Antigua

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The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua is mostly dry and flat and boasts 365 fabulous beaches. The best-known of these is the East coast’s Half Moon Bay. Famous for its superb sailing, Antigua is home to Sailing Week at the end of April each year, preceded in mid-April by the Classic Yacht Regatta.

The capital, St John’s, offers the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, the cathedral and Redcliff and Heritage Quays which have a selection of duty-free goods.

Visit the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, a restored Georgian Naval facility or Falmouth Harbour to see today’s mega-yachts. English Harbour is world-renowned for yachting. To see a working sugar mill on what was once the largest sugar plantation on Antigua, visit Betty’s Hope. Those who enjoy the natural world might like to take a boat trip to visit the Frigate Bird Sanctuary in Barbuda (some 25 miles from Antigua). The colony of around 10,000 birds can be seen at its best during the mating season (August to November).

How about trying the water sports (diving, sailing, game fishing, surfing, windsurfing and powerboat racing) that are available throughout the island. If you swim you could try snorkelling and shallow diving off the coast to view the colourful corals and wonderful array of marine life in the waters around the island. More experienced divers may like to venture across to Barbuda to dive the wrecks there. Take a catamaran cruise to Barbuda on the Excellence (from St Johns), where you can enjoy the magnificent beaches and see the Frigate Bird Sanctuary.

Why not swim with the stingrays at Stingray City Adventure. Sarah Fuller’s Pottery Shop will provide the art of pottery-making, as well as the chance to buy some lovely souvenirs. Enjoy a unique eco-tour at The Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour – this involves zip-lining! Antigua’s Carnival takes place in July – 10 days of fun with music, arts and food. There are many restaurants to choose from to cover all budgets. We can recommend the restaurant at Cocobay and Sugar Ridge. For a fun Sunday evening, Shirley Heights holds the biggest and best party on the island every Sunday, where you can experience a BBQ dinner and entertainment.

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