Marie Galante is one of the islands of Guadeloupe, and is also known as la grande galette, meaning the big pancake. Its round shape and its relatively flat topography are responsible for this charming nickname. It is also known as the island of a hundred windmills, in reference to the sugar mills that formed much of Marie Galante's historical industry, and are still a big part of its culture today. Many of these historical windmills can still be seen, and you can see evidence of sugar farming all over the island during a trip to Guadeloupe.
Marie Galante Guadeloupe is the place to experience what Guadeloupe's agrarian culture once was. It is an island that has resisted the winds of change to a certain extent, and it is not uncommon to see ox-drawn wagons (one of which can take you on a tour of the island). The local songs, dances, and even rooster fights are all part of the culture of the island.
Marie Galante Guadeloupe also offers some of the best rum in all of Guadeloupe at its three distilleries. Don't neglect to try the local drink, ti punch, which is a sweetened but strong drink, as you watch the palm trees waving in the breeze by the beach. There are still the ruins of some of the old sugar plantations, if you'd like to have a look into the history of the island. The Habitation Murat, for example, is a fine stone building that houses a museum of Marie Galante's arts and culture.
Like all the islands of Guadeloupe, such as Grande Terre and Les Saintes, Marie Galante has beautiful beaches, with white sands and dramatic cliffs. Canoeing or kayaking up the Vieux-Fort River and hiking in the countryside are also popular activities.
Image: rayced (flickr)