The best St Maarten Beaches

St Maarten / St Martin: Beautiful Beaches For Everyone

St Maarten / St Martin is famed for its crown jewels; close to 40 pristine beautiful beaches spread on all sides of the island. Many rank amongst the best in the Caribbean in various listings. They come from the tranquil to the lively, from the small and intimate to stretched beaches, from chique to worry-free clothing optional. They can be found on the Caribbean as well as the Atlantic side of the island, on the Dutch and on the French side

St. Maarten / St Martin offers a different beach for any mood you might feel like during the days of your stay.  We have tried to assist you in your selection process below with a general overview of St Maarten & St Martin beaches, some advice by our VISIT magazine writers on what beach to select, and lastly a comprehensive beaches menu for descriptions per St Maarten / St Martin beach.

For those seeking the feel of a seaside resort with all its amenities, Philipsburg’s Great Bay Beach and Little Bay Beach, St Maarten’s famed Maho / Airport BeachSimpson Bay’s Kim Sha Beach and name sake Simpson Bay Beach are recommended. When in Pelican, Pelican key can be found right next door! Last but not least, St Maarten / St Martin’s world famous Maho beach also offers a lively variety of amenities surrounding what is probably the world’s most photographed sand. French side’s Grand Case Beach and Orient Bay Beach offer the atmosphere of the French Riviera, the latter with a clothing optional or nude beach part.

In addition, we have made 3D recordings of some of the most popular St Maarten / St Martin beaches like Great Bay Beach, Orient Bay Beach, Anse Marcel Beach, Kim Sha Beach, Cupecoy Beach and more. Explore the top of their dedicated pages below to see what beach suits you best!

General Overview of St Maarten / St Martin Beaches

Your Own Private Beach

For those after tranquility and serenity, try Dawn BeachOyster Bay Beach, or the stretched and beautiful Lowlands beaches of Baie Longue / Long Bay, Plum bay / Baie aux Prunes, Baie Rouge / Red Bay. Dutch side Sint Maarten’s well known Mullet Bay Beach along its golf course also allows for a silent day in the sun. Guana Bay Beach gallantly stretches along a mile of Atlantic coast line, currents can be forceful here. Looking for a beach wholly of your own? Try our smaller beaches like Happy Bay , Cow or Lovers beach

Beaches For Kids

The shallow waters of Le Galion and Friar’s Bay are known to be kids friendly. The same accounts for that of Pinel Island’s beach on its bay. Kids will enjoy the 5 minute boat ride from French Cul de Sac, leaving every 30 minutes. If the uninhabited island of Pinel (though it boasts two restaurants and amenities) is not Robinson Crusoe enough for you, we recommend the larger island of Tintamarre.

Sports On the Beach

Watersporters are best served at Great Bay BeachLittle Bay Beach, Kim Sha Beach and Orient Bay BeachIf you are wondering what beautiful beaches are closest by from your hotel area point of view, see our Areas guideAs St. Maarten / St. Martin has a beach to match every square mile, see what beach matches your adventure. From relaxing, water sports and kid friendly options. St. Maarten / St. Martin has it all! 

Quick VISIT St Maarten / St Martin overview to the best St Maarten / St Martin beaches per side of the island

With 37 beaches to choose from and possibly only a day or week on St Maarten / St Martin, you might need some guidance from our VISIT magazine experts! See below their selection of best beaches for families, romance, partygoers, peace seekers and active types per side of the island !


St Maarten – Simpson Bay Beach 

Families looking to avoid large crowds but not amenities enjoy this mile-longstretch of fine sand. It’s within proximity of Simpson Bay’s many resorts and restaurants but you won’t find it overrun with tourists.

St Martin – Le Galion Beach

Locals like to gather at this unspoiled shore. Parents can relax and enjoy the sun, knowing that kids can play safely in calm, shallow waters sheltered by a large coral reef.


St Maarten – Dawn Beach 

Sunrises are spectacular at this beach, as its name suggests. Just south of the Dutch / French border, Dawn Beach is an attractive spot for couples to stroll hand in hand as they greet a new day sure to be filled with fun and adventure.

