Tropical Antigua escapes

Antigua has long been associated with seafaring and British colonialism – the UNESCO site of Nelson’s Dockyard is a prime example of its past. But there’s a lot more to this tropical isle, which is sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It offers up pristine white sands, top snorkelling spots – such as Dickenson Bay and Half Moon Bay – games of cricket, colourful summer carnivals, and some of the tastiest sweet and spicy stews this side of West Africa.

Antigua has more than 365 beaches to its name, so there’s one for every day of the year. And because all of them are public, there are plenty of peaceful places for everyone to enjoy. The west coast, in particular, is blessed with beautiful stretches lapped by calm, blue Caribbean waters. But the east coast also has more than its fair share of soft sandy strips, alongside Atlantic swells that create a wilder, more dramatic scene.

When you’re not catching the rays on the shore, there’s plenty to see and do. Antigua is home to spectacular limestone rock formations, like Devil’s Bridge National Park, on the east coast. Here, Atlantic waves wash under a natural archway and spurt out of blow holes. The southernmost point of Antigua claims more natural gems, with the towering Pillars of Hercules cliffs and the Mermaid Gardens rock pools adding to the panoramic photo ops from nearby hiking trails.

If you’re hoping to holiday in Antigua accompanied by the sound of steel drums and eye-catching costumes, don’t miss the summer carnival. Held every year at the end of July to celebrate the end of slavery, this 11-day festival is a feast for the senses. Street food stalls, village parades, live music, dancing, and beauty pageants are held across the island, with the historic seaport capital of St John’s the epicentre for the main events.

The flight time from the UK to Antigua is nine hours.

British citizens don’t currently require a visa to visit Antigua if their passport is valid for more than 180 days. Please visit GOV UK for more Antigua entry requirements. Or CIBT visas for more information.

December through to the end of April finds Antigua bathing in sunshine and comfortable temperatures, without the risk of rainfall. For the rest of the year Antigua is hotter and more humid with more chance of rain.

Antigua is four hours behind GMT.

English is the official language of Antigua.

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