French Guadeloupe - the 'Butterfly Island'
Guadeloupe is an overseas territory of France located in the Leeward Islands of Lesser Antilles. It has a surface area of 1628 square kilometers and 405,739 inhabitants. Sometimes it is fondly referred to as the ‘Butterfly Island. The island is a vacationer’s haven given its tropical climate, inviting turquoise waters and sandy beaches. For those planning a trip there, here is a list of what to expect in the island.
- Guadeloupe is made up of 2 islands, Basse Terre and Grande Terre. The islands are separated by narrow straits and travellers cross over using bridges.
- Apart from the two major islands, there are smaller islands including; Marie Galante, Îles des Saintes and Desirade.
- Being part of France, its official language is French although the inhabitants also speak Antillean Creole.
- The island is part of European Union by right of being a French territory.
- The island derives its name from the venerated Virgin Mary (Santa María de Guadalupe) in the Spanish town of Guadalupe in Extremaduara.
- During the Pre-Columbian times, the island was named 'Karukera' by the Arawak People. It means 'The Island of beautiful waters'.
- Here is a good one. Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple fruit on the island in 1493 and named it 'piña de Indias' which is translated to mean 'pine cone of the indies'.
- The average temperature on the island ranges from 24 to 27 degrees centigrade and is thus a tropical island.
- The island has had several hurricanes in modern times, with the last being Hurricane Georges in 1998.
- 86 % of the country's population is Roman Catholics.
Guadeloupe is a beautiful sanctum. It is the place to go when you want to rest and rejuvenate.