You may have heard of Guadeloupe previously, even if you are unaware of whereabouts in the world it happens to be. You will certainly have heard of the currency it uses though, since it is the euro. Let’s find out more about both the country and the currency here now.
As you may be aware, the euro is made up of 100 cents. These are occasionally – and officially – referred to as eurocents but most people nowadays simply refer to them as cents.
You will find numerous coins denominated in cents: these are the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents coins. Aside from these you can also watch out for the one and two euro coins.
You won’t be surprised to find there are numerous banknotes in circulation. The most commonly-used ones are the lower value ones. These are the €5, €10, €20 and €50 euro notes. You can get €100, €200 and €500 notes too, but there are fewer of them since they tend to be appealing for people to forge. Hence you’re never quite sure whether to accept them or not. Do watch out if you make a larger purchase and you are given these as change, just in case.
You may wonder why a country such as Guadeloupe uses the euro as its currency. The reason is that it is actually a region of France, even though it is nowhere near it geographically. As such it uses the exact same currency France does. It is also technically part of the European Union, although again it is far away from Europe geographically. As such it has used the euro ever since 2002.
As you might imagine, using the euro in Guadeloupe is actually pretty easy. For one thing you won’t have to worry about how challenging it might be to get some euros ahead of your trip there. You can simply order them from any good bureau de change and that’s all there is to it.
It might also be worth getting some traveller’s cheques (also denominated in euros of course) since these are happily accepted in many places in Guadeloupe. Furthermore some people report getting discounts on expensive items if they pay for them with traveller’s cheques! Now that’s a perk we haven’t come across before. Don’t take it as read though – make sure you check this if you’re thinking of splashing out on anything.
Getting more money shouldn’t be an issue since there are cash machines all over the place. You shouldn’t find you’re too far from one no matter whereabouts you are staying. Credit cards are also welcomed in many places, so this is actually quite a convenient place to go if you are looking for an easy time changing up cash, traveller’s cheques or paying by card.
Any good currency converter will provide you with the chance to get a conversion for the euro. Just remember that whatever currency you use on a daily basis, you’ll still have to pay a commission when you change it into the euro. This obviously isn’t included on any currency converters since it changes from place to place. The best bet is to take the figure you get as a rough ballpark figure; you can then get a more accurate conversion with commission from your chosen bureau de change.
As always it makes perfect sense to find out as much as you can before you visit Guadeloupe. Fortunately there is plenty of information around, and perhaps the most important type of information you can get is travel advice. This is available from the UK government, which has a section of its website given over to individual countries. You can visit the dedicated page for Guadeloupe by going to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/guadeloupe.
Guadeloupe is a pretty popular area to go for those who know something about what it has to offer. Thankfully most people who go there have a great holiday and nothing happens of a negative nature while they are there.
The only thing you really need to bear in mind is the advice to stay out of quiet areas after it gets dark. It is also a good idea to book into a hotel room that has its own safe you can use. You then have somewhere to keep your passport, your surplus cash and any valuables you have on you while you are out and about exploring. Needless to say it makes sense not to carry more than you have to. Similarly wearing expensive jewellery or flashing large amounts of money about is most likely to attract the kind of attention you really don’t want to get.
We know Guadeloupe is a French territory and we also know it is nowhere near France. Where is it then? Well, actually it is situated in the Caribbean and it is not just a single island. Instead it consists of two main islands and a number of much smaller ones. If you look at the two main ones on a map you will see they could easily be mistaken for a single land mass if you don’t look closely enough. In reality they are separated by a small channel and there are two roads built over bridges that span from one island to the other. These two islands are known as Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. Basse-Terre is recognised as the regional capital of this part of the world.
When it comes to finding things to see and do, you’ll be spoilt for choice here. For example if you like walking, how about challenging yourself to do a volcano hike? We bet you’ve never tried one of those before! La Soufriere is the volcano on Basse-Terre and yes, it is active. You will be challenged by the walk since it takes you up to almost 1,500 metres, so make sure you are fit enough to do it. Be aware that the weather here, as is the case with all mountains, can change in an instant. It can also restrict any kind of view you might get from the top, so choose your day to do this wisely – and make sure you take plenty of food and drink with you.
If you would rather head for a beach and relax all day, perhaps only getting up to have a dip in the sea, then Terre-de-Haut is definitely for you. This is on an archipelago known as Les Saintes (you can see the French influence is all around you in Guadeloupe). The island here is known and famed for its beaches, but it also has an immense number of impressive dive sites for those with experience in this area.
There are numerous nature reserves in Guadeloupe as well. This gives you a good chance to go hiking or wildlife watching, and it provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the terrain of the islands. Look out for the wildlife reserve called Chemins de Mangrove, or Parc Aquacole de Guadeloupe for example. The latter is extremely popular and provides you with a chance to explore pond areas that feature many fish, such as crayfish for example. The best way to make the most of this park is to opt for a guided tour. You’ll learn and see much more this way.
If you’d like to see one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Guadeloupe, you need to head for the lower slopes of the La Soufriere volcano. Here you get three for the price of one, since there are three separate cascades in this area. What better reason could you have to visit this area and to explore in more detail? This particular walk is better for those who don’t fancy heading up the volcano itself, yet when the weather is good you can still view it from lower down.
Guadeloupe is really a stunning place to go. While there are many Caribbean islands to choose from, this has the advantage of actually being a series of islands. The two main ones are often referred to as a butterfly, with each separate island an individual wing. Whether you like this analogy or not, you can see why it has come about.
Guadeloupe certainly has something to offer the many holidaymakers who choose this as their preferred destination. For example there are numerous beaches and spots where you can stake out a towel and umbrella for the day, enjoying a dip in the ocean as you do so. Alternatively for the more active among you, there are superb vistas and views available from the highest points, and from the many nature parks further inland.
What would you do first on a visit to Guadeloupe?