Ideally located at the centre of Guadeloupe, where Basse-Terre meets Grande-Terre, Pointe-à-Pitre, the economic capital of the Guadeloupe archipelago, is well worth a visit, if only for its typical streets, two museums and deliciously colourful markets!
The unmissable and picturesque market at Darse, which takes place every morning from Monday to Saturday, is sure to impress you with its fresh fish sold directly by the fishermen, and its wonderful stalls full of exotic fruits and vegetables. A colourful, flavourful experience that's sure to enchant your taste buds! To buy more Creole specialities, head to the famous central market, also known as Saint-Antoine market, which you can reach easily by walking along Rue Saint-John Perse. Based in a beautiful metal-framed market hall that is a listed Historic Monument, this tourist-friendly market has many colourful stalls, all loaded with spices, exotic jams and punch, with the traders in traditional madras dress offering a warm welcome. If you come in August, you can attend the cooks' festival. After a big mass in honour of Saint Laurent, patron saint of cooks, the latter parade through the city in traditional costume and offer tastings of local specialities!
Then head towards the vast Place de la Victoire, dotted with royal palms, which is named after the triumph of the sans-culottes and the end of slavery. You will find a tourist office located in a building in the neoclassical colonial style, a bandstand built in 1930, and the statues of Governors Félix Éboué and Charles Victor Frébault... Not far away, the Church of St-Peter-and-St-Paul, a listed Historic Monument, has a delightful yellow and white façade. Once inside, you can admire a metal- framed roof and a Carrara marble altar from the 19th century. As for exotic plant-lovers, they should be sure to go and see the charming little flower market held every morning on the church square!
On the cultural side, you have the choice between the Schoelcher Museum and the Saint-John Perse Museum. Housed in a splendid metal- framed building, the latter has a permanent exhibition on the life of the Pointois poet and diplomat Alexis Leger, aka Saint-John Perse, as well as Creole costumes. The Schoelcher Museum, located in an elegant classical building, exhibits a collection of objects that belonged to the French politician Victor Schoelcher, a great defender of human rights and the abolition of slavery.
Before leaving for other areas of Guadeloupe, you simply must pay a visit to Bas-du-Fort marina and its harbour. Indeed, this area, which is very lively at night, is the final destination of the Route du Rhum - Destination Guadeloupe, a famous solo transatlantic race which takes place every four years in November.