They say that there’s a beach for every single day of the year here in Antigua; and that’s because the island is home to 365 beautiful beaches and each one has its own unique charm. With so many beaches to choose from, it’s impossible to explore this wonderful corner of the world in one lifetime. Many who come here like to handpick a few of their favourite beach destinations and that’s the main vibe of this Caribbean island; total relaxation and slow-paced island life. And with more beachside bars than any other destination, you’ll have the promise of the most incredible ocean views and the most spectacular sunsets every time you order a drink.
Set in the West Indies, and as one of the Leeward Islands, Antigua is a fantastic Caribbean destination best known for its amazing beaches. It’s the main island of the country Antigua and Barbuda and its name translates from Spanish as “antique”, named after an icon of the Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Antigua. The island itself comprises glorious coastlines with turquoise blue waters, lush greenery, exotic wildlife and stunning coral reefs; all the ingredients of the perfect beach paradise. And with the friendliest folk around, you’ll be made to feel at home as soon as you set foot on the powdery soft sands of this enchanting Caribbean nation. If you can tear yourself away from your towel, there are also some wonderful experiences that you won’t want to miss including the incredible party atmosphere at Shirley Heights where music and steel pan drums take you from sunset into the late evening, candlelit dinners along the beach which are perfect for hopeless romantics, glass bottomed boat excursions which will have the kids mesmerised, catamaran tours for those who want to set sail into the ocean, and snorkelling and scuba for unmissable underwater adventures.
Antigua is a wonderful destination for families if you are after a unique beach destination in the Caribbean. What’s really great for kids is the variety; with 365 different beaches to choose from, you’ll never run out of safe and scenic places to sunbathe, swim and run around. Some of Antigua’s best beaches include Ffryes Beach, Darkwood Beach, Turner’s Beach, Jabberwock Beach, Carlisle Bay, Dickenson Bay, Pigeon Point Beach, Crab Hill Bay, Jolly Beach and Half Moon Bay – but that is by no means an exhaustive list! The island is also a fantastic destination for sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing and a number of different excursions to suit all ages – so the kids will never be bored.
The food of Antigua and Barbuda comes from traditional Afro-Caribbean cuisine and seafood is very much a staple of the regional diet. Fresh catches are eaten daily and the island’s gastronomic specialities include lobster, red snapper, conch, mahi-mahi, shrimp and many other fish and seafood. The national dish of Antigua and Barbuda is Fungie and Pepperpot, which is a dish of corned beef brisket and a cornmeal and okra dough that is similar to polenta. Other traditional dishes you should try include Ducana (a sweet potato dumpling), Saltfish (dried and salted cod) and Tamarind Stew. Sweet treats and desserts include Sugarcake (a coconut sugar confection), fudge and peanut brittle. Local drinks are Mauby Fizz, Seamoss drink, tamarind juice, mango juice and coconut water.
The culture of Antigua and Barbuda can be described as a classic example of Creole culture; a unique culture which emerged from mixing Carib and Arawak), West African and European traditions and customs. British influences can be found in sports such as cricket and football but when it comes to music, Antigua and Barbuda have remained close to their traditions and heritage with musical genres such as calypso, reggae and steel drums. Calypso music is particularly significant as it dates back to the 18th Century when slaves were forbidden to talk to one another and so they used music as their form of communication. Today, these genres of music are widely celebrated and lively carnivals take place throughout the summer months.