:" Grande Terre is also the name of the main island of
New Caledonia, and the name of the largest of the Kerguelen Islands.
The main part of
Guadeloupeconsists of two islands separated by a salt river and whose combined shape resembles a butterfly. The western island is Basse-Terre Islandand the eastern island is Grande-Terre. Grande-Terre's northernmost point, Pointe de la Grande Vigie, is also the northernmost point in Guadeloupe.
Despite its name, Grande-Terre (literally "Large Land" in French) is smaller than its sister island Basse-Terre Island. This is because its name was given in contrast with the much smaller
Petite Terre Islands("Small Land" Islands), two very small islands located about 10 km (6 miles) south-east of the Grande-Terre (see map to the right).
Grande-Terre's indented coastline is surrounded by
coral reefs and the island itself is a limestoneplateau. Its surface is a series of rolling hills, white sand beaches and cliffs. The island's beaches consist of both white and black sands, as well as beaches of golden sand. Of the two islands, Grande-Terre is home to the majority of Guadeloupe's farmlands and tourist resorts.
The island has a land area of 594.98 km² (229.72 sq mi). At the 1999 census the population of Grande-Terre was 196,767 inhabitants living in 10 communes (municipalities). The population density was 331 inhabitants per km² (857 inh. per sq. miles). The most populated communes are, in descending order of population,
Les Abymes(part of the Pointe-à-Pitreurban area), Le Gosier(part of the Pointe-à-Pitre urban area), Pointe-à-Pitre(part of the Pointe-à-Pitre urban area), Le Moule, Sainte-Anne, and Morne-à-l'Eau.
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