St Martin & Anguilla
Saint Martin is the smallest island in the world to be shared between two nations. The southern part ‘Sint Maarten’ is under Dutch administration, while the larger northern part ‘Saint Martin’ belongs to France. Although the border between the two is barely noticeable, it demarcates two very different cultures. Sint Maartin means cruise-ships, duty-free shopping and hotel tourism, while Saint Martin radiates French élan, comfort and elegance. The French side hosts most of the pure white sandy beaches: most appealing to kiters and windsurfers as they receive the best wind and swell. Admittedly, conditions aren’t the biggest – the trades have to suffice without topographical strengthening and the swell’s thwarted by relatively shallow bays and islands just offshore. With its concentrated mix of flat water and waves, conditions are very wide-ranging and the trade wind season (Dec-Aug) is relatively long. With convenient direct flights from Europe and the USA, it’s easy to reach the sunny side of the Caribbean – if you can afford it.