Antigua: The laid-back Leeward Island

With its icing sugar beaches and gin clear waters, Antigua is among the most popular chartering territories. Its popularity with both seasoned sailors and emerging enthusiasts appears to keep growing. An antidote to modern life with it’s ‘soon come’ culture, it somehow manages to offer pockets of superlative luxury and host seamless events for a discerning crowd. Antigua’s vast and protected coral reef has unparalleled snorkelling and diving sites while the beaches, with their bowed palm trees brushing the waters edge, guarantee envy-inducing family portraits. Drop anchor along one of the many beaches and have an impromptu barbecue of line-caught fish and coconut rice.

In Antigua’s capital St.John’s you can still feel the gravitas of the town’s colonial history as a strategic naval port as you meander between the market stalls and candy-coloured cottages. And yet, while slow living and good eating are the order of the day, the island ramps up to another level during Antigua Sailing Week – a world-class regatta in April. In December, it’s The Antigua Charter Yacht Show where some of the finest yachts from around the world vie for attention. Despite this, Antigua continues to be a sanctuary for those escaping to a slower pace of life by sinking a cool Wadadli on the aft deck.


When to go:

All year round

High season:

October – March

Highlights

1

Sipping a local beer on the terrace of the Virgin Gorda Yacht Club Costa Smeralda

2

Squeeze and taste exotic fruits at the St John’s market

3

Dive around the Pillars of Hercules

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