Saint Martin Friar’s Bay Guide

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Friar’s Bay is located on the northwestern coast of the island of St. Martin, on the French side of the island between the towns of Marigot and Grand Case. Friar’s Bay is also known as “Anse des Pères” on the French side of the island and is commonly referred to as “the Cove of Father’s” by locals on the island.

Friar’s Bay Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches on the island of Saint Martin where visitors can enjoy a wonderful view of the British island of Anguilla as well as bask in the warm and sunny weather. Friar’s Bay is a popular place that tourists like to visit after enjoying dinner on the island because it has a wide array of entertaining activities for tourists to engage in such as barbecues and private beach parties.

Friar’s Bay Beach stands out as being one of the most family-friendly beaches on the entire island of St. Martin. Friar’s Bay Beach is considered family-friendly because of the gentle and swimmable waters that are easy to manage for children as well those who don’t have much experience swimming, there is also a playground for children to enjoy near the beach.

Friar’s Bay Beach is a safe area that also has a wide array of fun activities for visitors to engage in such as kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, and more. It is also possible for tourists who visit Friar’s Bay Beach to enjoy delicious meals directly on the beach at one of the nearby restaurants. Friar’s Bay Beach is clearly one of the best locations on Saint Martin for travelers looking for a fun day in the sun with their families.

Where is Friar’s Bay?

Friar’s Bay is located on St. Maarten’s northwestern coast just 5.21 miles (8.4 km) away from Grand Case-Espérance Airport, and 5.1 miles (8.3 km) far from Princess Juliana International Airport. The coordinates of Friar’s Bay are 18°04’02.3″N 63°07’21.9″ W.

How long is Friar’s Bay Beach?

Friar’s Bay Beach is 1,318 ft (402 m) long.

What are the features that can be found in a map of Friar’s Bay?

The map below features different areas in Friar’s Bay such as Friar’s Bay beach, the street “Rue de Friar’s Bay” and the beautiful lake called “Etang Guichard”.

What are the ways to go to Friar’s Bay?

Nestled between Marigot and Grand Case, Friar’s Bay is a beautiful little beach on the French side of the island. Some ways to get to Friar’s Bay are listed below.

  1. By renting a car: Tourists coming from different locations on the island of St. Martin can drive to the town of Marigot and continue on the “Rte Du Mourne Valois” street for about a mile, there will be a left turn and a sign that says “Rue de Friar’s Bay”, tourists are allowed to follow the road to the end and then turn right to get to the beach, do not make any right turns after or will end up in a residential area. The cost of renting a car in St. Maarten is $17 (€15) a day.
  2. By hailing a cab: Travelers can hail a cab from any place on St. Maarten to get to Friar’s Bay. The cost of taking a cab is from $8 – $45 (€18 – €39) per ride, which may vary due to distance.
  3. By bus: Tourists can use local buses to move around the island and get to Friar’s Bay. There is a bus station in Philipsburg near the cruise ship port that has buses going to all the major towns including the town of Marigot, which is nearby Friar’s Bay Beach. Buses in St. Maarten are usually equipped with a sign that displays their final destination in their front windows, in this case, it will say “Marigot”, and tourists can walk or hail a cab until Friar’s Bay. Drivers in St. Maarten are happy to help tourists to take the right bus. Prices for bus rides range from $1 – $3 (€0.88 – €2.63) per person.

What is the distance of Friar’s Bay to some important locations in St. Martin?

The distance of Friar’s Bay to important locations on the island of Saint Martin are listed below.

  1. Princess Juliana International Airport is located 5.9 miles (9.6 km) away from Friar’s Bay.
  2. Grand Case-Espérance Airport is located 3.2 miles (5.2 km) away from Friar’s Bay.
  3. The Cruise Port in Philipsburg is located 10.1 miles (16.3 km) away from Friar’s Bay.
  4. Fort Amsterdam is located 9.5 miles (15.3 km) away from Friar’s Bay.
  5. Trou de David is located 5.6 miles (9.1 km) away from Friar’s Bay.

When is the best time to go to Friar’s Bay?

The best time to go to Friar’s Bay is between the months of December and April. The reason for this is because the weather during this time is very warm yet refreshing and stays between 75°F – 82°F (24°C – 28°C). Tourists who wish to visit Friar’s Bay during the warmest months should plan their trip between May and November, temperatures during this time range from 78°F – 87°F (26°C – 31°C).

