A not-to-be-missed Caribbean gem with a laid-back atmosphere
and some of the friendliest locals on earth...
Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, the state of Antigua and Barbuda is comprised of two main islands as well as Redona, which is uninhabited. Antigua has 365 beaches (one to enjoy every day of the year), 280km of lush hills, rainforest and agricultural flatlands, making it the perfect destination for those looking for a perfect warm weather destination holiday.
Once you visit Antigua, it will become apparent why seriously wealthy celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Eric Clapton and Giorgio Armani, who can have their pick of any global destination to invest in when it comes to expanding their property profile, decided to buy holiday homes on this stunning island.
Getting there – Fly direct from London Gatwick to VC Bird International Airport in St. John’s
For our escape to Antigua, we flew with British Airways (in the World Traveller Economy Class) direct from London Gatwick to VC Bird International Airport in St. John’s, the capital city of Antigua. We love flying with British Airways whenever possible, as it provides its passengers with a generous baggage allowance (inclusive 23kg checked baggage allowance), which means that I needn’t feel guilty for packing six bikinis for a week-long holiday - variety is key, after all). It even meant I had room to bring my snorkel and flippers so I could indulge in snorkelling every day.
The 8 hr 50 min flight flew by quickly, although it could have also been down to our excitement for our paradise jaunt!
The friendly locals - Smiles guaranteed everywhere you go...
Taxis in Antigua
If you’re looking for a reputable taxi company to transfer you from the airport to your hotel, we’d recommend JJ’s Taxi (723-8753), which is run by Joseph Jacobs Sr., an eccentric local who guarantees satisfaction with every ride. In his words ‘If you don’t like my tour, you don’t pay me no money’. During our journey to the hotel, Joseph gave us a quick rundown of facts about the island – including the fact that there only 14 traffic lights on the whole island. I suppose he would know better than anyone, having been a local taxi driver for most of his life!
What to see and do in Antigua
With so many options of things to see and do in Antigua, the most difficult decision you’ll have is deciding how to spend your time! Whether you want to spend all of your days flopped on a sun lounger on the beach or near your hotel pool or whether you’re seeking something a bit more adventurous, the sky’s the limit.
From zip lining in the rainforest to snorkelling amongst the barrier reefs, to island boat tours, to water sports such as sailing, kayaking, diving or kite surfing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Gourmands can also sign up for private cooking lessons to learn first-hand how to master cooking delectable Caribbean cuisine.
Key places to visit in Antigua
While there are many places to visit in Antigua, you can’t miss English Harbour, Nelson’s Dockyard, Devil's Bridge and Shirley Heights. Religious or not, it's also worth visiting St. Barnabus Church, the oldest church on the island, dating back to 1676. Anything else that you manage to see is an added bonus. I would also recommend hiring a car for at least one day of your holiday so you can drive around the island to visit a variety of beaches. We used Sunny Rentals, near the Sugar Ridge Resort, which had reasonable rates and friendly staff.
Best Beaches in Antigua
One of the highlights of visiting Antigua is its wealth of spectacular beaches. During our visit, we managed to see six beaches – Jolly Harbour Beach, Turner’s Beach, Jolly Church Beach, Ffryes Beach, Little Ffryes Beach and Half Moon Bay, all of which were fabulous and unique.
Where to stay in Antigua
Antigua has a plethora of gorgeous properties to choose from whether you’re looking for more reasonable self-catering accommodation or an ultra-luxe resort. Recommended hotels and resorts include: Sugar Ridge, Cocos Hotel, Keyonna Beach and Tranquillity Bay.
Not sure when you’d like to visit Antigua? Here’s an overview of key 2016 diary dates for upcoming events
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The Caribbean Islands
Inspiration for your visit to The Caribbean. From sensational accommodations to amazing restaurants and must-see destinations, you'll find it here.