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Gosier is where some of the best beachfront in Guadeloupe begins, and it has become one of the island's major resort centers, since it has nearly 8km (5 miles) of sandy but narrow beach, stretching east from Pointe-à-Pitre. All the hotels below are close to the sands. We like the funky charm of the town, which evokes a little resort along the French Riviera. Unlike many parts of the Caribbean, this area attracts mainly French visitors, so you'll feel as though you're on a Mediterranean holiday. Gosier also has some of the island's best dining and nightlife, plus a casino.

You can take a 15-minute climb to the 18th-century ruins of Fort Fleur-d'Epée. Its dungeons and battlements are testaments to the ferocious fighting between the French and British armies in 1794. The ruins command the crown of a hill, which affords good views over the bay of Pointe-à-Pitre in a gardenlike setting. If the visibility is good, you can see the neighboring offshore islands of Marie-Galante and Iles des Saintes.