You’ve probably just finished your Summer season in the med, storm shutters are going on and you’re about to cross for the Caribbean. Whether you are a seasoned yachtie who hasn’t made it to Antigua or a newbie to the industry, you will not be disappointed with this beautiful island.
So what makes Antigua fantastic for yacht crew?
You’ll spend a lot of time outside
This tiny place is a haven away from the hustle and bustle of Europe. There isn’t much going on in the way of shopping, which will save you a few pennies… However, you’ll probably find yourself spending most of them sipping Espresso Martinis at Scully’s in Falmouth Harbour (they are amazing, you have to try them). Make sure you get out and about, hire a car and explore the island, you won’t be disappointed.
Yes gym bunnies there’s something for you too
There are a number of great running/hiking trails that are easy to get to from the boat, and you can go and whack a ball around at the tennis and squash courts if you’re looking for a bit of variety. Not forgetting, of course, if you’re looking to lift some weights then you can head to the gym in Falmouth Harbour.
What about a spot of kitesurfing for the adventure junkies?
There are two great kitesurfing schools in Antigua, they both offer lessons and gear rental. You’ll need transport to get to the kiting spots though as they are located on the north side of the island.
You’re going to LOVE the beaches
Antigua is known for its beaches and there are two amazing ones within walking distance from all the marinas, so cooling down after work will never be a problem. Galleon Beach is great for diving and snorkelling and Pigeon Beach is perfect for book reading with a Banana Colada, what could be nicer?
There’s even something for the historians
English Harbour is home to Nelson’s Dockyard, a cultural heritage site that the British Royal Navy used to protect ships from hurricanes in the early 1880s. The dockyard has been beautifully restored and its numerous bars create the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. Also, once a month they have ‘Fish Fridays’ where local fresh fish caught that day are cooked over coals. So tasty.
Go dancing at Shirley Heights
Be sure to venture up to Shirley Heights at least once while you are in Antigua for one of their Sunday parties. Get there before sunset to make the most of the photo opportunities and then get your dancing shoes on because the steel band are incredible. The view from this lookout point is breathtaking and on a clear day, you can see Montserrat and Guadalupe. It’s always a lot of fun but watch out for the rum punch, it’s delicious and therefore utterly lethal.
Rent a car and go for a drive
There are lots of places to stop for lunch or a beach for a swim. If you head to the north of the island there are also some historical lookout points. Fort James is a pretty cool spot and there is also a fantastic beach bar there for a few sundowners. Make sure you also stop off at Devil’s Bridge, a natural rock arch, and see if you can get a photo of water shooting out of one of blow holes nearby!
There is so much to do here so take part in some tours, go diving, try fishing, check out the farmer’s markets and do lots of walking. Support as much of the local business as you possibly can, make friends with those who live on the island and they’ll take you to the hidden spots they like to go to.