What is the entrance fee of Friar’s Bay Beach?

Entrance onto Friar’s Bay Beach is free. Additional costs at Friar’s Bay Beach may include renting chairs and umbrellas, two chairs and an umbrella are available to rent on Friar’s Bay Beach for $15 (€13).

What are the facts about Friar’s Bay?

Friar’s Bay Beach is just 0.25 miles (0.40 km) long. The weather in Friar’s Bay is usually sunny and windy, temperatures range from 25°C – 28°C (77°F – 82°F) and the maximum wind speed is15 mph (25 km/h). Visitors can enjoy their time engaging in different types of watersports such as kayaking, snorkeling, and more. Friar’s Bay has delicious locations to eat such as Kali’s Beach Bar and Friar’s Bay Beach Café. There are restrooms located at both of these beach bars, but there are no public restrooms near the beach. Friar’s Bay Beach is rated by many people who visit with four out of five stars due to the calm waves and kid-friendly nature of the beach.

What are the weather features of Friar’s Bay?

The weather at Friar’s Bay is usually sunny and warm with average daily temperatures ranging from 25°C – 28°C (77°F – 82°F). Friar’s Bay Beach is also quite windy in the month of February, however the bay shields many of the beachgoers from the harsh winds. These weather features contribute to warm waters and calm waves which make Friar’s Bay Beach a pleasant experience for those who visit.

Is Friar’s Bay windy?

Yes, Friar’s Bay is a windy beach. The maximum daily wind speed ranges between13 mph – 15 mph (21 km/h – 25 km/h). These wind speeds often don’t affect beachgoers because Friar’s Bay is protected by surrounding hills which create a shield around Friar’s Bay and reduce the effect of the wind on the beach. Due to the protection from the winds, the waves at Friar’s Bay Beach are known to be calm and manageable for swimmers with all types of experience and a perfect place for snorkeling.

Did Hurricane Irma affect Friar’s Bay?

No, Friar’s Bay was not affected very much by Hurricane Irma in 2017. There are two restaurants on the beach that suffered minor damage and are still in operation. This was partly because Friar’s Bay has good protection against high winds due to the surrounding hills around the bay. This protection is a feature of Friar’s Bay Beach that has protected it from many hurricanes that have struck the island of St. Maarten in the past. A few of the hurricanes that have affected Sint Maarten in the past are listed below.

  1. Hurricane Gonzalo, 2014: This was a category four hurricane that caused one death but did not affect Friar’s Bay.
  2. Hurricane Irma, 2017: This hurricane did not affect Friar’s Bay.
  3. Hurricane Laura, 2020: This category four hurricane did not affect Friar’s Bay.

Is Friar’s Bay safe?

Yes, Friar’s Bay is considered a safe beach for tourists. Friar’s Bay has good protection from high winds which contribute to waters with very little swell, these features make it safe for all to swim in. The island of St. Maarten is known for its low crime rate allowing tourists to enjoy the environment with their families and feel safe.

Is Friar’s Bay family friendly?

Yes, Friar’s Bay is known throughout the entire island of St. Martin as one of the most family-friendly beaches on the island.  The warm weather and calm waters make it the perfect location for families with small children to feel safe while enjoying activities like snorkeling and playing on the beach. There are many family activities for tourists to engage in at Friar’s Bay Beach such as kayaking, snorkeling, and playing at the nearby playground for kids. Friar’s Bay Beach is no doubt one of the top family destinations in all of St. Maarten.

Can kids swim easily in Friar’s Bay?

Yes, kids can swim easily in Friar’s Bay due to the calm waves at the beach. Friar’s Bay Beach is surrounded by hills that protect the beach from incoming winds, this causes the waves to be quite small and manageable for children and those with limited experience swimming. Friar’s Bay Beach is a beach that is very well maintained, it also has soft fine sand, and calm and shallow waters. These conditions allow children and people with limited swimming ability to have a relaxing and enjoyable day at the beach.

Are there any cafes in Friar’s Bay?

Yes, in Friar’s Bay there is a wonderful café called Friar’s Bay Beach Café. Friar’s Bay Beach Café is a fun way to spend your day near the beach. Friar’s Bay Beach Café is known for its delicious food which is a combination of French and Caribbean cuisine.

