When divine.ca offered me the chance to attend a press trip to Antigua, I agreed without even knowing where I was going! All I knew was that this island was located in the Caribbeans, and in this cold, gray winter, how could I say no?
Right when I landed, I knew I had made a good decision. Antigua is in fact integrally part of Antigua-Barbuda, two islands and an archipelago of smaller islands that form a larger country, resting in between the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. A sovereign country of the Commonwealth, Antigua-Barbuda obtained its independence from Great-Britain in 1981 but maintained a British look that gives it a certain charm.
Last September, Barbuda was hit by hurricane Irma – Antigua was left untouched and warmly welcomes the 1600 habitants of Barbuda during its reconstruction, which will necessitate another few months.
This island combines a rich history, gastronomy, diverse activities and opportunities, and of course, relaxation. I was particularly charmed by the beaches, which we weren’t able to visit all of, as this small island is in fact home to 365 beaches, all public – one for each day of the year! Antigua offers perfect
Once you arrive, I highly recommend going on one of the cruises, where pleasure and rhythm warmly welcome you alongside the sailors. Antigua is a popular port and it is easy to see why. By cruising, you’re able to take a look at the most beautiful beaches and at the remote areas of the island.
For a historical delight, you definitely have to visit Nelson’s dockyard, a shipyard and cultural site that has been around since the 18th century, and part of the UNESCO’s world heritage. Who knows, a little visit at the marina, beautiful stone buildings and multiple romantic courts might even inspire a wedding? The English Harbour where the Nelson’s dockyard is located are also the heart of Antigua Sailing week, which takes place in April every year. Lovers of boats meet up for the busiest week of the year. Streets, restaurants, and bars are full of people – and delight.
The best news is that Sunwing started offering direct flights to Antigua every Sunday from Pierre-Elliott Trudeau airport back in November. In less than 5 hours, layover-free, you’ll have access to everything this paradise has to offer. We were lucky enough to stay at the St-James Club and Villas, in the South-East peninsula of the island. An almost artistocratic-feel, all-inclusive offering rooms, suites, and even villas fully furnished with kitchens – between two beaches: Mamora Bay with calm waters for the perfect relaxing day, and Coco Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The St-James also offers a kids Club, a spa, tennis, and three restaurant options.
Yet, all in all, the best memory I have is one of Antigua-Barbuda’s people. Welcoming, nice, energetic, and proud – Antigua, I’ll be back. I still have at least 324 beaches to visit ;).
Thanks to Sunwing, the tourist office of Antigua-Barbuda and the St-James hotel for the press trip and the warm welcome.