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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Saint Martin

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Saint Martin each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

January 6: Epiphany (local holiday)

Various religious celebrations commemorate the visit of the Magi to Baby Jesus.

January & February: Carnival (on the French side of the island, local event)

Without a doubt the most important event of the year in Saint Martin. Highlights include costume parades, a carnival queen pageant, concerts of calypso, reggae and Latin music.

March to May: Carnival (on the Dutch side of the island, local event)

Several carnivals are held on the Dutch side of the island (queen pageants, brass bands, costume parades, concerts, dancing and general merry-making). The revelry starts on March to continue until early May.

March or April: Easter Monday (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.

May 27: Emancipation Day (local holiday)

Official ceremonies are held on this public holiday each year to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Saint Martin on this day in 1848. Celebrations are extended during the week around the anniversary, with concerts, dancing, poetry readings, shows and parties.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in Saint Martin's main municipalities.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution. It plays as a symbol of the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. It is commemorated with a variety of events throughout Saint Martin, including parades, street parties, dances and fireworks, all in a festive atmosphere.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Saint Martin, is marked by the faithful with several religious ceremonies and processions through the streets.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up sites and monuments such as castles and private collections, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll to admire some architectural treasures!

November 11: Saint Martin's Day (local event)

During his second voyage, Columbus spotted the island on this day in 1493 when passing through the Lesser Antilles and named it after Saint Martin of Tours, whose feast day is November 11. To commemorate its discovery by Europeans, many concerts and other types of events are organised to celebrate the island's rich cultural heritage, ranging from culinary delights to arts and crafts.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)

On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Saint Martin, with families and friends celebrating the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Saint Martin

Saint Martin has an oceanic climate. Winter, which extends from December to May, is the dry season and summer, from June to November, is the rainy season. Heavy rainfall occurs during tropical depressions, which occasionally become storms or hurricanes.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23/73 29/84 73/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
February 22/72 29/84 60/2.4 Good period to go Good period to go
March 23/73 29/84 49/1.9 Good period to go Good period to go
April 24/75 30/86 82/3.2 Good period to go Good period to go
May 25/77 31/88 80/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
June 25/77 31/88 73/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
July 26/79 32/90 100/3.9 Not the best period to go
August 26/79 32/90 105/4.1 Not the best period to go
September 26/79 32/90 139/5.5 Not the best period to go
October 26/79 32/90 153/6.0 Not the best period to go
November 24/75 30/86 158/6.2 Not the best period to go
December 23/73 30/86 94/3.7 Good period to go Good period to go
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Princess Juliana International Airport

The airport is located on the Dutch side of the island of Saint Martin, 5km south-west of Marigot.

  • One terminal

Getting to Princess Juliana airport and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via Airport Road - the journey to Marigot takes ten minutes.
    • A parking lot is available outside the airport. EUR 0.90 for 30 minutes and EUR 20 for 24 hours.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the arrivals hall. The fares range from EUR 15 to EUR 35, depending on the destination.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +1 721 546 7542 / +1 721 546 7549
  • Website: https://www.sxmairport.com/

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GETTING AROUND Saint Martin

As distances on the island are quite short, getting around Saint Martin is relatively easy. Nevertheless, the number of vehicles on the roads and their state of repair sometimes make driving difficult. Saint Martin's road network mainly consists of a main road skirting the island's coastline and smaller, secondary roads linking towns and villages.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful on the island and the fares charged are not very high. Expect to pay about EUR 5 per trip, depending on your destination.

By minibus taxi

Shared minibus taxis serve most key destinations on the island. Although they do not operate on a set schedule or have official stops, you just need to wave as the minibus approaches your location along its route to be picked up. Fares run from EUR 1 to EUR 2, depending on your destination.

By car

Cars are the main mode of transport in Saint Martin. Prices are fair (from EUR 17 per day). Note that the speed limit on all roads cannot exceed 50 kilometres (31 miles) per hour.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Saint Martin, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Saint Martin Tourist Office

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

French Travel Guide

The official tourism website of France has plenty of information available on Saint Martin.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Saint Martin counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Saint Martin. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is not always safe to drink in Saint Martin. It is advisable to drink only bottled water sold in sealed, tamper-proof containers.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Saint Martin are different from those applicable in mainland France.

Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation do not need to carry a visa.

To view the list of other countries whose citizens or nationals may travel to Saint Martin without a visa, or for information on the types of travel documents required, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France:

https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Saint Martin, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Saint Martin a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+590
+ phone number (without 0)
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Madrid
Start of daylight saving time > last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time > last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

sually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
220 V / 60 Hz

Tipping
In Saint Martin like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

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