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Fringed by 365 beaches, there is hardly a hotel on the island that does not enjoy a stunning oceanfront location.
Half Moon Bay, on the south-east side of the island, is considered to be one of the most stunning beaches in the country, while the classic desert island of Barbuda is an ideal place to escape to for the day.
To see the main island from a different perspective, circumnavigate the coastline of Antigua by boat; and stop for snorkeling excursions and lunch.
There is also plenty to explore on land, with Antigua’s historic ties to Britain leaving places like the English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard to wander. Meanwhile, the capital of St John’s is worth a visit, as is driving down Fig Tree drive, through rainforest and sugar mills.
The capital of St John’s is well worth a visit, with its colourful shops around Redcliffe Quay, the towering Anglican Cathedral and on a Saturday, a particularly lively local market. Meanwhile, a journey along Fig Tree Drive will showcase former sugar mills bearing testament to the days when Antigua’s sugar industry flourished and will pass through rainforest rich in mangoes, pineapples and banana trees.
At English Harbour on the south side of the island, the focal point is Nelson’s Dockyard, a base developed for the British Navy by Horatio Nelson in the late 18th Century. During this time, Clarence House was built for the future King William IV and, nowadays the residence of Antigua’s governor general, it remains open for public tours. Following a visit to the dockyard, climb up to Shirley Heights to see the remains of ruined forts and enjoy the magnificent views, while on Sunday evenings kick back to the gentle strains of steel bands whilst sampling local cuisine and fine island rum.
Little low-rise Barbuda lies just 25 miles north of Antigua and can be easily visited as a day trip, either by 20-minute flight or a 90-minute ferry ride. The main draws are the beautiful sandy beaches and the Codrington Lagoon, a paradise for bird watchers and home to a huge number of seabirds. It is one of the world’s largest colonies of frigate birds, with their impressive 2.3m wingspans and dramatic red chest pouches.
Take locally run, guided hikes through Antigua’s rainforest, and get off the beaten track. Learn more about Antigua on the way, and enjoy beautiful views from Signal Hill.
Antigua Sailing Week takes place during the last week of April. Over one thousand competitors and up to 200 yachts from all around the world adorn Nelson’s Dockyard and English Harbour for what is one of the world’s foremost regattas.
See Antigua come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
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