If what you’re looking for from a Caribbean holiday is gorgeous beaches, fascinating history and lush rainforests, then this little island really packs a punch.
Antigua's historic Nelson's Dockyard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides a glimpse into the island's maritime history. The island is also famous for its vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, and cultural events throughout the year, making it a great place to visit for those who want to relax, explore, and have fun.
The capital St. John’s is known for its great shopping, particularly around Heritage Quay right on the waterfront. Why not escape the Caribbean heat and indulge in a little retail therapy?
All over Antigua you’ll find a diverse range of dining options, from upscale restaurants to casual beachside cafes and everything in between - there’s something to suit every taste.
Antigua’s food scene is varied and colourful, with influences from all over the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. The island was originally a base for sugar plantations and rum distilleries and many still operate today. You should definitely seek out a distillery tour and try out a few strains of ‘Nelson’s blood’.
The nation’s official fruit is the black pineapple. They’re not really black at all, but they are rare and known as the sweetest kind of pineapple you can find anywhere.
Interrupt your day of sun worshipping and indulge in a lunch of saltfish and fungi, an Antiguan vegetable mash dish similar to polenta or grits. Make sure to try ducana, a delicious sweet potato patty with coconut, sugar, raisins and spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled.
Spend evenings sipping on Wadadli beer, the only Antiguan brand on the island, and or kicking back with a mangria cocktail, a cooling blend of white wine, rum, cognac, melon liqueur and pineapple juice that's as pinky-orange as the sunset.
You won’t be short of choice with Antigua’s 365 sandy stretches and they range from busy beaches with watersports options and restaurants, to spots that are a little more out of the way and could be all yours for a day.
Half Moon Bay is known as one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, a secluded, crescent shape surrounded by lush vegetation, ideal for snorkelling and swimming.
Dickenson Bay is a long, white-sand beach with crystal-clear waters and a range of water sports and activities, or Jolly Beach is a popular spot with a long stretch of white sand, great for swimming and sunbathing.
Antigua Carnival is a colourful and lively festival held annually in July, featuring parades, live music, traditional dances and lots of fantastic food and drink. It’s an absolute must for any travellers during this time.
The island is known for its love affair with sailing, and April is when both Antigua Sailing Week and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta are held. Sailors from around the world come to compete in races, socialise and admire displays of classic and historic yachts.
There’s also the Antigua Independence Day Celebrations for the national holiday celebrated on November 1st, which marks Antigua's independence from Britain in 1981. It is celebrated with lots of music, dancing and stunning parades.
To get a real feel for the gorgeous rainforest that makes up so much of the island, don’t miss Wallings Nature Reserve and get up close to lush tropical vegetation and drink in the view with the site’s famous lemongrass punch. The reserve is accessed along the winding mountain route Fig Tree Drive which has to be the most scenic road on the island.
Wallings Nature Reserve