One of the Caribbean’s unspoilt gems, Antigua is a romantic island getaway offering huge expanses of golden sandy beaches, miles of beautiful coral reefs, sparkling turquoise oceans and delightfully warm and sunny weather. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, Antigua originally developed to become a major sugar cane producer. Many of the original sugar mills and factories remain to this day, however tourism is now the main industry on the island.
Things to do:
Boating festivals – in late April or early May, Sailing week is a world class regatta. A few weeks before this there is also Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta which also attracts huge international crowds.
Carnival – Antigua hosts a 10 day carnival during the summer months, filling the island with costumes, calypso and steel drum music, decorated floats and a Caribbean carnival atmosphere.
Jazz Festival – Antigua Jazz festival is held in October, celebrating Afro and Caribbean music
Tennis – Tennis week is held in the second week of May, with a professional tournament and exhibition games.
Beaches – at Long Bay, on the east coast, you will find water so shallow that you can actually walk out to the beautiful coral reefs. It is said that Antigua has a beach for every day of the year, so you will be spoilt for choice.
Island nightlife includes casinos at Grand Bay, sports bars, and it is rumoured that you can do a bit of celebrity spotting (if you can tear your eyes away from the breathtaking harbour views) at the live music venue Shirley Heights.
Other attractions include Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and Sugar Mills, Harmony Art Gallery and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
Places to stay:
Antigua is famous for its luxury resorts, and most hotels on Antigua will offer wedding and honeymoon packages. The main beaches on the island lie on the protected Caribbean side of the island. The Northwest coast offers many beach resorts for honeymooners, while the East coast is more geared up for family outings. You can even stay in Jumby Bay, an exclusive private island eight minutes by boat from the main island.
As always, don’t forget your travel or honeymoon insurance. Your honeymoon is likely to cost you a few thousand pounds and you certainly wouldn’t want to be adding to that should something go wrong!