to perfection. But then the cruise ship blows its horn, and there are those who stay… And those who wish they could.

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