If you’re looking for a Caribbean holiday destination for your 2017 holidays, Antigua may be just what you’re looking for. Surrounded by shimmering blue ocean and a long stretch of breathtaking coral reef, Antigua is renowned for its captivating white and pink beaches, wonderful weather and welcoming Caribbean ambience. Whether you’re looking to splash about in the warm waters, lounge around on the beach or explore the beautiful coral reef, Antigua has it all. Booking a holiday to Antigua also gives you exceptional value for money, as its neighbouring island, Barbuda, is one of the rare islands in the Caribbean that remains unspoilt. Antigua’s little sister, Barbuda, offers paradise-like coves, lively beachside towns and a wide array of watersports, whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned watersports enthusiast. With so much to do on both islands, you’ll never be short of options whether you’re in the mood for thrilling, laid-back or romantic activities. Choose Antigua for a holiday in 2017 and enjoy heavenly beaches, incredible weather and a seemingly endless range of activities to keep you entertained.
There’s a wide variety of attractions and activities in Antigua, so you’re never far from a fuss-free day of fun whether you’re holidaying with your family or are on a romantic break as a couple. For families with children, a visit to Half Moon Bay is essential. This gorgeous destination is scattered with crystal-clear rock pools to look for marine life and a number of little coves, making it an ideal destination for having fun with all the family. Dickenson Bay is a lovely spot on the coast for water sports, family-friendly activities and beach bars, while at D-Boat, you can enjoy the unique experience of an oil tanker-turned-water-park, just off Maiden Island. To really immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful Caribbean destination, head to Nelson’s Dockyard in the English Harbour to learn more about British colonial history, or take an off-road tour to Devil’s Bridge, Betty’s Hope and the island’s first sugar plantation.
Wine and Dine
Antigua’s cuisine is typical of the Eastern Caribbean, with plenty of fresh seafood and heart traditional Caribbean dishes. On Antigua you’ll find a real smorgasbord of international cuisine from around the globe, including American, Italian and French influences. Thanks to the gorgeous weather, eating outside is a favourite pastime and barbeques are very popular, with street markets serving barbeque fish, rotis and chicken particularly around the English Harbour and St John’s. The specialities here include pepperpot, a heart stew made from vegetables and cured meat, roti, or patties with curried potatoes, and cucana, which is grated sweet potato mixed with coconut, sugar snd sweet spices served inside a banana leaf. As the pristine waters off the coast teem with fish, seafood is freshly caught each day, making for some of the finest seafood dishes you’ll ever try.
With a beach for every day of the year and a thriving watersports scene, Antigua is a perfect destination for family holidays and offers the ideal place to reconnect with your loved ones. Many of the island’s beaches are protected offshore by coral reef, providing calm waters that are ideal for inexperienced swimmers, the elderly and young children. A great number of the island’s best family-friendly activities revolve around the beach, including swimming, playing sports on the beach, zip-lining through the nearby rainforest and taking a boat trip around the island. Thanks to the island’s colonial heritage, a holiday here is also a historically educational experience, with the capital St John’s and Nelson’s Dockyard at the English Harbour offering a fascinating day out.
Action and Adventure
Whatever sport is your favourite, Antigua has the climate, natural beauty and amenities for almost every type of exciting activity imaginable. If you want to keep fit on holiday or learn water sports, the wide range of beaches and large area of calm coastal waters make this island the ideal place. Scattered throughout Antigua there are a good number of shops and places for the sports enthusiast to buy or hire equipment for a wide number of sports, including outdoor fitness, golf, sailing, tennis, scuba diving, wind surfing and horse riding. The sister island of Barbuda offers outdoor activities that are both relaxing and invigorating, including beachcombing on the north-eastern coast, fishing, diving and snorkelling. Those looking for a moderately active day out may want to travel to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary for a pleasant stroll while spotting the incredible range of beautiful exotic birds. The sanctuary has more than 170 species of birds, with more than 5000 frigatebirds making the island their home. These include the magnificent frigatebirds, the most active of the waterbirds when it comes to flying, which incidentally have the highest wingspan in proportion to body size of all birds in the world.
Life's a Beach
As with the rest of the Eastern Caribbean region, Antigua has incredible weather and refreshing sea breezes, making it the ideal destination to relax in the sun. There are more beaches than there are days of the year here, making it easy to find a beach to suit your tastes. If you head to the north west you’ll find some of the island’s most popular beaches including St John’s, Hawksbill Bay and Dickenson Bay. Ffryes Beach offers a more quiet, secluded experience and is located outside Jolly Harbour close to Darkwood Beach. An excellent way to explore Antigua if you’re travelling in a group with family and friends is to hire a catamaran, letting you navigate and explore the coast at your leisure, and access some of the beaches that are harder to reach by car. An excellent beach for romantic couples’ breaks is the aptly-named Love Beach, located on Antigua’s western coast, which has a stretch of soft white sands and gently lulling waves.
This part of the Caribbean is as famous for its nightlife as it is its beaches. The choice of nightlife in Antigua is huge, with a wide selection of nightclubs, discos, clubs and bars to choose from. The choice of music here is almost limitless too, with clubs playing everything from dancehall and calypso to hip hop and Euro dance classics. West Indians love to go out and socialise, and the natives of Antigua are no exception. Something unique about the nightlife in Antigua is the use of the historic and natural attractions to provide the best views while you party, with some innovative nightlife venues being located inside restored buildings from the Creole period and even inside forts. Some of the best bars in Antigua include the Mad Goose Man, a bustling nightclub frequented by locals and tourists, The Beach Linerz, a traditional wooden beachside bar with shutters that overlooks the sea, and the Shirley Heights Lookout, which is located in the fortifications that overlook the English Harbour.
Few places on earth offer the natural romance of Antigua, with stretch after stretch of powdery white sand, the tropical climate and clear blue skies overhead. The island has a welcoming ambience with an attitude that has a real joie de vivre, making it the ideal venue for starting your married life together on your honeymoon or celebrating a special anniversary. Some of the most romantic activities available in Antigua include scuba diving or snorkelling at Cades Reef, giving you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the island’s most beautiful exotic marine life, or heading to Long Bay and Dickenson Bay for unforgettable underwater exploration experiences. It’s easy to impress your loved one with romantic picnics here, with some of the island’s most scenic beaches including Deep Bay, Jolly Beach, Darkwood Beach and Half Moon Bay. If you’re planning to pop the question or celebrate a special anniversary, Antigua’s paradise-like beaches are the perfect venue for making a memorable proposal or lavishing your loved one with gifts and a romantic beach picnic.
Antigua is an ideal holiday destination if you’re looking to learn more about classic Creole culture. Although the term Creole refers to many people around the world, with regard to the Caribbean, it refers to French-speaking people primarily from Europe that were born in the Caribbean. Here, the term Creole can also be used to describe people of all ethnicities that were born and raised in the region. If Antiguan culture were represented in a song, the bass would feature African rhythms. African influences play a huge role in Antiguan culture, with a number of musical genres that feature African steel drums, reggae and calypso beats. Calypso holds a special place in the heart of Antiguans as, historically, it was invented by slaves who were forbidden to communicate by other methods. One of the most disctinctive aspects of Antiguan culture is Carnival, the cultural highlight of the year which is celebrated each July and August for 10 days of celebrations in commemoration of the 1834 act of emancipation from slavery. If you have the option to, timing your visit to coincide with the Carnival celebrations gives you the prime opportunity to hear the classic styles of Antiguan music, see plenty of vibrant, intricately-decorated costumes and learn about the island’s history through live music, pageants and parades.