Today, with the AIDA, we made a small stop in Europe. Our destination was the town of Pointe-a-Pietre on the island of Guadeloupe, The French overseas department and part of the EU. And best of all, you can even pay with the euro here – in the middle of the Caribbean 🙂
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The island of Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe consists of a group of nine islands and forms the French Antilles together with Martinique, Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin. Seen from above, the island looks like a butterfly – with a small grand piano Grande Terre and the large grand piano Basse Terre. Pointe-a-Pietre, where we had laid out today, is located directly in the middle between the two wings. The island has a total population of around 400,000.
The AIDA Port Info of Guadeloupe
location: Cruise Terminal, Pier 6
Lying time: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All on board: 6.30 pm
AIDA Hafeninfo Guadeloupe: Download
The Tourist Attractions of Pointe-a-Pietre
We saw the entrance to the port of Pointe-a-Pietre from our balcony. On one side was the container port and on the other side the port city. From the ship we could see the Museum Mémorial ACTe, which deals with the history of slavery. In terms of architecture, it reminded us a bit of the Beijing National Stadium (“Bird’s Nest”). Since we had a lot in store today, we were already in front of the ship at 8.30 am and were ready to explore the city in the most beautiful sunshine.
Pointe-a-Pietre is not the capital of Guadeloupes (perhaps only the secret one), but it is probably the most important city on the island, because it is home to the international airport and the port is regularly served by large cruise ships. The region around Pointe-a-Pietre has a population of about 100,000, which accounts for a quarter of the entire island. So this is where most (economic) life takes place. When we walked from the port into the city, the streets were still relatively empty. Many shops were even too, only in the markets (Marché aux Epices and Marché de la Darse) there was already a lot of activity.
Located on the picturesque old harbour of La Darse is the Place de la Victoire, which is the centre of Pointe-a-Pietre and where events, concerts, etc. take place from time to time. A small tourist information office as well as some exotic trees can also be found here. From the square it is within walking distance to the Basilica of Saint Pierre et Saint Paul, which was built in 1807. Even if it glows bright yellow-orange from the outside, it is rather dreary from the inside and seems very in need of renovation. As soon as we were out of the church and wanted to go back to the harbour, it suddenly poured out of buckets. We were just able to save ourselves from a shop in the dry and waited a few minutes until it was all over again. A typical Caribbean rain shower…
Everything is quite centrally located, so that we were ready with our tour after about an hour.
Our car rental from Hertz
Since we wanted to see a bit of the island, we had already booked a rental car from home via billiger-mietwagen.de Hertz. The car rental station of Pointe-a-Pietre is conveniently located in the harbour area, so we walked directly from the city back to the port to pick up our small rental car – of course a Frenchman.
The cemetery in the town of Morne-a-l’Eau
Equipped with a map, we headed on the Grande Terre side of Guadeloupe towards the northeast – straight to the town of Morne-a-l’Eau. On the way there, we noticed – especially in comparison to the other Caribbean islands – how western the island is. Well, it is part of the EU, but it is still in the Caribbean and only a few hundred kilometres from the other islands. Large, well-developed trunk roads, huge supermarkets, commercial areas, European car dealerships, etc. We could continue the list forever. It’s weird that you feel a bit at home 😉
After half an hour we arrived in Morne-a-l’Eau. Actually a completely unspectacular town, through which you really only have to get to the north of the island. Wouldn’t there be the cemetery,which has become known for its small black-and-white mausoleums. No burial site is the same as the other. All of them are elaborately designed with attention to detail. One burial ground is larger than the other. As we walked through the cemetery on the hillside, we were almost the only ones, so we could look at everything in peace. Really very impressive. As soon as we wanted to leave the cemetery, a large coach of the AIDA arrived and suddenly everything was full of tourists. Lucky!
The northernmost peak “Pointe de la Grande Vigie”
Our journey continued on the N8 heading north, because our destination was the northernmost peak “Pointe de la Grande Vigie” of Grande Terre. The road to the visitor parking lot is quite well developed and signposted. From here you have to walk a bit until you arrive at the various vantage points and can look at the roaring Atlantic, which hits the coast with big waves. A little further south there was again a beautiful lookout point directly on the road.
