A favourite Caribbean destination for 'A' list celebrities including Courtney Cox, Maria Carey and Eddie Murphy, the small French/Dutch island of St Maarten/Saint-Martin, covering just 37 sq miles, is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
It occupies a central position midway between Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe at the heart of the Caribbean Sea, and is the closest part of France to US shores.
One of the most developed parts of the Caribbean, it boasts a whole host of activities and a huge duty free shopping area. Beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants and a rich cultural heritage are just a few of the delights of this tiny island paradise.
Superb for all age ranges from partygoers to young families, there's plenty of entertainment on offer for everyone, or the option to just laze on the amazing beaches.
Blessed with an ideal climate, the island is sunny and warm pretty much all year round making it perfect for every kind of water sport imaginable.
Incredibly friendly, people from many different cultures live happily together giving the island its cosmopolitan buzz and infectious fun-loving atmosphere.
There is no island border, so everyone is free to enjoy the best of both the Dutch and the French sides, which are equally beautiful and fascinating to explore.
St. Martin/St. Maarten: an island with a unique status.
The island is divided into two geographical zones. It's the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations.
At the signing of the Treaty of Concordia in 1648 the island was split into two parts: the southern part (Sint Maarten) was granted to the Netherlands and the northern part was given to France (Saint Martin). Never have two neighbouring countries lived in greater harmony.
Were it not for the "welcome" signs as you cross the border there are no obvious indications that you are entering another country, except for a few features that are special to each side.