Holidays to Antigua in 2016

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Holidays to Antigua and Barbuda

Surrounded by sapphire blue ocean and miles of spectacular coral reef, the Islands of Antigua and Barbuda are famous for their stunning pink and white beaches, glorious weather and laid back Caribbean atmosphere.

Whether you want to dive into the warm water and explore the reef, soak up the rich culture and history or simply stretch out on the beautiful beaches - a break to Antigua has everything you could want from the Caribbean! Made up of two small islands - Antigua to the south and the smaller Barbuda to the north – there are idyllic beaches, vibrant beach towns and plenty of water sport activities on offer. Enjoy a slice of tropical paradise as you kick back on the beach with a cocktail in hand. It won’t be long before you catch yourself saying, ‘this is the life.’

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Caribbean Paradise

Like the rest of the Eastern Caribbean, the islands have stunning weather and cool sea breezes making it the perfect destination to relax in the sun! With over 365 beaches to choose from you are spoilt for choice. Head to the northwest coast for the popular beaches at Dickenson Bay, St John’s and Hawksbill Bay or alternatively seek out the picturesque and quieter beaches on the southwest and south east coast at the resorts of Johnson’s Point or English Harbour.

If you’re looking for action and adventure, then why not try scuba diving or snorkelling which are found all around the islands or zip wire your way across the rainforest canopy before sitting down to the very best of Caribbean food and drink. For those who like to soak up some culture, why not head to English Harbour and explore Horatio Nelson’s Dockyard, or spend the day in the capital St Johns, admiring the town’s cathedral and shopping for local goods.

Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

For those with little ones, a visit to Half Moon Bay is a must. Filled with crystal clear rock pools and plenty of hideaway coves, it’s the perfect place to kick back or make a splash. Adventure-seekers on Antigua holidays will like the abundance of water sports on offer including kayaking and snorkelling. Another must-see is the Codrington Lagoon on Barbuda, which is home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Make sure you have time to sample the traditional cuisine too; spiced ducana – sweet potato dumplings – and freshly grilled seafood is a popular favourite with the locals. Afterwards, watch the sun go down as you sip the award-winning English Harbour Rum, named after the British’s past rule of the country.

There are plenty of ways to delve into the history of the country - the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda and the Museum of Marine life are home to an impressive collection of historic artefacts – from shells to shipwrecks. A wander around Fort James harbour is the perfect way to spend an afternoon and there are plenty of markets selling fresh food so you can immerse yourself in the local culture throughout holidays to Antigua.

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Antigua and Barbuda Activity Breaks

Glass Bottomed Boat Trips

If you want to enjoy the underwater delights during your holiday but don’t fancy snorkelling or diving, a glass-bottomed boat trip is the perfect solution, and great fun for families. There are many trips available and the guide can teach you about the underwater flora and fauna on the way. Expect to see a rainbow of multi-coloured fish darting in and out of the coral, stingrays, moray eels, sea turtles and if you’re really lucky, nurse sharks

Caves

Those interested in nature may want to visit the Bat Caves which are located close to English Harbour. This series of caves are home to thousands of bats and can be visited if you acquire permission 24 hours in advance from the National Park Authorities in Nelson’s Dockyard. It’s a fascinating place and well worth adding to your holiday sightseeing hit-list.

Shopping

There are plenty of shopping opportunities to take advantage of during your holiday, whether you’re looking for a souvenir of your trip or some local rum. The duty-free malls in St John’s restored waterfront, Redcliffe Quay, are well worth checking out and sell local arts and crafts including pottery, batik work and wood carvings. You’ll also find designer brands, perfume and jewellery. There’s also plenty of markets on the islands offering a range of local crafts and beach wear.

Museums

Those wanting to learn more about history should spend an afternoon at The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda in St. John’s. Opened in 1985 by the Historical and Archaeological Society it has a number of exhibitions and artefacts which help tell the story of Antigua from its geological birth to political independence. It’s the perfect place to escape the sun for a few hours, and enjoy an educational and relaxing afternoon.

Antigua and Barbuda Beach Holidays

Quiet Spots

The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is one of the Caribbean’s premiere beach destinations and with a fabulous climate and immaculate swathes of soft sands it’s not hard to see why as whichever island you stay on you’ll feel like you’ve found your very own slice of heaven. If you’re looking for solitude head to Johnson’s Point on Antigua with its dazzling white sands and outstandingly clear waters. On Barbuda check out Pink Beach; with its pink-champagne coloured sands and relaxed vibe it’s the perfect place for quiet contemplation on a stunning sandy beach.

