Introduction to Antigua
Just by scanning through these pictures you'll soon see that this is a place that needs little introduction: its untouched beauty speaks for itself. And that's exactly what I let it do as I toured around it, camera in hand, attempting my very best at capturing its awe-inspiring sights, its captivating heritage, its charming people and unique flair. Keep scrolling down to see for yourself what Antigua is all about and prepare to be taken aback by some seriously spectacular beauty.
Beaches of Antigua
Oh but the beaches, the glorious beaches! Antigua certainly has a wealth of them, in fact the island's famous for having 365 of them, one for each day of the year!
I got to sink my toes in the silkiest of sands, all while admiring secluded beauty that stretched for miles and miles of dreamy, uninterrupted views. All of Antigua's beaches are so sparklingly pristine and wherever you go and wherever you stay you are guaranteed this level of beach awesomeness. The main photo above is of Cedar Tree Point Beach at Barbuda, the two photos above are taken at Rendezvous Bay and the ones below are as follows in the order shown: Morris Bay, Half Moon Bay and Green Island.
Beautiful Natural Settings
There's very good reason not to go to Antigua just for the beaches, even if they're as spectacular as you just saw above. But there's thriving nature to be admired too, as well as exotic wildlife to meet and greet. You'd certainly be missing out if you don't venture inland to discover Antigua's verdant beauties.
At the top we have two beautiful manta rays swimming in the shallowest, most crystalline of waters at Stingray City - do drop by for a friendly encounter with these amazing sea creatures that you can even pet! Next up we have the Two Foot Bay Cave in Antigua's sister island of Barbuda. Gracing the bigger centre image are The Wallings forest trails, a dream to walk through regardless of your fitness level. Finally the last two photographs at the bottom are of the donkey and bird sanctuaries in Barbuda where you can say helloencounters.
There's one other thing you shouldn't overlook on a holiday to Antigua, even if the allure of the beaches makes it hard for you to contemplate tearing yourself away from them. I'm talking about the island's heritage.
Up at the top we have Nelson's Dockyard in St John's, not only incredibly scenic but also very historic. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson who lived here from 1784 to 1787, Nelson's Dockyard National Park also comprises Clarence House and Shirley Heights. Next we have, down on one side Betty's Hope Sugar Plantation and the Betty's Hope locomotive at the Antigua Museum standing next to it. Both great places to peruse on a day out.
The Wonderful People of Antigua
If there is one other thing that Antigua should be immensely proud about is its kind, friendly locals, always with a bright smile and happy to show visitors the bright colours of their beautiful island and their relaxed attitude to enjoying life.
I had a great time people-watching in Antigua, waving at people as they went about their daily lives and taking their photo as they waved back or put on their best smile for me. The large picture above at the centre is of a steel band performing at Shirley Heights during a sunset party while the others depict various places in Antigua as I walked around, the couple selling fruits sat outside the Barbuda airport while the gentlemen enjoying a few drinks were at a rum shack in Bethesda town.
Super Tasty Food
Well, the pictures above do pretty much all the talking here, if in doubt about Antiguan cuisine being tasty, just have a peep at how mouth-wateringly delicious all the above dishes look - and yes they taste every bit as good as they appear.
I savoured every mouthful of my stay in Antigua and got to tuck into popular dishes like the chicken & shrimp medley with local Wadadli beer at Dennis Cocktail Bar and Restaurant (centre image), the lovely Caribbean chicken and fish dishes at Road House Restaurant and Bar (top left), the exquisite Mahi Mahi fish I enjoyed at Barbuda Belle (top right) and Boullabaisse soup and red snapper at Papa Zouk (bottom pictures). Every bite as flavoursome as the next!
During my stay in Antigua I got to sample two fantastic hotels. First up we have The Verandah Resort and Spa (top three pictures) where every night I recovered from all of the day's sightseeing at a pretty cottage view room.
The second part of my stay was at the popular all-inclusive St James's Club, an expansive property boasting great facilities and amenities, especially suited for families with kids seeking utter relaxation with fun pursuits. The rest of the photographs here are of this magnificent resort and they capture some of its highlights, such as the incredible views to be had from its spacious rooms. A home away from home, only better!
During my time in Antigua I also made the easy hop to baby sister island, Barbuda, where I got to experience a natural sanctuary and paradise like nothing I'd ever seen. There I visited the amazing Barbuda Belle Hotel where you get to truly escape the world in full luxury and in the privacy of your own beachfront bungalow. There I got to sample yet more exquisite Creole food with the freshest of ingredients, mingle with warm locals and simply enjoy the beauty of this island oasis, in pure uninterrupted bliss...