When you are planning to go away, you will most likely be dreaming of going to a place where the weather is always hot, the locals are friendly and where people know how to relax and enjoy themselves.
This year I have found that place and it’s the beautiful island of Antigua. This March I was lucky enough to venture all the way to the idyllic Caribbean island where the temperatures reach an average of 27 degrees. As a first timer to the beautiful island I was not let down.
On landing at VC Bird Airport it was lovely to feel the heat off the tarmac after a very wet and cold winter in England. The land was green and luscious, covered in palm trees and vibrant and exotic flowers. Antigua is only a small island, about the size of a London borough, so it does not take long to find any location you wish to visit.
We chose to stay in the English Habour, which is an area that felt busy with life but not over crowded with tourists. The nightlife is certainly to be recommended but be warned, Caribbean drinks measures are a lot more generous than UK measures. Anywhere you stay in Antigua you will be more than happy with the beaches as the sand is soft and the water is crystal clear and none of the beaches were overcrowded. This is probably due to the fact that Antigua has 365 beaches.
One of our first outings was to the Antigua Rainforest Zip Wires. I am somebody who is a little scared of heights and found this a daunting experience but with a little (lot) of encouragement from both my fellow travellers and the welcoming staff, I soon got into the swing of things (literally). I would highly recommend this to anyone and although it will get your heart pumping, it is completely safe and you will feel extremely pleased with yourself for having done it.
Now it’s time to talk about the delicious food they have on offer in Antigua. You will find that many of the most popular dishes involve chicken. However, you should also head to one of their top Fish restaurants, such as Papa Zouk’s in St John’s, the capital of Antigua. The food is spectacular, despite probably expecting the prices to be extortionate, you will be happy to discover that it is extremely well priced. Enjoy the freshly sourced fish and try lobster, local fish and shrimp in a social and cheerful environment.
After many days of enjoying the sunshine, beaches and the beautifully clear water we decided it was time to see Antigua from the Ocean. The Wadadli Cats catamarans cruise was the perfect way to do this. The trip started promptly at 8.30 (be sure to get there early) and came to a finish after 2pm. The voyage included drinks, lunch and even snorkelling, as well as some fun entertainment by the crew. If I had to name the highlight of my time in Antigua I would definitely say that this was one of the top. Just ensure you take plenty of suncream as the suns rays will really get to you on the ocean.
Although the tourist attractions are a fantastic way to spend your days, one of the best pieces of advice I got whilst in Antigua was get involved in the local culture and not just visit all the places tourists go to. For me this translated as visiting market stalls to get fresh fruit for my days on the beach, however always take caution to when picking a stall to go to as you would with any country you visit.
After your holiday to Antigua you will find yourself longing to go back there even as you are on the plane heading back to the ever so rainy England. Antigua will leave you with many of your best memories, and definitely become one of your top holiday destinations, it certainly did for me.
By Elizabeth Cracknell