Antigua & Barbuda Holidays Guide - Caribbean Experience - Antigua & Barbuda Holiday Islands
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Antigua Caribbean Holidays

ANTIGUA ... the island with a beach for every day of the year and a whole lot more besides! It's geographically varied; culturally interesting; genuinely friendly and delightfully unpretentious. It also boasts some world-class hotels that should definitely merit a place near the top of your Caribbean islands holiday wish list.

The island itself is part coral, part antigua limestone and part volcanic, so exploration yields anything from 'mini' rainforests to scenic mountain ranges, not to mention the world-class beaches and crystal clear waters for which it is most famous. The tiny islands that lie off its northern coastline are popular destinations for sailing and snorkelling excursions, whilst its sister island of Barbuda not only boasts a Frigate Bird Sanctuary (with about 5,000 frigate birds at the last count), but also some of the finest beaches anywhere in the Caribbean.

The island doesn't have a 'fashionable hub' and generally avoids the over-development that tends to curse other well-known Caribbean holiday destinations. Its holiday resorts and restaurants are scattered all around its highly-indented coastline, whilst its nightlife tends to vary between Dickenson Bay in the north and English Harbour in the south. And if that means car hire is a must (at least for a few days of your stay), it also means you leave the island with a good sense of its people, culture and scenery. Click Antigua holidays restaurants for a list of our recommended places to eat.

Indeed, the locals welcome international visitors with a warmth that reflects common interests like sailing and cricket (up until 1981 the island was an English colony and it remains part of the British Commonwealth) and despite the number of wealthy ex-pats and industrial magnates that now call the island home, the island remains unashamedly laid-back and down-to-earth. Dressing down tends to be the preference here, other than in the luxury resorts, of course. And you needn't worry unduly about safety - whilst you'll always get the odd incident and common sense should always be used, the island is generally one of the safest places anywhere in the world.

Of course, the island does have plenty of things to see and antigua - english harbour do - but not so much that you feel guilty if you prefer lying on one of its 365 beaches most of the time! The definite 'must-see', however, is the English Harbour National Park area, which includes Nelson's Dockyard and Shirley Heights. Not only are these beauty spots great monuments to the island's maritime past, but they are also lively focuses of activity. Yachtsmen from all over the globe make Nelsons Dockyard their base between November and May, the informal bars and restaurants always busy during these high-season months and literally bursting at the seams during the 'Sailing Week' regatta at the end of April. And if you want somewhere to spend Sunday afternoons, the party up at Shirley Heights should be top of your list; the calypso bands, reggae music, wonderful views and breathtaking sunsets all combining to create an unmissable Antigua holiday experience.

You should also try and take to the sea at least once during your stay. Catamaran companies like Wadadli Cats offer exhilarating circumnavigation and snorkelling trips, whilst kayak expeditions into the island's sheltered bays are operated on the scenic eastern coast.

caribbean holidays - Wadadli Cats Safari companies with well-informed guides will introduce you to the hidden ruins and quaint villages of the island's picturesque interior, but if you prefer to drive yourself around, make sure your itinerary includes the rainforest trail known as Fig Tree Drive, Betty's Hope fully-restored 17th century sugar mill and the natural blow-holes and spouting surf at Devil's Bridge.

You can even swim with the stingrays in Stingray City, with day trips to nearby Barbuda also on offer.

Somewhere else that is also well worth a few hours away from your resort is St. John's, the island's capital. Focus your time here on the harbour-front developments of Redcliffe Quay and Heritage Quay, where you'll not only be able to take advantage of the duty-free shopping, but informal bars and restaurants like Café Napoleon, Pizzas in Paradise and C&C Wine Bar.

But, of course, the very best thing to do on your Antigua holidays is simply breath deeply, take in its scenic tropical beauty and RELAX!!!

Sandals Holidays

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