Together with Anguilla, St Martin and St Barthélemy are the northernmost eastern Caribbean islands. The hilly interior is hemmed by 36 white sandy beaches, which fill a 60km long strip of bays and coves. Good exposure to northern swells and a mixture of sand, rock and coral breaks, make these islands a quality Caribbean surf trip, if you can afford it. St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two sovereign governments, with French Saint Martin taking-up about two-thirds of the landmass to the north and Dutch Sint Maarten to the south. The border is almost imperceptible but each side has managed to retain much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture. St. Maarten is more commercially developed with the major airport, a busy port and the largest resorts on the island. St. Martin has smaller hotels, more beaches and a general emphasis on comfort and elegance.