La Pointe des Châteaux is an incredibly stunning craggy peninsula located on the southeastern coast of Grand-Terre in Guadeloupe (the part of the island that looks like the beak of a hummingbird, if you ask me).
La Guadeloupe is rich in breathtaking, diverse landscapes; La Pointe des Châteaux is no exception! Its magnificent rocky pillars jut out of the ocean, creating a magnificent view that’s best experienced at sunrise from atop Morne Pavillon, the hill marked by the large cross on its summit.
Here, you won’t find a typical Caribbean setting. Instead, low, dense bushes and jagged rocks mark the scenery while hermit crabs of all sizes skitter across the hiking trail and heavy winds from the Atlantic create turbulent waves and an energetic atmosphere! As I said, it’s an experience you can’t miss out on while on Grande-Terre.
Read more below about how to visit this wonderful natural and heritage site in Guadeloupe!
La Pointe des Châteaux, Guadeloupe
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How to Get to La Pointe des Châteaux
La Pointe des Châteaux lies just 6.8 miles/11 km past the calm fishing town of Saint François. To get there, it’s best if you rent and go by car (a 15-minute drive). You can also rent an electric scooter from the marina in town for around €30 for a half-day and go since the road there is flat and paved.
While the Kuralis bus does service the Pointe des Châteaux, it’s not very reliable and it’s unsure where you will get dropped off at the parking lot or not.
When you arrive parking lot, you’ll see the cross atop Morne Pavillon. There are a few shacks selling coconut sorbet and other snacks, but they typically don’t open until later in the morning around 10:30 am.
That said, what is the best time to visit Pointe des Châteaux?
From our experience, sunrise (around 6:15 AM in December) is the most dramatic time to visit, seeing as the sun rises directly in front of you from the Atlantic Ocean.
☀️ Keep in mind that sunrise and sunset (6 AM, 6 PM) are usually fixed year-round in Guadeloupe. There isn’t a time change/daylight savings here. That said, it’s super important to turn around from any hike you do on the islands well before 17:30 PM because by 18:00 it’s already dark.
Where to Stay Nearby?
I would highly recommend staying for a few days in Saint François if you want to visit the Pointe des Chateaux for sunrise/sunset and have time to enjoy the sleepy fishing village and surrounding islets.
Here are the top-rated places to stay that are ideal for families or a couple on a romantic getaway.
- Domaine Saint François — Rustic-chic bungalows with lovingly furnished with natural touches, an outdoor pool, and hammock swings.
- Aqua Lodge — Why not make your stay memorable with a floating house set on the tranquil lagoon of Saint François? So cute and ideal for paddleboarding, snorkeling, and kayaking straight off your little boat home.
- La Gîte Pointe des Châteaux — Super cute and well-equipped tiny homes with ideal location/proximity to the Pointe des Chateaux and Anse du Gourd.
Pointe des Chateaux Hiking Trail
The hiking trail from the parking lot up to the cross atop Morne Pavillon is easy and takes only 10–15 minutes to reach. Cut through the shacks on your right and follow the sandy dirt path. The trail essentially skirts the Anse du Chateaux beach through the bushes.
About halfway, at the foot of the hill, you’ll find limestone rock steps. Keep going up this path for another couple of minutes and the cross and panoramic viewpoint will be on your left.
Don’t forget to turn around and look back behind you — there’s an incredible view of the coastline and of the long beach Grandes Salines. Far away in the distance, you can spot wind turbines.
Be careful when exploring atop the hill — there are no barriers (only a rope signaling the “limits”) so it can be unsafe for unattended children.
At the summit of Morne Pavillon is a tall concrete cross and two panoramic maps; one showing the names of the jagged rocks (La Roche, La Pointe des Colíbris, and Le Soufleur) that make Pointe des Châteaux so scenic.
There’s also a beautiful view of the island of La Désirade, one of the islands that make up the Guadeloupe archipelago. To your right is the small islets of Petite-Terre. From this viewpoint, you can even spot its lighthouse! To its right is the island of Marie-Galante.
All three of these places can be visited on a boat/day trip from the Saint François ferry port. You can read more about the history and geography/viewpoints here (in French).
Behind you dons a view on Grand Terre. On a clear day, you can even see the mountains and Soufrière volcano marking the skyline from Basse Terre.
There are several beaches lining the littoral to take note of! First, you have the Anse des Châteaux beach directly to the left of the cross.
It isn’t very safe to swim here because of the sharp rocks and powerful waves. Further down the coast to the left of the cross is the Plage de Salines and then the Anse de Plume.
A nudist/naturalist beach called Plage de Tarare is located right after that, but you’ll most likely need to get back in your car and drive up to/near the Pointe à Cabrits to get closer. There’s a popular hiking trail along this stretch of coastline (1h30m) that takes you from the Anse du Gourd to La Pointe via a scenic path.
La Douche (“The Shower”), aptly named, is a really neat place to visit on your way back (or to) La Pointe des Chateaux.
Here, you can sit or bathe in a mini beach/tide pool and get showered on whenever the waves splash against the volcanic rocks. It’s a bit of a far walk from the parking lot, so hop in your car to get there (don’t forget to bring a towel!).
There’s no signage, but minimal parking is available on the side of the road. A turquoise blue sign, “La Guadeloupe est trop belle pour devenir poubelle” (Guadeloupe is too pretty to become a trash can), and two large rocks indicate the path to get to La Douche.
🌿 On that note, please Leave No Trace and visit responsibly!!
More Things to Do
La Pointe des Châteaux receives nearly 500,000 visitors annually (pre-vid), so you will undoubtedly pass by lots of little restaurants, vacation homes (like the Gîte Pointe des Châteaux), and attractions when visiting.
Most of what we saw was closed, but then again we did head out there very early in the morning (we were back from the hike by 7 AM). The Kreole West Indies boutique is an art gallery worth visiting (opens at 10 AM) that offers a glimpse of the local art, history, and handicrafts of the area.
For adrenaline-seekers, you can fly over the Pointe des Châteaux in an autogyro that departs from Saint François (via TripAdvisor).
For more hikes, viewpoints and beaches beyond Pointe des Châteaux, head to La Pointe à Cabrits toward Le Moule. If you are traveling around the north of Grand-Terre, don’t miss out on the opportunity to paddleboard up the mangroves in Morne-à-l’Eau.
Did you know you could see sunrise and sunset on both sides of Guadeloupe in one day? Isn’t that cool? I hope La Pointe des Châteaux is on your Grand-Terre bucket list! Feel free to reach out in the comments with questions.
- Hiking the Porte d’Enfer (Hell’s Gate) on Grande Terre
- Chasing Waterfalls: Hiking to Les Chutes du Carbet
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