Travel Diary - Antigua
Bikini's at the Ready - Antigua is that Caribbean paradise that is the perfect mid-winter getaway. With sunshine guaranteed, 365 beaches (one for every day of the year, according the the tourism peoples)- leave your screens at home and aim for pure relaxation.
Antigua still has that laid-back Caribbean charm with brightly coloured wooden houses, donkeys for transportation and friendly faces every where.
Ask anyone for a great place for lunch in the Falmouth area and they will mention Catherine's. This cafe on the beach is the perfect lazy, boozy lunch spot with that million-dollar view. You may end up lounging around all day.
Go local – Grace Before Meals makes the best rotis, covered in perfectly sweet chutney. Be sure to try some local food, its delicious.
Do stop at one of the roadside fellas selling coconuts, not only is it good to support the local agricultural industry, you're in for a sweet treat too. The small pineapples are ridiculously good and if they have some, try the delicious soursop too.
Sunday fun day – head to Shirley Heights for their famous Sunset party with mouthwatering BBQ, Caribbean music and a mixture of locals and yachties all looking to end their weekend on a high. Make your way to the most southern tip of the island, it's set in beautiful historical surroundings.
If you can peel yourself off the beach, there are a few destinations to get some worthy souvenirs.
Rhythm of the Blue makes the most delightful, vibrant coloured pottery, handmade by born-and-bred Antiguan Nancy Nicholson from local clay.
St.Johns is worth a short trip, for a stroll around, but don't expect to come back with huge amounts of delicious purchases.
Take your pick. If you're staying at a resort, you probably have a lush beach right on your doorstep.
Pigeon Beach in Falmouth is perfect for little ones, as well as watching the boats come in and out the harbour.
Visit Antigua Yacht Club Marina to get a view of the super rich's super yachts up close. A couple of little cafes do excellent Italian coffee and gelato. Nearby are plenty of evening drinking holes where the crews get together. There's lots of live music and generally a good vibe.
If you want to get active – try the zip line adventure, we hear its good. If you can, get on a boat. There is nothing better than the Caribbean sea breeze in your face whilst bobbing around on the waves.
Visit Nelson's Dockyard for a history lesson. This cultural heritage site is perfect for a browse. Ignore the ticket booth out front, this is where they charge the cruise ship passengers – just walk on in. There's a little museum, restaurants and sights you won't want to miss. It's has this ultimately relaxed feel that brings you back in time.
Antigua is wonderfully laid back and relaxed. Perfect to get away from everything. The colourful wooden houses and churches make you want to snap away. The people are as friendly as they come in the Caribbean – smiles all round!
About the author
Michele has visited Antigua many times, as she hails from Caribbean regions. Her latest trip was Christmas 2014. She loves to travel and has put together this little travel guide on Antigua.