Bridgetown, the captivating capital of Barbados, combines faded colonial history, captivating tradition, and vivid white beaches plucked directly from your richest imagination of Caribbean perfection. Recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, Bridgetown’s mask of modernity covers a core of complex history and fascinating culture.
Explore a land of vibrant colour, from the tranquil turquoise water that surrounds it, to the verdant green peaks of its famous soaring volcanic plugs – The Pitons; which give this mesmerising island its form. Waterfalls thunder in the jungled interior, should you successfully drag yourself from St Lucia’s gleaming beaches and dive spots – where patchworks of colourful fish dance below the waves.
With 365 beaches to choose from, it’s said that Antigua has a sandy escape for every day of the year. The sheltered twin bays of English Harbour hold an ever-alluring appeal and draw a beauty-seeking flotilla of yachts to drop anchor in their calm waters. Strap on scuba gear, crunch through paths of dense jungle, or soar up above to volcanic peaks in a helicopter – the choice is yours. Whether you seek adventure, or simply want to take it easy with a paperback and the song of the waves – a beautiful island of sun, sea, and sand lies before you.
Colourful houses speckle the rolling green hills of Tortola island, overlooking tempting electric blue waters. Let the unspoiled British Virgin Islands scenery wash over you, as you look out over secluded coves of heavenly beaches, and quiet yacht-filled bays. Road Town is an ideal base for island hopping to the scattered charms of this volcanic archipelago – whether you choose to head out to the dazzling white sand beaches of Anegada, Virgin Gorda’s boulder-strewn caves, or Jost Van Dyke’s famous beach bars. A quieter, more secluded escape than some of the Caribbean’s resorts, Road Town is a laid-back slice of paradise, offering an indulgent selection of serene beaches, fringed by thick layers of palm trees. Strap on your snorkelling mask to submerge in warm water that glistens with swirling fish – spot squirrelfish and clownfish among the reef’s many inhabitants. Snorkel leisurely, or dive among the turtles and sleek stingrays that glide through Salt Island Bay’s life-filled shipwreck. For an alternative to the beaches, take on Sage Mountain’s challenge, to tour through a dense mesh of redolent white cedar and mahogany trees. Learn of sugar cane and rum production history – which go hand in hand here – or shop to pick through local jewellery or handcrafted metalwork. Get a flavour of island cuisine, by enjoying succulent flying fish sandwiches, or follow your nose to spicy barbecues producing pork roti with a fiery jerk kick on the sand. Round off your meal with a sweet guava pastry.
Cherry red roofs, yacht-sprinkled bays and a sophisticated French flavour all add to the gorgeous Caribbean allure of Gustavia. The island’s capital rolls around a horseshoe-shaped harbour, where gleaming yachts hover and fancy boutiques, bars and restaurants fizz with life and clinking cutlery. Head up to red and white Gustavia Lighthouse to look down over the revered waters, which attract many a celebrity guest and diving enthusiast to these shores. Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover this volcanic island in 1493, giving it the name St Barthelemy in honour of his younger brother. The island has a unique history as a Swedish colony, following a deal with the French King Louis XVI to exchange the island with Sweden for better trading rights. It was returned to French control in 1878 and is now a French Overseas Collectivity. Learn more of the Swedish legacy at Fort Karl – which sits on a 29-metre-high hill above Shell Beach. The fort now lies in ruins, but you’ll meet wandering iguanas, and the views down of sweeping sea and emerald coastline are some of the island’s finest. Down below, a delightful spread of tiny pebbles and shell fragments are scattered like confetti and lapped by crystal-clear water. A little exploration uncovers countless other glorious beaches and natural wonders. Colombier Beach is a little out of the way but cradles silky-smooth sands and typically turquoise waters. If you have chance, find somewhere to settle and sip fruity rum cocktails as the sunset flares across the waves.