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Sunbathing

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to sunbathing, with a host of beaches to choose from ranging from busy and bustling, to peaceful and relaxing. There are an incredible 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, making this a fabulous way of exploring Antigua’s beautiful coastline. Weather wise you’ll be able to enjoy temperatures which range from the mid-twenties in winter to the mid-thirties in the summer so whenever you go you’ll be able to work on that tan.

Water Sports

If you’re the active type you’ll be able to take part in a number of water-based sports during your holiday. Both Antigua and Barbuda are almost completely surrounded by coral reefs, and so diving is a popular pursuit. There are many schools and centres offering diving opportunities for both beginners and experienced divers and you can expect to see a kaleidoscope of tropical marine plants, animals and shipwrecks; there is a whole underwater world to explore. Other water-based pursuits include snorkelling, fishing, deep-sea fishing and kayaking.

Antigua and Barbuda for Couples

Honeymoons

If you’re looking for a paradise location for your wedding or honeymoon then Antigua ticks all the right boxes. Not only is the location idyllic for all those photographs, but many of the hotels on the island provide special wedding and honeymoon packages

Things to Do

Aside from lazing on the beach and enjoying romantic sunset strolls, there are a host of things to do here. Taking a helicopter ride is a once in a life-time experience and a fantastic way of enjoying the scenery. There are also opportunities for bike tours for active couples, so you can stay trim and see the sights of the island at the same time. Horse-riding is another popular pursuit and there are several stables here which can accommodate your needs, whether you and your partner are beginners or experienced riders.

Romance

A holiday to Antigua and Barbuda is all about the romance; from strolling along deserted beaches, to enjoying a candlelight supper at your luxury hotel. If you want to add some special daytrips and excursions for that extra dash of spice why not book a day cruise? There are a variety of tours available on both islands ranging from catamaran trips where you can cruise to a secluded beach to relax and sunbathe, to eco tours which include a walk in the rainforest and kayak excursion through the mangrove swamps. Enjoy an all-inclusive Caribbean holiday like no other with a stay at an award-winning Sandals Resorts.

Couples Resorts

If you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing retreat, hotel’s such as The Verandah by Elite Island Resorts has a variety of features that will make your romantic getaway one to remember. Aside from the fabulous soft white sand beach and breath taking sea views with lush surrounding tropical landscape, The Verandah allows you and your partner to spend quality time together whilst on holiday here. If you’re on a budget then hotels such as the Jolly Beach Resort, situated just steps away from delightful Jolly Beach, is another great choice, and offers an array of water-sports.

Antigua and Barbuda Nightlife

Cuisine

Eating out here is a feast for the senses with an array of options available. Restaurants, whether they be independently owned, or hotel based, offers exceptionally high standards and you’ll find everything from local dishes to international cuisine so you’ll have plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for authentic, unpretentious local fare check out Bumpkins at Pigeon Point Beach, a casual beach front restaurant offering a selection of Caribbean dishes and drinks at very reasonable prices.

Bars

You’ll find a host of options whether you’re looking for a chilled beer whilst enjoying ocean views, or a crisp glass of white wine on a chic terrace. Dennis Cocktail Bar & Restaurant offers great views of two of Antigua’s most spectacular beaches as well as delicious food and a range of cocktails and fine wines. C & C Wine Bar in Redcliffe Quay is another good place for wine lovers offering a sophisticated bar and chic interior decor.

Nightclubs

Although you’ll find plenty of nightlife on both islands, Antigua is certainly slightly more up tempo when it comes to lively nights out. The choice of nightlife is extensive and you’ll find clubs, nightclubs and discos playing the best local and international music from reggae and soca, to hip hop and rhythm and blues. If you’re looking to party till dawn head to Luyo Sound System which has a DJ and VJ mixing eclectic music genres in one continuous session. If you’re more into your disco, then try Abracadabra Restaurant and Disco Bar in English Harbour.

Entertainment

You’ll find plenty of live entertainment options on your holiday to Antigua and Barbuda and can expect to hear the sounds of soca, calypso, reggae, jazz and rock during your stay. Both local and international artists play on the islands and there are plenty of options whether you like it up-beat or chilled-out. Try Café Club in Antigua’s Yacht Club Marina if you’re looking for a relaxed evening out. As well as an extensive wine list and great food, the club also hosts regular jam sessions and performances from live bands.

Useful information

Language
English, Antiguan Creole dialect
Currency
Eastern Caribbean Dollars
Local time
GMT -4 hours