St Martin – Lover’s Beach 

This secluded beach – the smallest on the island – is said to accommodate only two people at a time, making it the perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous.


St. Maarten – Guana Bay Beach

The only people you’re likely to encounter here are board sports enthusiasts. Otherwise, it’s made for those who want to get away from it all while enjoying memorable scenery and views of neighboring St. Barths.

St. Martin – Plum Bay Beach or Baie Aux Prunes

By day, it’s a quiet family-friendly beach. At night it comes alive with full moon parties, bonfires and reggae bands. Zero in on the action at either of two beachside restaurants.


St Maarten – Kim Sha Beach

More often than not, there’s a concert or party drawing crowds to this centrally located spot in Simpson Bay. Get in on the action or simply hang out with family and friends at a lively beach bar / nightlife.

St Martin – Friars Bay Beach

By day, it’s a quiet family-friendly beach. At night it comes alive with full moon parties, bonfires and reggae bands. Zero in on the action at either of two beachside restaurants.


St Maarten – Great Bay Beach

Go for a stroll on the boardwalk running along most of this beach in the heart of Philipsburg. Then head for nearby Front Street, whereyou’ll discover a trove of lively bars and restaurants.

St Maarten – Grand Case

Enjoy the decadent French Cuisine and indulge the French culture. In the area you are able to find a numerous amount of restaurants who serve delicious local dishes.


St Maarten – Geneve Bay Beach

Reaching this rugged black-rock shore on the southeastern coast near Philipsburg requires an hour-long hike from Guana Bay through evergreen shrub land. But you’ll be rewarded for your effort with photogenic geological formations, brown pelicans and melon-shaped cactuses.

St Martin – Coconut Grove / Baie de L’Embouchure

Birdwatchers have a field day at this beach, where the Atlantic Ocean meets a mangrove marsh. Multiple species of birds come here to nest. See how many you can spot.


St Maarten – Mullet Bay Beach

A favorite of surfers, this beach near the island’s only golf course also is a popular site for snorkeling and other water sports but beware of the occasional rip currents.

St Martin – Petite Plage

This uncrowded stretch of virgin beach features calm, shallow turquoise waters. From here it’s easy to reach Creole Rock, which attracts divers and snorkelers to its offshore reef and multitudes of colorful fish.

St Martin – Orient Bay Beach

Orient Bay Beach is a famous and long beach known for its water sports, kite surfing, clothing-optional area, and numerous restaurants.


St Maarten – Cupecoy Beach

Dramatic ochre-colored cliffs embrace a richly carpeted coral-sand shore at the southwestern corner of the island. Magnificent sunsets wash across cave-peppered sandstone formations towering 20 feet above the surf.

St Martin – Tintamarre Island ’s Baie Blanche

is the best for swimming on this island reachable by boat. Venture farther inland and you’ll discover the ruins of an air-strip, a small railway and a cotton plantation.


St Maarten – Little Bay Beach

From here you can climb up to the ruins of Fort Amsterdam. Built in 1631, it was the in the Caribbean. Only a few of the fort’s walls and some cannons remain, but the site is well worth a visit because of the panoramic views awaiting sightseers. On this beach, the later governor of New York Peter Stuyvesant lost his leg. 

St. Martin – Galisbay Beach

The ruins of ruins of a fortress over this small family beach. Completed in 1789, Fort  Louis was designed to protect Marigot and its warehouses from marauding British and Dutch pirates.


St Maarten – Great Bay Beach

Easy to reach from the Philipsburg cruise port. Next to a five to ten minute stroll goal, it is the disembarkation point of all ferries coming from the cruise port. 

St. Martin – Grand Case

Most island tours stop at Grand Case; you can also get there by taxi or bus. It gives you a great opportunity to have a great lunch on Grand Case Beach with its many restaurants. 

(In both cases, all beaches are within reach during a cruise visit. Please see our suggested one day itineraries for detailed suggestions what to do during a cruise visit at the Philipsburg cruise port.)

Read our beach blog about the diverse and enchanting beaches of St. Maarten, and our activities blog to see what things to do!

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Guide to Best St Maarten / St Martin Beaches