Pointe des Châteaux trail
On this trail under the sea pray, hikers will witness the amazing harmony between the marine and the lagoon environments.
7 points of interest
EperonView towards Eperon.
Eperon, Pointe à la GourdeView towards Eperon from la Pointe à la Gourde (in the shelter of the wooden structure).
Grande Saline, Pointe des ChâteauxThe elevated terrain allows visitors to take advantage of a panorama over the Désirade, the Grande Saline and the Pointe des Châteaux.
ShorebirdsThe large expanse of water that make up the salt pans are a haven for the birdlife, especially shorebirds.
- Information board
Listed siteInformation panel: listed site.
Coral ReefCoral reef along the Pointe à Plume, with la Désirade in the background.
- Cultural and architectural heritage
La Croix de la Pointe des ChâteauxOn the top of the Morne Pavillon, a cross has overlooked the countryside since 1951.
It serves as a landmark to the sailors who arrive from the open sea. From this point you can see the plateau of the island of La Désirade (in the north-east) and the islands of Petite-Terre (south-east). An orientation table helps with the reading of the landscape.
Hiking trail colour : yellow.
Start at Anse à la Gourde beach and make a right (overlooking l’Eperon, a rock located in the sea, about half a mile away from the coast). The sand path roams between bushes. White sand and coral reef protected turquoise water make Anse à la Gourde a true paradise beach. But it also is a historic site : excavations revealed a succession of Amerindian settlings over a thousand years.
Reach the heights of Anse à la Gourde. Pass by a sheet metal shack and start your climb on a white gravel path. Keep going straight downhill until you reach Pointe Tarare.
Enter the copse to your right and reach the cliffs (view of La Desirade, La Grande Saline, la Pointe des Châteaux). Keep going straight until you get to Anse à Plume. Bypass La Grande Saline by the left (depending on the season, you might be able to observe wader colonies feeding of the mud) following first the shore, then Anse des Salines. Get out on D118 road, cross the parking lot and start climbing Morne Pavillon to get to the tip of Pointe des Châteaux, symbolized by the cross.
Follow the same route on your way back.
- Departure : Anse à la Gourde beach
- Arrival : Anse à la Gourde beach
- Towns crossed : Saint-Francois
Stay on marked path, particularly by the lagoons. Do not take the banks.
The lagoons are a sensitive nesting environment for protected species.
Please note : the parking and swimming areas are not supervised.
Access and parking
GPS coordinates of the start point : Lat : 16,257913 N - Long : 61,213574 W.
In Saint François, head towards La Pointe des Châteaux road RD118. Around 3 miles after the airfield, make a left towards Anse à la Gourde. Hike starts at the parking lot.
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