The surfers on the Atlantic coast of Guadeloupe
We continued along the east coast through the slightly larger town of Moule. On the beaches around Moule we have also seen some surfers who – despite the strong currents – have been waiting for the perfect waves.
The easternmost point of the island “Pointe des Chéteaux”
The road took us further to the easternmost point of the island “Pointe des Chéteaux”. Here, too, there are plenty of visitor parking spaces as well as some souvenir stalls. In front of the coast, some rock formations protrude from the sea. The surf here is very strong, as the waves are only so close to the coast. But in itself a very beautiful panorama.
The beach in Caravelle
Via St. Anne we wanted to go back to Pointe-a-Pietre, but on the way we discovered a very nice beach section “Caravelle“, where we made a short stop. And here, with the fine beach, the palm trees and the turquoise blue water, there was clearly a Caribbean feeling. Wouldn’t there be the dozens of yellow and white towels you’ve seen everywhere. Or else – Identifier: AIDA 😉
The waterfall “Cascade aux Ecrevisses”
Since we still had some time until the closing time of the Hertz car rental station, we went again to the other side of the island – to Basse Terre – to see the waterfall “Cascade aux Ecrevisses”, which is located in the middle of the national park. Even when we drove the first meters on Basse Terre, we noticed the difference to Grand Terre. Basse Terre is of volcanic origin, rather mountainous and really juicy green, an original rainforest. Grand Terre is essentially rather flat and is largely used for agriculture.
The waterfall is well signposted and there are even a few parking spaces right in front of it. From the road you have to walk into the forest for about 5 minutes before you hear the sound of the water. Many have bathed under the waterfall or in the stream flowing next to it. To be honest, the waterfall was relatively unspectacular. We imagined it a bit bigger.
In order not to get into the evening traffic, we quickly made our way back to Pointe-a-Pietre. There was really a lot going on on the roads, but fortunately we managed to return the rental car at Hertz after 200 kilometres driven. What an eventful day!
All travelogues from our AIDA Cruise (Caribbean Sea)If you read the list of islands that AIDA is heading for on the route Caribbean Islands, you might think it was a dream for a moment: Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua. To reach eleven islands in 14 days is already a house number. But that was also the reason for us to choose this route. A cruise is predestined to get to know the Caribbean with its thousands of dream islands in a relaxed way. Here you can find all travel reports of our 14-day Caribbean cruise with AIDAdiva.
Day 01 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Short stopover before our cruise
Day 02 Dominican Republic: AIDAdiva – Our 14-Day Cruise in the Caribbean Sea
Day 03 Day at Sea
Day 04 Aruba: ABC Islands – Diving at the Renaissance Plane Wreck
Day 04 Aruba: Oranjestad – Tourist Attractions & Things to Do by your own
Day 05 Curaçao: Curacao – Island Tour, Attractions & the best Photo spots
Day 05 Curaçao: Ocean Encounters Curacao – Diving with Dolphins
Day 06 Bonaire: ABC Islands – Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park
Day 06 Bonaire: Kralendijk – Travel Guide & Things to Do
Day 07 Day at Sea
Day 08 Grenada: Diving on the wreck of the cargo ship Veronica L.
Day 08 Grenada: Molinere Bay – Diving at the Underwater Sculpture Park
Day 08 Grenada: Saint George’s – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots
Day 09 St. Vincent: Kingstown & Hiking La Soufriére Volcano
Day 10 Barbados: Wreck diving in Carlisle Bay Marine Park
Day 10 Barbados: Snorkeling with turtles in Carlisle Bay
Day 11 St. Lucia: Diving in the Caribbean with Scuba Steve’s Diving
Day 12 Dominica: Dolphins, Whale-Watching & the capital Roseau
Day 13 Guadeloupe: An island tour & the town of Pointe-a-Pietre
Day 14 Antigua: St. John’s, Nelson’s Dockyard & Fort Berkeley
Day 15 Day at Sea
Day 16 Dominican Republic: Punta Cana – Relax one day on the Beach