Although officially a French overseas territory, Guadeloupe is like many other parts of the Caribbean - a great place to spend a summer holiday. The islands are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, scuba diving and fishing, while there’s also plenty to do further inland, especially in the cities of Pointe-a-Pitre and Gosier.
Both cities have a great nightlife, while during the day, they’re great for a little shopping if you want to buy locally-made fabrics to take home with you. Guadeloupe is home to many festivals and street parties where foreign visitors are encouraged to join in, where music, food and drink are in plentiful supply.
What are the roads like in Guadeloupe?
Being officially part of France, some of the main roads in the country are in similar condition to the motorways on the mainland. However, some of the smaller roads are often found to have bumps, cracks and potholes, so it’s important to take care if choosing to go off the beaten track in your car.
What are Guadeloupian drivers like?
Drivers in Guadeloupe and nearby Martinique are known for being good, if a little on the aggressive side. To be on the safe side, driving with caution may help to make driving in Guadeloupe a little easier for you. In the larger towns and cities, drivers are likely to be less risk averse, even if the traffic may be a little more intense.
What are the best times to drive?
Driving during the day might not bring too many problems even at peak times, thanks to the mainland’s expressway. However, driving at night can be dangerous, as all bar a few main roads aren’t fully lit, meaning that if you take a wrong turn or don’t look where you’re going, you could end up in an accident.
What are the driving laws?
In Guadeloupe, everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front passenger seat. Drivers need a foreign driving licence to allow them to drive in the country for up to 20 days. Anyone wanting to drive in Guadeloupe for longer than that must secure an international driver’s permit.
Many of the road signs in Guadeloupe are the same as in France.
In Basse-Terre, the southern part of the mainland, you need to look out for sharp turns in mountainous areas.
Police in Guadeloupe don’t enforce traffic safety laws, but this shouldn’t be interpreted as a reason to drive recklessly.