Between the two sides of the island there are 37 different beaches to choose from, each with its own distinctive attractions. Those on the French side tend to be more secluded and more conducive to quiet contemplation and privacy.
Many of the hotels have their own stretch of beach, but the ones that are more difficult to get to are especially worth exploring. Some are hugged by rugged cliffs and dramatic landscapes, while others are gently shaded by palm trees.
The beach at Grand Case is alive with local culture and like the Anse Marcel tends to be a favorite with families. Orient Bay is particularly enticing for its wide expanse of velvety white sand, its underwater marine reserve with a coral reef that is great for snorkeling, and the variety of water sports that are offered here. At one end there is a naturist resort, and the beach there is purely clothing-optional. In general, the attitudes toward topless bathing are fairly relaxed and sophisticated in St. Martin. There is one part of Orient Beach which is reserved for naturists.