Antigua is a truly stunning country; boasting not only 365 beaches (yes- one for each day of the year!), but rugged mountain peaks, rolling fields of grass which once grew sugar cane, winding roads lined with fields growing the luscious local pineapple in amongst the dry, sandy conditions. Antigua Island is the largest of the twin-island nation which also comprises Barbuda which lies just to the north, as well as the tiny uninhabited island of Redonda (1.6km long and 0.5km wide), the remnant of an ancient extinct volcano situated 40km southwest of Antigua.
Antigua and Barbuda, is the most developed tourist destination- and for good reason. Here is where the past and present mingle together beside the warm, beautiful white, sandy beaches, fine accommodation, spectacular foods and fabulous spas. Antigua offers you the chance to wind down, live it up or do a bit of both. Here you will find a whole mix of Antigua Hotels; from upscale resorts, to smaller, boutique hideaways and comfy rooms favoured by sailors visiting on their travels.
Of course we can’t talk about Antigua without mentioning the sailing opportunities. The famous English Harbour on the South West of the island- named as it is a restored colonial naval station- plays home to cruise ships and yachts alike and comes alive during Antigua Sailing Week.
English Harbour isn’t the only evidence of the long reach of the British Empire. The formal manner of the local population is reminiscent of by-gone times, and the fascinating historical site Nelson's Dockyard should be top of your list of things to do in Antigua. Another place that's popular with visitors is Shirley Heights. Once used by the British Navy as a lookout post, the site offers panoramic views, and is the home of a twice-weekly party and barbecue for sunset-watchers. It is a fantastic atmosphere with local music and dancing is sure to take the edge off.
Barbuda, the smaller sister island barely inhabited and most visitors arrive by propeller plane from Antigua at tiny Codrington Airstrip which consists of one tiny cement block structure ambitiously playing the role of the terminal building- and a short runway.
About 1,000 inhabitants reside in Codrington, an area to the north west of the island. Beyond, are beautiful stretches of uninhabited beach accessed by rutted roads surrounded by scrub brush and cacti.
The most popular attraction of Barbuda, is actually offshore - the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Bereft of visitor-friendly signs and amenities, this mangrove swamp is accessed by boat and is aflutter with majestic frigate birds.
Among but a handful of hotels, the island's best-known resort is the tony K-Club, a very private redoubt that serves the rich and famous. Most visitors, though, are day-trippers, and arranging a day-tour to this little island is hot on many peoples to do lists while visiting Antigua.