6 Best Sights in Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe

Habitation Bellevue Distillery

Fodor's choice

If time allows just one distillery here, choose the modern Domaine de Bellevue, whose rum has taken home the gold during official French competitions. Free tastings are just one inviting element. There are award-winning, pure rums (50%–59%) and also excellent tropical liqueurs (punches). Bellevue, in operation since 1821, is the top rum exporter of Guadeloupe/Marie-Galante with the only eco-positive distillery in the world.

Anse de Vieux Fort

This gorgeous Marie-Galante beach stretches along crystal-clear waters, with a nearby mangrove swamp you can explore on hiking trails. The beaches in this area are wide due to the erosion of the sand dunes. It's also known as a beach for lovers because of the solitude. Bring your own everything. You can pair a visit to Château Murat with your beach day. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; solitude; sunset; swimming; walking.

Rte. D205, 97112, Guadeloupe

Château Murat

A mile from town, the Château Murat is a 19th-century sugar plantation and rum distillery housing exhibits on the history of rum making and sugarcane production going back three centuries. This former habitation was once the grandest sugar plantation in Guadeloupe. Various hurricanes left the chateau in ruins, with just remnants of the kitchen still standing. From the rubble rose the eco-museum that celebrates island crafts, and there is a garden for medicinal local plants.

Rte. de Capesterre, 97112, Guadeloupe
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Rate Includes: Free

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Kreol West Indies

This fascinating Creole museum in a renovated bungalow houses information and graphics relating to Guadeloupe's earliest inhabitants, as well as some pirate artifacts. Rooms are furnished with antiques and collectibles that depict island life during various eras through the 1950s. Devoted to Creole culture, the museum also doubles as an art gallery, with attractive contemporary paintings by island artists. This labor of love displays furnishings and descriptives owned by a French "culture lover," Vincent Nicaudie. The gift shop carries quality Marie-Galante logo T-shirts and caps, beachwear, and island food products. Also, this is a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Plage de Petite Anse

This long, golden beach is punctuated by seagrape trees. It's idyllic during the week, but on weekends the crowds of locals and “urban refugees” from the main island arrive. Le Touloulou's great creole seafood restaurant provides the only facilities. The golden sands are ideal for shelling. Amenities: food and drink; parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; sunset; swimming; walking.

Rte. D 203, 97140, Guadeloupe

Rhum du Père Labat Distillery, Domaine Poisson

Located on the 18-century Poisson Estate, the distillery produces Rhum du Père Labat rum (nearly 200,000 liters a year), which is considered among the finest in the Caribbean. The atelier turns out lovely pottery, as well. Tastings are available, but watch out—those samples are quite strong, especially considering that it’s open only in the morning.