Luxury Multi Centre Holidays
Antigua and Barbuda can in themselves offer an ideal twin-centre holiday, spending a few days in each of these contrasting islands. Then you can get even more enjoyment from your Antigua holiday by choosing two different Caribbean destinations for an unforgettable adventure -- one very popular option is an Antigua and St Lucia twin-centre holiday, combining the stunning scenic beauty of St Lucia with the Antiguan beach paradise. Other popular options for combining with Antigua include the volcanic St Kitts, relaxed Barbados or the spice island of Grenada. Another exciting possibility is a New York and Antigua, or Las Vegas and Antigua, city-and-island break.
Featured Hotels in Antigua
Luxury Antigua Holidays
The twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda offer between them everything you look for in a Caribbean island. Known for their relaxed, carefree tropical ambience and unspoilt interior landscapes, both islands are dominated by their spectacular coastlines. In fact, Antigua's famous claim is that it has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year -- yet despite the number of celebrities and super-rich claiming Antigua as their home, every single beach is open to the public.
However, it isn't just the splendid beaches that make the coasts so beautiful. Both coastlines are protected by a superb coral reef, and are studded with lagoons and deep natural harbours. The best way to view the coastal beauty is by taking a helicopter tour of the island, and the waters are so clear that the reefs are visible from a height of two thousand feet.
Which Beach to Choose?
Antigua is the more developed of the two islands, but it still has some wonderfully deserted beaches, like Darkwood and Fryes Bay, along the south-west coast. One of the loveliest and most remote beaches is Rendezvous Bay, which can only be reached by boat, or by a 90-minute trek on foot through the rainforest. The four beautiful secluded beaches of Hawksbill Bay, so-called from the strangely-shaped rock jutting out from the water, are officially the property of the Hawksbill by Rex Resort, but are open to the public.
Close to Hawksbill on the north-west coast is Galley Bay, which not only has some of the best surfing waves in Antigua, but is also a place where sea-turtles lay their eggs, and you may well see baby turtles hatch -- near it is Dickenson Bay, the most popular beach on the island, with plenty of opportunities for water-sports and glass-bottomed boat trips. The other most popular beach is breathtaking Half Moon Bay in the south-east, an unspoilt National Park, with amazing rock formations and some of the island's best surfing and snorkelling. A spectacular natural wonder is Devil's Bridge, a limestone arch on the east coast, formed by the clashing of the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea.
Most Famous Attractions
Away from the beaches, Antigua's most famous attraction is the beautifully restored English Harbour, containing the Nelson's Dockyard National Park, full of character with its bold Georgian architecture, and waterfront cafes where you can sit and watch the boats in the harbour. There are lots of exhibits, including old dockyard furniture from Nelson's time, and the telescope that Nelson used. To enjoy the extraordinary atmosphere, it's preferable to visit on days when there are no cruise ships in the harbour.
From Nelson's Dockyard, you can hike to the summit of Shirley Heights, with panoramic views across to the island of Guadeloupe and the active volcano on Montserrat. At the top you can explore the ruins of 18th century military fortifications. On Sunday evenings, the Lookout Bar at the summit hosts a rum-punch barbecue with awe-inspiring sunset views, accompanied by steel-pan and reggae bands -- one of the few opportunities for tourists and locals to mix.
The laid-back capital, St John's, standing on gently rising ground overlooking a large bay, is the first introduction to Antigua for those arriving by boat, and takes great pride in its huge cathedral, and its museum with cricketing mementoes. Visitors first arrive at Heritage Quay, a shopping arcade on the harbour, and further along the boardwalk is Redcliffe Quay, a pretty area of old St John's that has been restored. It has plenty of cafes and restaurants, along with old town-houses and warehouses with brightly painted shutters.
Get Away from it All
Barbuda, a low-lying coral island, is where you go to get away from it all. It's an unspoiled natural haven for birds and animals, and is home to more frigate birds than humans. The tiny town, Codrington, gives you a glimpse of the Caribbean as it used to be.
There are so many reasons to visit Antigua and Barbuda, not just for their plethora of beaches, but for their exceptionally temperate climate and wealth of diverse attractions. On these islands, you really can choose to spend your time in a way that suits you -- lazing on the beach, sailing, hiking, exploring, shopping, or simply revelling in total solitude. If you are looking for a beautiful tropical destination that offers you abundant options, then Antigua and Barbuda are surely for you.