The northern, French side of the island is known as Saint-Martin, and is 54km² (21 square miles) in area. The southern, »Dutch side« of the island is known as Sint Maarten, and is 41km² (16 square miles). The French side, Saint-Martin, consists of the northern two-thirds of the island. It has a more »European« feel than the Dutch side. The native language is French and has the same guiding laws as France.
There are no casinos on the French side. It is less developed than the Dutch side, but contains more of the island's natural wonders. The French side is popularly known for clothing-optional Orient Beach and the adjacent nudist resort. The towns of Marigot and Grand Case provide some of the best gourmet meals anywhere and plenty of interesting shops. Beauty abounds on the island, with bluffs overlooking pretty harbours, sandy-cliffed beaches and tranquil rocky coves.
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