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Where is Death in Paradise set? The Caribbean island behind the BBC show

Saint Marie island, though fictional in name, is a real-life slice of the Caribbean (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)
Saint Marie island, though fictional in name, is a real-life slice of the Caribbean (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)

With perpetual sunshine, golden swathes and free-flowing bottles of “Etensel” beer, Death in Paradise injects a virtual dose of vitamin D into gloomy UK winters – and it’s bound to inspire your wanderlust.

Thankfully, the balmy backdrop of Saint Marie island, though fictional in name, is a real-life slice of the Caribbean open for holidaymakers to top up their tans, don some flippers and kick back with a cocktail on a serious winter sun getaway.

With series 13 of the crime comedy returning this Sunday at 9pm, here are the filming locations behind almost 100 episodes of the British-French crime comedy.

Where is Death in Paradise filmed?

Since it first aired in 2011, the six islands of Guadeloupe – a French archipelago in the Lesser Antilles – have been the stage for the paradise filming destination of the hit BBC show.

Situated between Dominica and Antigua in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the dreamy scenery – terracotta roofs, traditional churches and a blanket of wafting palms you see on screen – are primarily filmed on butterfly-shaped Guadeloupe’s Basse-Terre island, specifically on its north west coast.

Basse-Terre and Terre-de-Haut set the scene for Death in Paradise (Photo by Viktor Ruppert on Unsplash)
Basse-Terre and Terre-de-Haut set the scene for Death in Paradise (Photo by Viktor Ruppert on Unsplash)

What filming locations can you visit?

Deshaies, a vibrant fishing village on Basse-Terre island, doubles as the show’s fictional seaside setting of St Honoré, with Death in Paradise location tours running in peak season for super fans looking to find more than just sun on Guadeloupe.

Scenes at Catherine Bordey’s – the barmaid-turned-mayor mother of OG detective Camille Bordey– beachfront bar and frequent haunt for the fictional crime team, though originally shot at Le Kaz restaurant further inland, are now filmed at Le Madras cajun and creole restaurant on Rue de La Vague Bleue promenade. Visit Catherine’s Bar yourself for a menu of fresh seafood and frosty daiquiris.

Catherine’s Bar films in Le Madras restaurant on the Deshaies seafront (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)
Catherine’s Bar films in Le Madras restaurant on the Deshaies seafront (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)

As for the show’s dramatic Honoré Police station and the centre of most episodes, the Presbytery attached to the church of St Peter and St Paul in Deshaies sets the scene.

Elsewhere the show’s legendary shack, currently home to bumbling British detective DI Neville Parker played by Ralf Little, is constructed each season on Anse de la Perle Beach and The Langley Fort Royal Hotel, where the cast stays from December to May, has also invited the cameras in for a murder or two over the years.

Deshaies doubles as the show’s fictional seaside setting of St Honoré (Photo by Yannis Sommera on Unsplash)
Deshaies doubles as the show’s fictional seaside setting of St Honoré (Photo by Yannis Sommera on Unsplash)

How can I get there?

It takes two flights via Paris, France to get to Pointe-à-Pitre Airport, the main air hub in Guadeloupe. Vueling Airlines return flights start from £540. From there it’s just a 50-minute drive to Deshaies to live out your Death in Paradise dreams – murder, betrayal and chaos excluded.

Death in Paradise returns for its 13th season this Sunday (4 February) at 9pm on BBC1.