Sunday, September 29, 2013

Let Me Tell You About.....Antigua

Looking for a place in the Caribbean with beautiful soft sand beaches and great year round weather? The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are the answer. Non stop flights from New York City are about 4 hours and you'll be sunning and relaxing on this beautiful island.

Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and it's sister island  Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, about 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin. Antigua is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide and Barbuda, a 68 square miles flat coral island lies 30 miles north of Antigua.

It has nearly perfect year round weather. Temperatures are usually in the mid-seventies in the winter and the mid-eighties in the summer. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands with very low humidity.

There are more than enough activities available on the island to keep every vacationer busy. From snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, golf to sailing, eco tours and zip lines there is something for everyone. Due to the trade winds, sailing is one of the most popular activities in Antigua. There are sailing event throughout the year. An Ocean Racing Club starts on Feb. 14, 2014, a Classic Yacht Regatta April 17 -22 and Antigua Sailing Week April 26 - My 2.

There are 365 beaches on Antigua and all are open to the public. Among the most popular are Dickenson and Runaway Bay's, both located on the northwest coat, which is the most developed of the beach areas on Antigua. Hawksbill has several beaches and one is reserved for nudists. The beaches on the southwest part of the island are less developed and much quieter because it is difficult to get to them.

On Barbuda, the beautiful ink sand beaches on the south shore are protected by a barrier reef. The beaches on the eastern shore that face the Atlantic Ocean are rougher than those facing south.

Visitors to Antigua can visit Barbuda by taking a 90 minute ferry to the island that run five days a week. It's a nice day trip.

Because Antigua is so small, it is easy to get around by rental car. A rental car runs about $50 per day and you'll need your drivers license and you will have to obtain an permit to drive in Antigua. Your car rental agency can help with that and the cost is approximately $20. Driving is on the left hand side of the road.

There are many beautiful resorts on Antigua. Sandals has one of my very favorite of their resorts, Sandals Grande Antigua, on this island.  From three star resorts such as Jolly Beach Resort and Spa, Grand Pineapple and Halcyon Cove to four and five star resorts such as Sandals, The Verandah, Galley Bay and Jumby Bay, there is something for everyone.

Many cruise ships also make a stop in Antigua at St. John. Our first introduction to Antigua was on a cruise ship and we've been back to enjoy Sandals and see Grand Pineapple and the famous Miss Mary, who is an Antigua fixture with her outdoor restaurant just outside of the Grand Pineapple resort.  Her ramshackle place with a gorgeous view, called the Outhouse, had some truly delicious chicken and ribs and Miss Mary is the lady who runs it. (Read an article about her here).

If you are looking for an new island to visit, take a look at Antigua and give us a call to book it at 516-608-0568.

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