The Land of 365 Beaches: Explore Antigua
Idyllic Antigua has a unique, curving coastline that's studded with some of the best beaches to be found in the Caribbean. This, coupled with bustling towns and dramatic mountainous vistas, make it a dream holiday destination. Whether you’re discovering the island on an all-inclusive package or making your own way around it, here are our top suggestions for things to do on your holiday to Antigua.
Beach Holidays in Antigua
This lively island is home to an impressive 365 beaches – that’s one for every day of the year. We recommend starting with these:
- Dickenson Bay is one of Antigua’s most family-friendly beaches. It's located on the north-western coast and you can expect sparkling turquoise waters, a number of beach bars (try Tony’s Beach Bar & Grill) and, if you’re feeling active, water sports. It’s cheap and easy to try your hand at snorkelling or jet-skiing.
- Make the most of Antigua’s coastline by staying at Jolly Beach. It’s one of the island’s most affordable beach resorts, and its gorgeous grounds include 40 acres of tropical gardens. There are plenty of activities to get involved in too, from cricket to pool volleyball.
- Couples looking for a bit of peace and quiet should check out Galley Bay, a serene, adults-only beach. It's lined with high-end resorts that add to its upmarket feel. Make sure to visit Galley Bay Resort – as well as housing an indulgent spa, it's host to a mysterious lagoon where you can spot herons and pelicans.
Luxury Holidays to Antigua
All-inclusive Antigua holidays provide the perfect chance to really spoil yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- You'll find the Blue Spa at the luxurious Carlisle Bay resort. Treat yourself to a Pepperpot of Massages, which consists of four different massages in one treatment: Hot Lava Stone, Foot Reflexology, West Indian and Indian Head. Teens and younger children can also enjoy a spa experience of their very own, making this a great resort for families.
- Push the boat out and book a penthouse suite at the elegant Coves Suites at Blue Water. Antiguan resorts have never been so decadent – you’ll have access to your own kitchen, four infinity pools with ocean views and the renowned Cove Restaurant just next door.
- Visit the capital of Antigua and Barbuda, St. John’s, and experience boutique shopping at the historic Redcliffe Quay. Many of the buildings here are preserved originals dating back over 100 years. Browse designer clothing and local crafts before pausing to watch the sunset at the Harbour View Bar and Café.
Food and drink in Antigua
Experience a real taste of Antigua at any of these top-quality eateries.
- Located on the lawns of the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel near the lively Nelson’s Dockyard, the hugely popular Friday fish fry is where you’ll find some of the best seafood on the island. You’ll be dining by candlelight and serenaded by live music as you pick from an extensive menu of culinary delights such as coconut shrimp and crab cakes.
- There are an impressive 200 varieties of rum to try out at the Papa Zouk Fish ‘n’ Rum Bar (you are in the Caribbean, after all) as well as a choice of delicious fish – the grilled red snapper is a particular favourite. If you’re not sure where to start when choosing your drink, the owner is more than happy to make suggestions. It’s a good idea to book a table in advance.
- You won't want to miss the Sunday BBQ at Shirley Heights Lookout. The party, which costs EC$20 (around £6) for admission, has taken place every Sunday without fail since the mid-80s. Turn up from 4pm to enjoy a traditional steel band, mouth-watering barbecued fare and sunsets over the English and Falmouth Harbours. And if you fancy having a dance, stick around – the music and entertainment don't stop until 10pm.
Culture in Antigua
Get up close and personal with this island’s fascinating history on your holiday to Antigua.
- Learn about the island's British colonial history by visiting Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour. There’s so much to explore at this UNESCO World Heritage site, from 18th and 19th century buildings to hiking trails and old forts. There are also shops, restaurants and galleries to enjoy – don't miss the pineapple turnovers at the Dockyard Bakery.
- Betty’s Hope is among the island’s oldest sugar plantations, and one of the sugar mill towers has been faithfully restored to its appearance as far back as 1651. This site has played a major role in Antigua and Barbuda's history and makes for an immersive afternoon.
- Hop on a boat to visit the neighbouring island of Barbuda. As well as miles of distinctive pink and white sand, it’s known for the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which has a population of over 170 different species of birds. The most popular time to visit is during the mating season, from September to April.
Adventure holidays in Antigua
Embrace your inner adrenaline-seeker on your holiday to Antigua with one of these adventurous activities.
- Just off the coast of Maiden Island, you’ll find an old oil tanker known as D-Boat that’s been ingeniously transformed into a water park and party destination. Enjoy rope swings into the ocean, trampolines, waterslides and a bar-restaurant to relax in once you've had your fill of excitement.
- Witness colourful Caribbean marine life from the unique perspective of a glass bottom boat. With Sea Escape Tours, you’ll discover vibrant coral reefs, shipwrecks and a whole host of underwater creatures as you sail around the coast of Antigua.
- Located in the south of the island, the South Coast Horizon resort offers a choice of eco tours. You can go kayaking through atmospheric mangrove lagoons, hike to the top of Goat Head Hill and snorkel at Cades Reef.
Events and festivals in Antigua
See a different side of Antigua holidays with these unique events and festivals.
- If you're visiting in January, head to the Antigua Yacht Club’s Round the Island Race to admire a fleet of impressive boats as they make their way around the island.
- Cricket is one of Antigua's most beloved and celebrated sports. Book your holiday between January and July and reserve tickets early to see the Windies team play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
- Carnival season takes place in July and August. Watch the colourful and vibrant processions and costume parades hit the streets of capital St. John's and get into the Caribbean spirit.
Will you discover the tropical shores of Antigua this year? From all-inclusive packages to luxury stays, find out more about our Antigua resorts and hotels.