things to do in antigua

Holidays don’t come much more heavenly than they do on the island of Antigua (map). Located in the West Indies, Antigua is a tropical island which has become synonymous with luxury holidays. Indeed, the island is so popular with holidaymakers that much of their economy rests on the tourism industry. This is good news for those thinking about visiting the island; as it means that the Caribbean escape is well practised at offering the perfect getaway. The island’s biggest draw is undoubtedly its beaches. It boasts 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. However, there are plenty of other things to do in Antigua aside from enjoying its beaches and resorts.

One of the 365 beaches in Antigua & Barbuda.

Top things to do in Antigua

Of course, the island of Antigua provides plenty of opportunity for relaxing. As if the stunning beaches (all 365 of them!) and warm surrounding ocean weren’t enough, guests to the island will be treated to dollops of history, culture, nature and colourful towns.

One of the top places to visit in Antigua is Nelson’s Dockyard, home to Antigua’s former 18th-century British Naval Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the Dockyard Museum and the Admiral’s House to learn more about the country’s past. Aside from it historic importance, Nelson’s Dockyard also offers a variety of dining and shopping options.

Another great thing to do in Antigua is to stroll around the capital, St. John’s. The town, with its brightly-coloured buildings, bustling markets and the impressive St. John’s Cathedral, is a visual delight!

St. John’s Cathedral (image by B.Pereira/Unsplash)

Aside from its glorious beaches, there are many other natural highlights to visit in Antigua. One of the most popular natural sights is the Devil’s Bridge, a natural limestone arch in the Indian Town National Park on the east coast. There are also numerous blowholes and the pounding surf along the rugged coastline to admire, making a hike through the park a rewarding experience.

Devil’s Bridge (image by M.Hayes/Unsplash)

Turtles, sailing and the Carnival in Antigua

Wildlife is also a key feature of the island. Holidaymakers gather to take part in regular turtle watches run by local environmental groups. Their patience is rewarded by sights of these gentle animals on some of the beaches around the island.

Another popular activity to help you unwind is sailing. Due to the stunning scenery, sailing is a popular pursuit on the island and tourists will find plenty of yachts available for exploring. The island also plays host to a number of key sailing and yachting events throughout the year. Such events include the Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 race in February and the Annual Antigua Charter Yacht Show in December. Both of these boating events are popular attractions for holidaymakers. Whether you’re a sailing enthusiast or not, the atmosphere that comes to the island during these times is an irresistible draw.

Go sailing in Antigua!

Though very popular, water sports aren’t the only popular pursuit for tourists on the island. There is a calender of thrilling and exciting events on the island which take place throughout the year. If you’re looking for a holiday to remember, think about visiting during the Antigua Carnival. The ten day festivities include music and dancing as well as many other entertainments. It takes place each July/August on the island. If you can’t make the trip in August, don’t worry. Calypso music is very popular on the island and you’ll find that it is home to some of the Caribbean’s most popular steel drum bands.

Carnival (image by Bluefizz32/Wikimedia Commons)

There are many hotels and resorts located around the coastline of the island. One of these resorts is Carlisle Bay. Located in St Mary’s, on the south of the island, Carlisle Bay Antigua opens out onto a breathtakingly beautiful beach. The hotel has created something of a local precedence with it’s contemporary yet Asian inspired style. You’ll be astounded by the sea views and accompanying hospitality.

Carlisle Bay – beach

Once you’ve visited the island of Antigua, you’ll learn that it has so much more to offer than the obvious beauty of it’s beaches. Whether you choose to spend your time there in the many calm harbours or enjoying the views from the highlands; you’ll be taken in by the Caribbean magic of the island. Once visited, Antigua is never forgotten. Many holidaymakers come back year after year to rediscover all that the island has to offer.

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4 Responses

  • When I was working as a crew member on sailing yachts we spent a lot of time in Antigua. It is indeed such a lovely island with loads of beaches. English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard is very picturesque, and has a lot of history. The spectacular view from atop of Shirley Heights is not to be missed. There used to be a big party there every Sunday night. I’m not sure if that’s still the case. This brought back some nice memories! Thanks!

  • I always hear how about Antigua is and your photos proves it.

  • I first heard of Antigua when i moved to Florida. Its such a beautiful place and the people are just wonderful. Thanks for the post.

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