Holidays: Simon Calder gives 2021 travel advice
Death in Paradise showcases some gorgeous Caribbean scenery, leaving many viewers eager to jet off to the real filming location. This is found on the stunning destination of Guadeloupe, with much of the BBC filming taking place in the commune of Deshaies on the northwest coast of Basse-Terre Island. Guadeloupe, a French overseas region, is an island group in the southern Caribbean Sea and, interestingly, resembles a butterfly.
This is what you need to know about Guadeloupe for holidays, for when travel starts back up again.
When to go to Guadeloupe
The best time to go to the Caribbean archipelago is from December to May.
This is when the weather is at its best – warm and dry with an average humidity of around 77 percent and temperature mid-twenties to early-thirties degrees Celsius.
Steer clear of July to November, the wettest period, as well as Christmas and the French February holidays as prices rocket then.
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What to do in Guadeloupe
There is plenty to see and do in this Caribbean hotspot.
The museum of slavery, Mémorial ACTe, is a must-do – it was declared European Museum of the Year by the European Council in 2017. It examines stages of the slave trade in the Caribbean and beyond in chronological order.
For a more light-hearted museum, there’s the Maison du Cacao – a museum all about chocolate. Visitors can learn all about the sweet stuff and sample it too.
If outdoor adventure is more your thing, set out on the trail on active volcano La Soufrière. It’s a 1¾-hour hike to the summit and there are great views at the top.
Meanwhile, Réserve Cousteau is deemed one of the world’s top dive areas – expect coral reefs and huge schools of fish.
For those who’d rather kick back and relax on the sand, Datcha Beach is arguably Guadeloupe’s best beach while a second contender is Plage de la Caravelle.
Another beautiful beach is Anse La Perle, where the beach-front shack given to all Detective Inspectors in Death in Paradise is located.
Fun fact: the shack itself is taken down between shoots to prevent it getting washed away.
What to eat in Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe’s restaurants serve up a blend of well-presented Creole and French specialities.
There’s a strong focus on seafood and curry dishes are also popular, with spices and herbs used with abundance.
Local specialities include cabri (goat), matete (a hot crab curry), blaff (seafood cooked in a seasoned soup), accras (fritters made from vegetables or cod) and ouassou (spring water shrimp).
Top restaurants include Le Mabouya dans La Bouteille, La Playa, Le Poisson Rouge, La Touna and La Roulotte.
There are also plenty of cafes and patisseries offering up French pastries with a Creole twist.
What to drink in Guadeloupe
Rum is big here, as it is throughout the Caribbean.
The most popular drink is Punch Planteur, rum mixed with fruit juice.
Rum punch, a brew of rum, lime, bitters and syrup, is served by le doigt (the fingerful) in the afternoons as an aperitif.
Meanwhile, special spiced punches are reserved for the holidays.
French wines, champagnes and liqueurs are also popular in Guadeloupe.
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