At the very heart of the Caribbean archipelago, Antigua is an island decorated with intricate, rocky coves, pastoral landscapes and pristine beaches caressed by beguiling blue waters. The warm steady winds that once blew British sailors into the safety of English Harbour now breathe life into one of the world's most famous maritime events, Sailing Week. The expansive and brightly coloured coral reefs that once plagued enemy ships are now a major sought-after attraction for scuba divers and snorkellers from all over the world. All in all, Antigua is a charming island as rich in beauty as it is in history.
Ringed with an incredible 365 beaches Antigua offers a different sunbathing spot for every day of the year. If seclusion and solitude are more your vibe, look no further than Johnson's Point; a beach of unprecedented beauty that opens up into the the tranquil Caribbean Sea. Whilst there are no facilities located here, this is part of its charm. The waters reflect the atmosphere being cool and calm, as well as the added bonus of being populated with schools of rainbow-hued tropical fish.
A trip to Antigua without a trip to Dickenson Bay is a job half done. It is the archetypal Caribbean beach with a lively and energetic twist; powdery white blankets of sand backed with sublime palm trees and crystal clear waters are accompanied by the extensive choice of watersports, buzzing beach bars and an overall vibrant atmosphere. Galley Bay is another option on the popular north west coast as is serene Soldier Bay.
On the east coast discover Half Moon Bay, now a National Park, which stretches for almost a mile around the curved bay while further east the calm waters of Long Bay are protected by a coral reef and ideal for children.
For those who have a particular passion for the world beneath the sea's surface, head to Paradise Reef. Championing a kaleidoscope of colour with grand shoals of exotic fish and incandescent coral reefs, this part of the island is ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving.
The nation's capital, St. John's, is graced with a skyline that is laced with the evocative, white baroque spires of St. John's cathedral – a beautiful embodiment of Antigua's colonial and architectural influences. Throughout the city, as well as the rest of the island, there are buildings coated in vibrant hues of yellow, blue and green, which effectively reflect the positive vibes exuded by the Antiguan people. If time allows when in the capital, visit the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda and explore the long history of the country.
For absolutely breathtaking views of the island, climb Mount Obama (formerly known as Boggy Peak). The mountain boasts steep hills of ancient volcanic formation that are covered in plush vegetation and exotic flowers. The mountain's peak is an idyllic spot for seeing the sky be painted an array of pink, orange and yellow in the early evenings. A visit to Shirley Heights Lookout is a must, particularly on a Sunday when the far reaching views are accompanied by sizzling barbecues, rum punch and lively reggae and calypso beats.
Take a step back in time and tour evocative English Harbour, home to historic Nelson's Dockyard, the world's only Georgian dockyard still in operation and to discover more about the roots of the island visit Betley's Hope, Antigua's first sugar plantation, which was built in 1674. Adorned with restored stone windmills, a historic distillery and a regal Great House, Betley's Hope is a fantastic day out to learn about the island's principal national export – sweet Caribbean sugar.
Although not particularly renown for its extensive shopping scene, Antigua is home to eclectic and endearing shops, such as the Public Market in the capital city. The bohemian bazaar is teeming with stalls selling bananas, limes and other exotic delights including the famed black pineapple (also known as Antigua Black) and reddish flowers of antioxidant rich sorrel.
Like her fellow Caribbean cousins, Antigua is bountiful in culinary delights. The island boasts a wide assortment of restaurants for every occasion; decadent eateries with ocean views for sophisticated and glamorous evenings or bustling Latin themed tapas bars alive with music and lights. No matter what day of the week it is, there's always something going on at night in Antigua. Whether it be live steel bands and limbo dancers, classy cocktail bars or casual ocean-facing wineries, when then the sun goes does the fun just begins!
To be cascaded in a world of colour, culture and cuisine, let Premier Holidays create the perfect Antigua holiday for you..
- Dazzling sugar-white sandy beaches
- Warm, crystal-clear seas
- Perfect for couples
- Ideal for families
- Abundant marine life
- Panoramic landscapes
- Historical attractions