The menu at Friar’s Bay Beach Café is ever-changing, guests will always be surprised by the vast array of delicious foods that can be found on the menu. At Friar’s Bay Beach Café appetizers start at €6 ($7) per plate and main courses are often around €13 ($14) per plate. The Friar’s Bay Beach Café has a 4/5 rating, and it is open from 9 am – 6 am from Tuesday to Sunday and Monday from 9 am – 10 pm.

What are the activities that can be done in Friar’s Bay?

There are many things to do in St. Martin that guarantee travelers an excellent time, some of these entertaining activities can be experienced at the beautiful Friar’s Bay. Some of the activities that can be done in Friar’s Bay are listed below.

  1. Swimming
  2. Snorkeling
  3. Kayaking
  4. Surfing

Where can you go in Friar’s Bay?

There are a few places where tourists can go in Friar’s Bay such as Friar’s Bay Beach Café, Kali’s Beach Bar, The Grand Case Cultural Center, and The Historical Monument Hope Estate. Some of the common attractions in Friar’s Bay are listed and explained below.

  1. Friar’s Bay Beach Café: This is one of the two restaurants located in Friar’s Bay. Friar’s Bay Beach Café has delicious food, which is a combination of French and Caribbean cuisine with a twist. They are known for changing their menu frequently. Friar’s Bay Beach Café is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm and Monday from 9 am – 10 pm, and the prices of main courses range from $13 – $23 (€15 – €26) per entrée.
  2. Kali’s Beach Bar: Reggae parties and bonfires are available at Kali’s Beach Bar from sunset to midnight. Kali’s Beach bar also has live music that is played on Sundays from 6 pm – 9 pm. They also rent out snorkeling equipment for $9 (€10) per day and kayaks for $21 (€25) per hour.
  3. The Grand Case Cultural Center: They offer reading workshops, African dance, Zumba, theater and samba classes. Prices range from $11 – $57 (€10 – €50).
  4. The Historical Monument Hope Estate: is situated nearby Pine Garden, and 9.63 miles (15.5 km) far from Friar’s Bay. Arawak pottery and ruins of ancient Arawak villages have been unearthed on this site by archaeologists. Get to know for free the culture of people who lived in this ancient village that was constructed around 500 BC.

What are the best clubs in Friar’s Bay?

Friar’s Bay has no nightclubs. Tourists can visit one of the best clubs in St. Martin, XO St. Maarten’s Nightlife at Simpson Bay just 4.9 miles (8 km) from Friar’s Bay.

How is the nightlife in Friar’s Bay?

Friar’s Bay is a friendly location in St. Maarten where many can have an incredible time in the evening. Although there are no nightclubs located in Friar’s Bay there are full moon parties that are hosted at Kali’s Beach Bar. The full moon parties hosted at Kali’s Beach bar usually have reggae bands on the beach, bonfires as well as plenty of drinks.

What are the best restaurants in Friar’s Bay?

The best restaurant in Friar’s Bay is Friar’s Bay Beach Café which is open from Thursday to Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm and Mondays from 9 am – 10 pm. Friar’s Bay Beach Café is closed on Tuesdays. The prices are between $13 – $23 (€15 – €26) per entrée. Tourists say that Friar’s Bay Beach Café is one of the best restaurants in St. Martin. Restaurants nearby such as Rainbow Café and Hidden Garden are only 1.8 miles (3 km) from Friars Bay beach and are good options for those who want a combination of tropical and French cuisine.

Where to stay in Friar’s Bay?

Friar’s Bay has many hotels and villas that are located nearby, in towns like Grand Case and Marigot. In fact, some of the best hotels in St. Martin are located nearby Friar’s Bay.  These hotels have many amenities for all different types of travelers visiting Saint Martin. Some of the best places to stay in and nearby Friar’s Bay are listed below.

  1. Guest House la Plénitude: Located a 5-minute walk from Friar’s Bay Beach and has 2 restaurants.
  2. Villa hosted by Gwen: Located a few minutes from Friar’s bay and Happy Bay.
  3. T2 Duplex Friar’s Bay: Next to Friar’s Bay Beach and close to Marigot.
  4. Les Temps des Cerises: Located a 6-minute drive away from Friar’s Bay.
  5. Hotel L’Esplanade: Only 10 minutes’ drive away and with very good restaurants.