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Discover the best of Grenada, from spice markets to turtle hatching

Famously known as the "Island of Spice", due to its historic production of nutmeg and cinnamon, Grenada is a tropical island nation in the Caribbean. Food and Travel blogger Kirsten Rodgers, Ms Marmite Lover, has highlighted ten things for travellers to see, eat and drink during their time Grenada, from visiting the spice markets, to watching hatching turtles on Levara Beach.

Discover the best of Grenada, from spice markets to turtle hatching

Grenada might be a small nation in the Caribbean but this tropical island is bursting with flavours, aromas, culture and heritage. Food and travel blogger Kirsten Rodgers, also known as Ms Marmite Lover, points out ten things to see, eat and drink during a visit to Grenada.
Watch turtles hatch.

Every two years, leatherback turtles swim hundreds of miles to return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs. On Levara Beach, holidaymakers can watch the turtles lay hundreds of white golf ball-size eggs in sand nests, and see little ones emerge from their eggs for the first time with the help of professional researchers. Tourists are asked to wear dark clothing and not use distracting lights except for red torches.

Visit the spice markets

Known as the “Island of Spice”, Grenada is famous for its production of spices such as Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, orange/citrus peels, wild coffee, nutmeg and organic cocoa. When Hurricane Ivan hit the island in 2004, 80 per cent of the nutmeg trees were ripped out of the ground, putting a strain on the local providers. At the nutmeg factory in the northern town of Gouyave, tourists can buy nutmeg products such as syrup, jam, nutmeg oil and necklaces.

At the spice market in St George’s, visitors can browse the colourful stalls of spices and learn about the ingredients from stall holders, while soaking up the fragrant aromas.

Underwater Sculpture Park

Situated two miles north of St Georges in Moliniere, the Underwater Sculpture Park was created by two artists, James deCaires Taylor and Troy Lewis. The park features life-size sculptures of people, with a group standing in a circle holding hands, some lying on the seabed, or sat at a desk. The statues are covered in barnacles and have become a natural habitat for many sea creatures.

Local food

Something not to miss is "oildown", Grenada’s national dish, a slow-cooked stew with a range of ingredients including breadfruit cooked in coconut milk and turmeric, fish, conch, and meat pieces like pigtail. Firm favourites on a menu include plantains such as breadfruit, yams, and sweet potatoes, and there are ten different types of bananas, known locally as green figs.

Some recommended restaurants on the island include Dodgy Dock, BBS Crabback, and La Sagesse, and the annual Chocolate Festival is not to be missed.

Sandy beaches

Like most Caribbean islands, Grenada is home to an array of beautiful beaches. Its most famous is the 2.5-mile-long crescent-shaped Grande Anse on the south of the island, while the secluded beach of La Sagesse is located within a nature reserve and has clear waters that are perfect for snorkelling.

Lush rainforests

Grenada boasts fertile land and with that comes lush, verdant landscapes including dense rainforests. Tourists can hike through the Grand Etang National Park with its waterfalls and local wildlife, and the surrounding emerald hills are dotted with colourful houses and shacks.

Sailing

Grenada boasts excellent sailing conditions and there are a variety of schools where visitors can get sailing qualifications, though it’s not a legal requirement. Whisper Cove is a great place to try out the sport with its marina and restaurant, and visitors can stay the night on their moored vessels. The island offers many sailing excursions, from sunset cruises to dolphin-watching trips.

Rum

No trip to the Caribbean is complete with sampling the local rum, and Lisette Davis at Rumboat Retreat recommends a few varieties to enjoy, including Rivers (70 per cent) made from hand-cut pure sugar cane; ages amber nectar Montebello (42 per cent); and the British Grenadian rum Clarkes Court which is made from molasses (69 per cent).

Tropical gardens

Thanks to its fertile soil and tropical climate, growing flowers and plants in Grenada is fairly simple, and Grenada’s stand at the Chelsea Flower Show in London has won gold for 12 years in a row. Tourists can visit many different gardens across the island including Mount Cinnamon hotel with Chadon Beni and papaya trees, and the government-run educational Laura herb and spice garden, full of spices, herbs and fruits including pineapples, clove, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Local people and music

The Grenadians are friendly and hospitable with gentle manners. Music is in their blood and many seem to know how to play an instrument. Throughout the island, travellers will hear a range of music, from calypso, and reggae to popular chart hits, and there are many places to dance including The Brewery bar which serves chocolate beer.

Located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada is a beautiful island nation that boasts soaring mountains, jade rainforests, soft sandy beaches, and colourful gardens.

Some of its most popular attractions include the island’s highest peak, Mount St. Catherine; Seven Sister Waterfalls; Dougladston Estate, the oldest spice plantation in Grenada; and Belmont Estate, a former 17th century plantation where the famous Grenada Chocolate Company products are produced.

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