Antigua & Barbuda is located at essentially the geographical center of the Caribbean, some say at the heart of the Caribbean. Antigua is renowned as one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands, with 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, crystal blue waters and year-round tropical climate. Among the many islands that make up the Lesser Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda distinguish themselves for their deeply indented coastline, their natural harbours and protective coral reefs, their rolling hills and their relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere.
Antigua and Barbuda combines lush tropical vegetation, bright flowers like the orchids and exotic fruits. One of the many species that can be found inland is the heron, while on the coast look out for terns, pelicans and petrels. The ocean holds tropical fish of all colours, which can be seen easily with a mask and snorkel.
Antigua has excellent direct air service from major US gateways, Canada, from London (Gatwick), Frankfort and Milan. The new V.C Bird International Airport has been opened and new ownership of the private aviation terminal at the airport will greatly enhance the experience.
Since 1981, Antigua and Barbuda has been governed as an independent country, with a constitutional monarchy and British style parliament. The Queen of England still remains the formal head of state. The Prime Minister of Antigua, currently Sir Gaston Browne, is the Head of Government. Antigua and Barbuda's economy is service-based, with tourism and government services representing the key sources of employment and income. Since its independence from Britain, Antigua’s economy has focused on tourism as its main form of income.
Antigua has lots of hotels, however it should be noted that the luxury accommodations in private villas receive the highest average occupancy levels annually. People started to prefer this kind of accommodation which offers greater freedom without giving up an excellent service.
English Harbour is a natural harbour and settlement on the island of Antigua, in the extreme south of the island. It is the center of boating, especially yachting. There are two sheltered deep water harbours nearby; English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. English Harbour is the heart of Caribbean Colonial history. It sits a 2 minutes ride away from Nelson’s Dockyard, which was home to the British Navy for 300 years and now it’s the only Georgian dockyard in the world. English Harbour is now the sailing hub of the Caribbean, with many world renowned regattas taking place here every year. The most active period for the Harbour is November to May, when those with a passion for yachting or sailing have the chance to participate at any one of the island’s events, including those listed below:
• Antigua Charter Yacht Show in early December
• Superyacht Challenge end January / Beginning February
• R.O.R.C. 600 Caribbean middle February
• Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta in April
• Antigua Sailing Week between late April and early May.
Pigeon Beach. A cracking stretch of sand at the mouth of Falmouth Harbour, Pigeon Point is the main public beach on the south coast. Backed by sea grape trees and the occasional palm, it has calm and shallow water, making it good for families with children. A favorite spot for the local community as well as visitors, Pigeon's Point beach is also a fun place for snorkeling. Bring mask and fins!
Galleon Beach. Galleon Beach is situated at Freeman's Bay in English Harbour on the southern tip of Antigua at the heart of the National Park. The surrounding area is a beautiful blend of white sandy beaches, rolling hills, tropical vegetation, marine life, nautical atmosphere, and historical sites.
Rendezvous bay. If you plan to spend some really private hours on the beach, you might give the aptly named Rendezvous Bay a try. This beach is not easily accessible by car but you can have fun doing trekking until there. The beach is a stunning stretch of soft white sand often labelled one of Antigua’s most beautiful for its natural intensity and mountainous backdrop.
Whatever the activity of your interest, there are many choices for you if you want to play sport or watersports, exercise or improve your fitness or even learn to swim in Antigua.
Antigua Equestrian Centre - Springhill Riding Club The Riding Stables at Springhill in Falmouth are very close to several beaches and to the historic sites of English Harbour. Ride in the cool of the morning and explore the rest of English Harbour in the afternoon.
Temo Sports is situated in English Harbour overlooking and features two floodlit tennis courts and two glass backed international squash courts.
Antigua Yacht Club is open to anyone who has an interest in all kind of water sports.
Ondeck Sailing offers a huge range of activities ranging from day charters, training courses, racing in the regattas to group trips and events and importantly we can create events to suit your particular requirements.
When the sun has set and stars begin to shine, the curtain can rise on the evening’s entertainment, especially during the winter months when the island is at its busiest.
Above the harbour, at Shirley Heights, are the partially-restored fortifications of the harbour's colonial observation post; the view from Shirley Heights extends out over the harbour and far across the Caribbean to Montserrat and Guadaloupe. Everyone heads here on Sundays. The party begins as the sun sets and the steel-band sound fills the air, followed by the exciting energy of Reggae and Soca live music. Barbequed food is available to soak up some of those rum punches. The Steel band also plays on Thursday night at sunset from 4pm. Shirley Heights can be reached via Lookout Trail, a nature walk that rises from the harbour through a forest of trees-descending the trail is not advisable after dark or barbecue revelry.
Catherine’s café, located on Pigeon Beach (one of the most fabulous beaches in Antigua) has always been a favorite lunch location for ‘those in the know’ who wanted to enjoy French cuisine and delicate wines in good company.
Abracadabra, in English Harbour, transforms from an elegant Italian restaurant in the early evening to a pulsating outdoor nightclub later on. A variety of DJs lead the crowd to dance under the stars. This is a busy bar during the winter with fair priced drinks and friendly staff. Occasional live performances by worldwide known artists are the cherry on the cake.
South Point, located in Falmouth Harbour, it’s inspired by Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine; South Point’s restaurant offers an eclectic mix of authentic flavors. In keeping with its cosmopolitan character, the South Point dining experience is the perfect combination of international taste and local flavor. There is also a sushi Bar.
Sun Ra, from the road side the exterior is an unassuming Caribbean wooden house set in a pretty garden lit up by dancing lights in the trees. You head through the wooden gate, and as you round the corner onto the gallery your senses are sent into overload: from the aromas of fresh cooked food from the kitchen; the warm and calming effect created by the lighting; the stunning views of the harbour on which the restaurant is located.
Cambusa, situated in the quiet atmosphere of Catamaran Marina, oceanfront, Cambusa Italian Restaurant is special for its show kitchen. This restaurant offer “comfort food” from ancient Italian tradition. Mediterranean flavours, with fish and veggies at "0 food miles”.
Boom Restaurant, enjoy our beautiful new poolside restaurant, Boom, located in front of Gunpowder House with its spectacular infinity edged pool overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard. Serving delicious lunches and cocktails from 11 to 6pm. Take a dip in the pool, laze in the hammocks and sun beds or get pampered in the spa.
Cloggy's, this bustling Café, located on the second floor of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina Building has stunning views over Falmouth Harbour. Indoors, the lively cafe has a full bar, table seating and a lounge area with low sofas . Outside on the gallery are tables with great views over the harbour and cooling breezes. Sporting fans can catch up with football matches worldwide, formula 1 racing and any other great sporting moments in the sports bar inside. Only the freshest ingredients and seasonal vegetables are used to create tasty, colorful dishes served at Café speeds.
Famous Mauro is just past Cobbs Cross junction, Mauro is a skilful Sardinian pizzaiolo; his restaurant has a simple open air terrace, the pizzas are perfectly cooked in a wood oven, and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed.
Several other restaurants & bars within walking distance in English Harbour also have great night-time vibes in the yachting season.