The Island Rhythms of Antigua and Barbuda | If Only

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The Island Rhythms of Antigua and Barbuda


Discover the warm hospitality and distinct laid-back atmosphere of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua has a coastline that is made up of 365 beaches, one for each day of the year, and the island is much-loved for these fine, white sand beaches and azure waters, and is also a haven for those seeking adventure on the water. With the area of Antigua only stretching 108 square miles, while Barbuda is 62 square miles, activities on the islands are easily accessible for all visitors to enjoy so we’ve put together some more information on why Antigua and Barbuda should be the next stop on your travels.

365 Beaches - A Beach For Every Day of the Year

No other island in the Caribbean has such a diversity of accessible and breathtaking beaches, and Antigua’s small size also means it is impossible to be more than a few miles away from the white-gold shoreline. Whether you are looking for full-scale resort beaches sporting all the facilities you could think of, bays offering some of the best surfing or snorkelling action in the Caribbean, or if you are in search of desert island coves to escape to, Antigua has the ideal beach for you.

Unique Dining Experiences with a Caribbean Flair

Antigua and Barbuda are not just islands of clear waters and fabulous beaches, they are a melting pot of influences attracting people from all over the world and this is shown in the fine cuisine serving an exciting blend of national and international dishes with a Caribbean flair. In Antigua you will find over 100 restaurants offering delicious cuisine from exotic, local dishes to West Indian, Italian, French, Chinese and Swiss-German fare.

With a menu inspired by French cuisine, Catherine's Café is one of the most popular spots on the west of the island for a lunch or dinner date. Dishes are built around local produce with seafood dishes being a highlight. Catherine's is keen to champion local farmers, fishermen and food producers and you can get a real taste of Antiguan flavours, fused with French influence. Described as dining "sur la plage" - on the beach - their waterside location also plays a big role in the menu and planning, as well as the enjoyment. Watch over Pigeon Point Beach as you enjoy delicious dishes and a wine menu to match.

Antugua’s sister island Barbuda,  is famous for impeccably fresh seafood, and an opportunity to dine in local restaurants and village shops makes the visitor experience colourful and authentic, in keeping with the island’s natural surroundings.

Pay a visit to sister island, Barbuda

Antigua’s smaller neighbour, Barbuda, is one of the gems of the Caribbean and is well worth a visit, known for its pristine stretch of 17-miles of pink sand beach and popular with wildlife and rare birds. Undeveloped with a natural purity, authenticity and unspoilt natural beauty, the island is a haven for wildlife, with the Frigate Bird Sanctuary located in the island’s north-western lagoon.

Barbuda is home to one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean, where you will find a smooth coastline edged with alternating pink and white sand beaches protected by barrier reefs. Nearly deserted beaches combine with an environment rich in marine life offering those who venture over from Antigua the opportunity to enjoy excellent diving, snorkelling, fishing, bird watching, and of course, an escape from the everyday. Though most of Barbuda’s beaches are composed of fine white sand, a few are noticeably different. These are the striking pink “sand” beaches created from the tiniest of pink shells, the colour of cotton candy, that are washed ashore in various coves. Peaceful Barbuda has less than two percent of the islands' combined population where seclusion seekers and nature lovers cherish the tranquillity, while bird lovers love the famous Frigate Sanctuary.

Land and Sea Adventures

If you are looking for land and sea adventures, look no further than Antigua where a variety of land and sea activities await. In Antigua you can zip through the rainforest on high wires, hike, bike, dive, kayak, kite surf, fish and so much more. Watersports are also particularly popular with everything from sailing, boat cruising, water skiing, deep sea and reef fishing to scuba diving and snorkelling where you can view the local marine life. If you prefer to stay in dry land, then there is plenty on offer and popular activities include horseback riding, hiking, island safaris, painting and cooking classes, walking tours, bird-watching adventures and helicopter tours where you can take in breathtaking views of the island and surrounding areas.

Enjoy Some Retail Therapy

If shopping is on your list of things to do, then Antigua is the ideal destination for you as shopping is one of the most popular things to do in Antigua. Historic meets modern in downtown St. John’s where you will find two charming shopping areas, the modern Heritage Quay and historic Redcliffe Quay are located near to the waterfront. If you are seeking some retail therapy, duty-free shopping is available in the Heritage Quay, where you can purchase duty-free items from internationally recognised brands by simply showing your valid departure details. The nearby Vendors mall also offers a selection of local arts and crafts, straw goods, pottery and jewellery, while the boutiques at the historic Redcliffe Quay provide artisan products, trendy wine bars and cafes, and the lively harborside public markets are the place to be on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Historic Capital, St. Johns

St. John's, the capital city and cruise ship port of Antigua and Barbuda, is a kaleidoscope of fantastic multi-coloured colonial cottages and market stalls piled high with tropical fruits and flowers. Looming above the stunning island skyline are the white neo-Baroque towers of St. John's Cathedral, one of the city's most distinctive buildings. To find out more about the island's history, head to the petite Museum of Antigua and Barbuda in the 18th-century former Court House, and to soak up more stories from Antigua's past, take a stroll around Betty's Hope, the 17th-century ruins of the island's largest sugar plantation. Make sure to hike the steep trail to Fort Barrington which was originally built to protect St. John's from the French, for beautiful city and harbour views.

Antigua and Barbuda are perfect if you are looking for a luxury island escape, from relaxing on the pristine beaches, treating your palate to the culinary delights of the Caribbean to taking part in the watersports available on the islands there’s something for everyone to enjoy on these stunning Caribbean islands.