If you’re looking for a taste of Caribbean life on your 2019 / 2020 holiday, head to Antigua. Serving up a luxurious and relaxing menu full of sunshine activities, Antigua is an idyllic island of fun. The soft white sands and laid back vibes of Antigua allow you to really unwind, making it the ideal holiday destination. Set in the east of the Caribbean, Antigua’s recipe of luxury and beauty is served at its natural best. Lie back on the pristine sands or dip a toe in the warm turquoise waters at the beach. Or, for more a more active day, head to the Wadadli Animal Nature Park.
Antigua’s scenic beauty will truly knock you off your feet. The island’s verdant rainforests and vibrant cities bathe Antigua in a majestic kaleidoscope of colours that will wow you from the moment you arrive.
As you’d expect on a Caribbean island, some of the best attractions on an Antigua holiday are the beaches. And with 365 to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice. For a beach that will wow even the most well travelled beach lovers, head to 17 Mile beach. Mile after mile of sands meet crystal clear waters. Pack supplies as this untouched paradise has few facilities, and is all the more stunning because of it.
One of the most popular attractions on the island is Nelson's Dockyard National Park. A great mix of history, shopping, restaurants and nature trails, the restored marina and museums give a glimpse into the island’s history. Or if the calm beaches leave you wanting a more dramatic landscape, head north to Devil's Bridge. Carved by the pounding waves over centuries, this craggy rock face sees geysers of water soaring high above the rocks at high tide.
With a diverse range of restaurants and local specialities there’s a menu guaranteed to please every palate on your Antigua holiday. Well-known as a foodie hotspot in the Caribbean, Antigua spices things up with a range of piquant Creole dishes, chilli-fuelled hot sauces and West Indian recipes. If your taste buds prefer a milder tropical taste, the juicy mangos and black Antiguan pineapples sold by roadside traders are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on an island tour or road trip.
To try authentic food that sees residents flocking to the restaurant, pay a visit to Suga Beez in St John’s. The ever-changing menu promises a no-frills eating experience full of traditional Antiguan flavours. No visit to Antigua would be complete without trying the island’s hearty and comforting national dish. Fungi and pepperpot is a simple slow-cooked stew of meat, dumplings, aubergine, okra, squash and potatoes. Caribbean cuisine at its best.
A holiday to Antigua gives families the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. The hot, hot beaches stretch for miles and with many having warm shallow waters; they are the ideal place for little ones to safely paddle or for older children to swim and snorkel. For more active families, the wide range of water sports and beach activities will keep anyone from getting too restless.
For a fun-filled day, climb aboard the Black Swan. Pirates of Antigua can teach you how to talk and dress like a pirate, rope swing into the sea and search for shipwrecks. Unruly shipmates will be made to walk the plank! Island safaris, horse riding and Segway tours are all great ways for the family to enjoy the island together. Plus, there’s a whole host of Antigua attractions to keep inquisitive minds occupied.
Action & Adventure
Like many Caribbean islands, Antigua has a vast range of water sports to try during your stay. Kitesurfing and windsurfing conditions are ideal and the picturesque setting makes the colourful sport mesmerising to watch if you’re not quite ready to take to the waters yourself. With first-class diving just off shore, scuba divers will want to get their flippers on and head straight for some stunning wrecks. With many located in shallow waters, these wrecks are accessible for beginners as well as more experienced divers. Expect nurse sharks, turtles, lobsters, plenty of fish and some stunning reefs on Antigua’s sea bed.
For an ocean encounter everyone can try, Stingray City is a must. Swimmers can mingle with huge - and very friendly - stingrays. These rays are used to visitors and are always happy to come up and say hello. Adventurers on an Antigua holiday can head out on their own in a kayak or boat, or take advantage of the adventure tours on offer. Everything from Segways to speedboats take you to some of the best spots on the island for adrenaline rushes, stunning views and exploring.
You could literally visit a different beach for a whole year on a holiday to Antigua. A whopping 365 stretches of sand, coves and coastal retreats are just waiting to welcome you. Whether you want to spend long days lying in the sun as the turquoise waters lap the shore or run headlong into the swells to catch the waves, Antigua’s beaches are top-notch.
For one of the prettiest, and often deserted beaches, head to Half Moon Bay. The sands are a mix of white and light pink and this sheltered cove offers excellent swimming and snorkelling options. With few facilities, other than a beach bar, we recommend taking a picnic. For a beach that truly represents Antiguan beach culture it has to be Dickenson Bay. A mile of sand flanked by hotels and lively beach bars, there’s also plenty to see and do with water sports, inflatable rides and glass-bottomed boat rides.
With casinos, cinemaplexes and a huge range of restaurants and bars to enjoy at night, Antigua has plenty of entertainment to keep every holidaymaker happy. West Indians love to party and the residents on the island of Antigua are no exception. If you’re looking to dance the night away in a bar or enjoy some chilled out beats in a beachside bar - there’s a party waiting for you in Antigua’s nightlife hotspots.
Take a chance and hit the casino for a chic and stylish evening of roulette. Excitement is always on the cards at the island’s most popular casino, Kings. Boasting the world’s largest slot machine, Colossus stands at over 15 feet tall and has a huge jackpot to match - $50,000 is at stake for a lucky winner. Away from the high stakes gaming, the casino lounge hosts live acts and local artists at the weekends. With beach BBQ parties, chic dining at Antigua’s Yacht Club, and DJs filling the dance floors in bars across the island, there’s a scene to suit all tastes. Antigua’s Megaplex cinemas provide some family friendly alternatives if you have little ones and teenagers to keep happy.
Perhaps you’re planning to propose on your Antigua holiday or book a beach wedding? Whatever the occasion, whether it’s celebrating an anniversary or just spending some quality time together, there are many wonderful romantic spots on this island paradise. With 365 beaches, Antigua has a beach for every day of the year. Finding a secluded picnic spot is the ideal way to escape the crowds and bask in the sun.
For a meal to celebrate a special occasion, the chic and stylish Harmony Hall has a magical ambiance made for a romantic evening. Stroll around the tropical gardens as the sun sets, head into the gallery for some pre-dinner art and culture, before sitting down to dinner in this boutique hotel and restaurant. If you’d like your evening to be a little livelier, head to Shirley Heights. Set above English Harbour, the views are stunning. As the sun goes down, reggae bands and steel drums provide the lively atmosphere alongside traditional Antiguan barbecues.
Culture vultures will want to head straight to Antigua’s capital to take in the museums, historic buildings and shopping sights. A true Caribbean cityscape, there’s a rainbow of colours around every corner. From the brightly-hued tones of the colonial cottages to the tropical fruits piled high on market stalls - the city is a feast for the eyes. Standing stark on the horizon amidst all the colour are the white towers of the Cathedral. The neo-Baroque style makes it truly stand out amongst the other Caribbean architecture.
To delve into the island’s history, head to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda. Situated in an 18th-century courthouse, exhibits include pottery, weaving and tools, plus a look at the island’s various ecosystems. Away from the city, there’s a haven for birders at Barbuda's Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Nature lovers will want to visit Nelson's Dockyard National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s also home to a former 18th-century British Naval Dockyard. Museums, a restored marina, restaurants, shops and galleries are all a stone’s throw away from some of Antigua’s best nature trails.