St. Kitts verdant volcanic slopes rise from crystal clear Caribbean waters, promising a land of escape, relaxation and rejuvenation. A place for ‘limin’ – the local word for kicking back, Caribbean style, you’ll be welcomed to an island paradise blessed with swarming reefs, hidden white-sand beaches, and irresistible shallow seas. Bigger sibling to nearby Nevis, St. Kitts is a place of unrestrained natural beauty. Soak up the dreamy Caribbean bliss, or explore sprawling island rainforests, teeming with hummingbirds and the distant sounds of waterfalls, as you walk the island’s vine-tangled paths. A ride on Basseterre’s scenic sugar train is a rumbling, immersive journey through the heart of this Caribbean island of culture and vivid unspoiled scenery. Carriages that once transported crops of sugar cane to the city sweep around long curving bends, revealing a spectacular introduction to St. Kitts. The landscapes here are beautiful, and things are no less spectacular offshore, where glorious crystalline waters invite you to dive with turtles, and explore doomed wrecks like the River Taw ship – which has now exploded with marine life. In Basseterre itself, stop off to see the pea-green Berkeley Memorial clock, which stands in the Circus, surrounded by busy St. Kitts life. Independence Square is also waiting among the city’s charming Georgian buildings. Renamed from Pall Mall on the 19th of September 1983 – to celebrate the island’s independence – the pretty square gravitates around a colourful burbling fountain, and has a dark history, as a former slave market. Wary canons watch out over the waves far below at Brimstone Hill Fortress, a site of significant history, which dates back to 1690. Known as the ‘Gibraltar of the West Indies’ due to its importance at the heart of the British empire, St. Kitts was one of the first island in the West Indies to be colonised. Nowadays, its World Heritage Site fortress offers panoramic views along the coastline it was built to defend.
Martinique is well known as France’s favoured Caribbean isle, but it is the little commune of Trois Ilets where the two cultures really mesh together. Found directly opposite the busy capital Fort de France, Trois Ilets retains its historic culture – much of it due to Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, aka Empress Josephine of France aka Mrs Napoleon Bonaparte. In fact, so proud are the Martiniquais of their famous daughter that they have sanctified her childhood sugar plantation home. La Pagerie is a fascinating museum housing rich colonial artefacts, including some of Napoleon’s rather risqué love letters to his future wife. Trois Ilets was once an important French colony, and as such played an active role in the slave trade. A trip to the Savane des Esclaves will have you learning of the plight of Neg Marrons – and others like him – slaves who fled the plantations to live alone in the hinterland. Visit the reconstruction of a typical rural shack where Neg and others managed to survive by living off the land and by their wits. Like many Caribbean villages, life is centred around the church square. Colourful wooden houses with locally thrown pottery tile rooves flank the typical creole village, while the church itself (where Empress Josephine was baptised) takes pride of place. In fact, so important is pottery to the local culture that the entire village referred to as “Le village de la poterie” in the 18th century. Unsurprisingly though, the islands natural beauty takes a front seat. Many world class beaches are found here including the lovely l’Anse a l’Ane, and the peninsula of Pointe du Bout (literally End Point). This latter place is where you’ll find most of the seaside fun. Think Hobbie-Cats, kayaking, windsurfing and jet skiing for island exploration – the Genipa Mangrove at the end of the island begs discovery if you like to take to the waterways. If your idea of heaven involves the more simple pleasures of reading and strolling under the shade of the palms, then look no further.
With beautiful seascapes, lush vegetation and intense natural ingredients, the Isle of Spice has the perfect recipe for a flavourful visit. A true sensory experience, St George’s is famous as the world’s second-largest exporter of the spice, nutmeg. Just as much of a treat for the eyes as it is for the palate, its jungled mounds, idyllic white-sand beaches, and turquoise Caribbean seas are a glorious sight to behold. Thrilling waterfalls pour through the rainforest, while banana and cocoa groves spread wildly across the island. Grenada’s capital rolls down to an attractive waterfront decorated with pretty floral buildings, Georgian architecture and picturesque terracotta roofs. Breathe in deep at the spice market, where the freshest ingredients fill stalls. Heaps of fresh nutmeg, vanilla pods, cinnamon and cocoa beans all add to the colourful mosaic. Dip into the waters of Bamboo Waterfall, or venture to Grand Etang, to explore the rich and fertile interior of this scenic island, where mischievous mona monkeys explore treetops and a collapsed volcano holds the waters of a glorious caldera lake. If all of that exploring sounds like hard work – don’t worry, the island is skirted by some of the Caribbean’s dreamiest visions of seaside luxury – from famous natural beauties like Grand Anse Beach to secret stretches hidden amongst the palm trees. Soak in the vivid colours, best enjoyed with an iced cocktail and a taste of the locally distilled, spiced rum punch.
