Guadeloupe - the French islands with the calm leeward waters. Guadeloupe is a collection of five islands: Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes. With history steeped in French tradition, Guadeloupe is the perfect mix of idealism and ecosense. Dedicated to preserving the natural terrain, residents of Guadeloupe strive to protect the island’s resource and keep the unspoiled terrain the way that it is.

These beautiful islands have something for everyone. Beautiful beaches where sunbathing and strolling along the shore are exciting pastimes to engage in, water sports that are considered the best in the world, historic forts replete with dungeons and battlements to explore, and Creole cuisine unlike anything that you’ve tasted elsewhere. Guadeloupe is the total package and offers much to even the most seasoned of travelers.

If you have always wanted to dive, Guadeloupe is the perfect place to learn. Crystal clear waters that are protected as part of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve surround the island. Considered to offer some of the best diving in the world, Guadeloupe offers interesting dives that will introduce newbies to the wonder of the world below and challenge experts to use their skills. The array of tropical fish will amaze you as will the clarity of the water and the feeling of peace that envelope you as you glide. You won’t believe how easily you can see the wonders of the deep; exploring the world under the sea is a heady rush. Surrounded by waters from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe is perfectly positioned for a diver’s wonderland.

Other water sports can be enjoyed as well, such as Jet Skiing along the surface of the water, taking a catamaran out, snorkeling, and good, old-fashioned sunbathing. UNESCO designated Guadeloupe as a biosphere reserve. The beautiful greenery that is abundant in Guadeloupe is a mater of pride for the islanders. Nature lovers can spend hours interacting with the beautiful flora and fauna.

Food is a tradition on the island. Effectively mixing French cuisine with Caribbean practices yields a unique style of food that visitors can’t get enough of. Try island favorites like clam blaff or conch stew. Sample the homegrown produce available at farmer’s markets and taste the difference in the quality and flavor of the food. Take a tour of one of Guadeloupe’s 9 run distilleries and sample the national drink yourself.

Enjoy Guadeloupe. In this lovely archipelago, anyone can find the perfect activity to get involved in. Let yourself go. Truly embody the meaning of the word vacation in Guadeloupe. See the island in as much depth as you would like. Whatever you choose there is something that is sure to tickle your fancy.

Size: 660 square miles
Population: 451,000

Language: French, English and Creole are widely spoken
Demonym: Guadeloupean

Government: France
Currency: Euro (€)

Main City: Basse-Terre
Main Airports: Marie-Galante Airport (Marie-Galante), Pointe-à-Pitre Airport (Grande-Terre) and Saint-François Airport (Grande-Terre)

Telephone Country Code: 590

Local Beer: variety
National Dish: Queen conch fricassee

Entry Visa: All visitors to Guadeloupe must have a valid passport containing at least two free pages that must be valid for 90 days after the visit. Visas are not required for citizens of the European Union, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

When to go: The weather in the Guadeloupe is tropical all year long. The temperature remains in the 80s. Their rainy season is from June to November. The most expensive time to visit Guadeloupe is during Christmas, the French February holidays, July and August.

Marriage Requirements: Couples looking to get married in Guadeloupe will need to get a special license which takes three weeks to process. This is obtained from the Town Hall in the city where the marriage will take place.

Documents Required: In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
• passports
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
• Certificate of Law to be obtained from the French Consular Division
• Resident certificates and residency card

Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18 to be witnessed by a French Consular Officer if not a resident in France
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor

Note: All documents much be translated into French. A “Bulletin de Marriage” and “Livret de Famille” are delivered at the ceremony.

Residency Requirement: Either the groom or bride must reside on island for at least three months.

Fees: None

Witnesses: Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.