Les Saintes is an archipelago of volcanic islets in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. These tropical islands are located south of Guadeloupe, west of Marie-Galante and north of Dominica, in the heart of the inner arc of the Lesser Antilles. Of these nine islets, only two, Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas, are populated mainly by descendants of settlers from western France.
This small archipelago was discovered by Christopher Columbus on November 4, 1493, who named it "los Santos".
It was not until October 18, 1648, that this "Gibraltar of the Antilles" became a French possession, and from then on was the subject of numerous colonization battles between the two main naval powers of the time, France and France. 'England. The most famous took place on April 12, 1782, towards the end of the American Revolutionary War and went down in history as the “Battle of the Saintes”. The vestiges of this military past are still visible and are part of the cultural heritage of the archipelago. Today, the Saintes form an administrative dependency of the overseas department of Guadeloupe and are definitively integrated into the French Republic, as municipalities.
Due to its location in the Windward Islands archipelago, this territory benefits from a tropical climate tempered by the trade winds and experiences a biocenosis typical of the region, of which certain species, endemic to these islets, are protected. The population, whose economy is strongly oriented towards the sea, has developed a rich culture due to its European and Creole origins which is easily integrated into the Franco-Caribbean identity.
To discover or visit Terre de Haut, visit the Tourist Office website