An almost mythical utopia of virgin beaches, rustic rum shacks and bays so scenic you feel like you’re intruding – Bequia Island is an island mirage of Caribbean perfection. This is the real, unspoiled experience – and with just 6,000 locals living here, you quickly start to recognise the same smiling faces, welcoming you with outstretched arms. Offering glorious – often deserted – beaches of pure golden sand, and hillside sweeps of forest and almond trees, Bequia Island is an extraordinary feast for the senses. Unlike some of the flashier Caribbean islands, Bequia – a part of the Grenadines – is a rustic, unassuming and off-the-beaten-path choice. The staggeringly picturesque natural harbour, Admiralty Bay, greets you on arrival, and is peppered with day-tripping yachts bobbing on the gentle waves. The island’s tiny capital, Port Elizabeth, sits behind, with its bustling fruit and vegetable market, turtle sanctuary, and stalls selling hand-crafted model ships. This tiny, pretty island is ridged along the centre, and you can earn your beachside bliss with a gentle hike to the top of Mount Peggy, looking out over views of Grenada and St Vincent. At just seven miles long, you can discover the whole island in a few hours – but that would be to miss the point somewhat. Bequia Island coaxes you in to slow the pace and soothe your soul on blissful beaches, where you can revel in the uncomplicated joys of sitting, reading and swimming in heavenly shallow waters. The royally approved Princess Margaret Beach is one of the finest – an arching band of soft sand and cobalt-blue waters. As evening sets in, you may find you’re beckoned to share with communal barbecues of the day’s fresh catch with the locals, or to indulge in rum-heavy cocktails at beachside bars, lashed together from sea-blanched wooden limbs.
Bridgetown, the captivating capital of Barbados, combines faded colonial history, captivating tradition, and vivid white beaches plucked directly from your richest imagination of Caribbean perfection. Recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, Bridgetown’s mask of modernity covers a core of complex history and fascinating culture. Sherbet coloured buildings line up to overlook the waterfront of the Constitution River at the ‘The Careenage’ – where gleaming ships bob on the blue water, and peaceful strolls along a wooden boardwalk await. Stop for a sobering moment at the commemorative plaque honouring the people traded at this spot, when Bridgetown was the British Empire’s most important harbour, and first stop on the Transatlantic Slave Trade crossing. Just five minutes’ stroll from here is Carlisle Bay – a postcard-perfect place where you’ll find crystal-clear, turquoise seawater glowing in the Caribbean sun, and a mile of soft white powder sand. A treasure trove for divers, the shipwrecks scattered below the shallow water’s waves are now inhabited by turtles and swirling, rainbow-coloured tropical fish. Head to the backstreets, where street food vendors serve up spicy chicken soup, barbecued pigtails and thirst-quenching coconut water. There are bargains aplenty to be had on Broad Street, where duty-free malls and souvenir stalls cram together, vying for your attention. Roebuck Street is the spot where one of the Caribbean’s favourite drinks, rum, was discovered – having been created here from the by-products of the island’s booming sugarcane trade. Nowadays, it’s lined with bars splashing every variety of the deliciously spicy dark libation imaginable into glasses. For a touch more culture, visit one of the oldest synagogues in The Americas – Nidhe Israel Synagogue, which was built in 1654. The adjoining museum tells the story of Barbados’ Jewish immigrants, who were instrumental in the island’s development.
|Date||Price Per Person|
|19th November 2020||£3,497|
Let our specialists take care of you and your perfect getaway.
Call 01294 559949 or email email@example.com