Surrounded by a seemingly never-ending lining of white sand and hidden coves, Antigua promises a beach for every day of the year – and it truly delivers. But cloud-less blue skies, a warm climate, sandy paradise and a cool glass of Caribbean rum isn’t all that this charming island has to offer.

Dig deeper and you’ll soon find that Antigua offers exhilarating rainforest tours, quaint colonial towns with local craft markets, well-known historical sites, endless sporting activities and hidden restaurants packed full of flavour.

Read our guide and you’ll soon know what to see and do, where to relax, eat and shop, as well as when to visit…

Where to relax in Antigua

  • Fryes Beach – One of the quieter beaches on the island, just south of Jolly Harbour, these sands are pristine. Enjoy a Caribbean-infused picnic and nap on its pure shores.
  • Darkwood Beach – A beach with some of the clearest waters on the island, either enjoy an afternoon paddle or relax on its white sands in front of a backdrop of lush hilltops and tropical forestry.
  • Half Moon Bay Beach – During the week, this beach is virtually deserted – a picture of serenity. So make the most of its spectacular views, unending sunshine and glistening waters.
  • Non Such Bay – Head to this largely undiscovered part of east Antigua and you’ll uncover an untouched bay that’s just waiting to be explored. Make sure you visit Devil’s Bridge’s dancing waves whilst you’re there.
  • Fort Bay Beach – The closest beach to St John’s, see what the capital has to offer before heading to softer shores and joining the locals for a game of cricket.
  • Hawksbill Beach – One of Antigua’s most stunning beaches, Hawksbill is a heaven for sun-seekers, both local and visiting just for the day. A unique Caribbean hideaway, you’ll be surrounded by 37 acres of beautiful tropical flora and fauna.
  • Mosquito Cove Beach – A real hidden gem, only known by immediate locals, avid yachters and intrepid sailers, this cove is a jewel waiting to be discovered. Perfect for couples wanting a day of secluded romance.
  • Runaway Beach – You’ll never have seen sands as white as these virtually anywhere else in the world. Aptly named Runaway Beach is also another quiet spot on the island; with calm waters it makes it one of the most ideal beaches from which to take a dip.

What to see in Antigua

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What to eat and drink in Antigua

In Antigua, your taste buds will be tantalised by a spicy mix of Creole dishes as well as superbly cooked international delicacies. Whilst away, why not try one of this island’s signature dishes;

  • Take a trip to a few of the ‘raw bars’ along Antigua’s coast for a meal of freshly caught seafood including spiny lobster, conch, oysters and our favourite, red snapper. Wash down with an aged glass of Antiguan rum or a bottle of delicious local beer, Wadadli, and enjoy a few chunks of juicy, sweet black pineapple – home-grown on the island.
  • When you’re in English Harbour, you must try ‘Goat Water’ a delicious, thin, spicy soup made up of goat meat, clove, thyme, dumplings, yams and potatoes. Comparable to a hearty English casserole. Similar but not the same, give Antigua’s national dish, ‘Fungi and Pepperpot’ a try too. A thick vegetable stew with salted meat, it comes served with the island’s famous fungi, a cooked cornmeal paste similar to Polenta in Italy.
  • Whilst dining on either your fresh seafood or ‘Goat Water’, be sure to order ‘Duccana’, an Antiguan side dish made with sweet potato, pumpkin, coconut, cornmeal, sugar and spices, all served in banana leaves.
  • If you’re keen on café culture, then enjoy a large cup of aromatic coffee sold throughout the island – strong and robust, it’s one of the most flavourful coffee experiences in the world. Couple this with a slice of Antiguan butter bread, local honey or pineapple jam, and you’ll have a winning combination.

What to do in Antigua

Where to shop in Antigua

If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, then Antigua will certainly satisfy. We recommend visiting the capital of St John’s for a one day shopping extravaganza and visiting both the duty free mall and the varied markets where the locals do their shopping.

In either the duty free mall or the more luxurious hotels in St John’s, you’ll find small boutiques where you can buy designer clothing, valuable jewellery or high-end perfume, perfect as special gifts or if you just want to treat yourself.

But if designer boutiques aren’t what you require, then you could always visit Heritage Quay or Friar’s Hill Road and wander among the unique shops selling local Caribbean handicrafts, art, fine cigars, leather goods and fruit/vegetable produce – just don’t miss out on a bottle of Susie’s fiery hot sauce!

Whether you’re looking for luxury goods or little home-grown souvenirs, arts and crafts, you’re sure to find them in St John’s. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of Antiguan Cavalier rum – you won’t regret it!

Inspired?


One of our most popular Caribbean islands, big on sport, heritage and local culture, Antigua has some of the world’s most beautiful natural surroundings, including beaches – one for every day of the year in fact!

If you want to experience this for yourself, then read more about our Antigua holidays here.

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