Antigua Holidays

Antigua is captivating and peaceful, with year-round sunshine and some of the Caribbean’s most idyllic beaches.

With its rolling hills, pretty coves and stunning views, Antigua is a picture-perfect island with a wonderfully laid-back vibe. Luxurious resorts are sprinkled along the coast, each one claiming its own pocket of paradise. Surrounded by a nearly unbroken offshore reef protecting miles of sugar-white sands and hidden coves, Antigua has a beach for every day of the year as well as activities from diving and world-class sailing to strolls around quaint colonial towns and 4x4 rainforest tours.

This independent nation was once a British colony and English influences can be seen all around, from the crumbling sugar plantations and delightfully quaint English Harbour to locals playing cricket and hotels offering traditional afternoon tea. Despite these familiar touches, the laid-back vibe that’s synonymous with the Caribbean imbues every corner of this relaxing island.

Talk to us and we’ll help craft your tailor-made Antigua holiday.

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Antigua - Perfect for

  • A beach a day

    The island’s 365 beaches are what tropical island dreams are made of.

  • Sea food, eat food

    The fruits of the sea are the dish of the day on many island menus.

  • On the water

    The island’s best side is from offshore, and sailing is a way of life here.

  • Views for days

    Shirley Heights has one of the best – and iconic – vistas in the Caribbean.

Antigua Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Antigua

Keyonna Beach Resort

Set on a pristine beach, this intimate all-inclusive hotel is perfect for low-key relaxation

Blue Waters Resort & Spa

Set amid stunning gardens, this intimate resort offers impeccable service and exquisite clifftop...

Galley Bay Resort & Spa

An intimate and charming adults-only hideaway tucked away between 40-acre tropical gardens and a...

Pineapple Beach Club

This authentic adults-only Caribbean resort has a secluded setting and is perfect for low-key rel...

Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa

A modern resort where there’s something for everyone and almost everything’s included.

St James's Club & Villas

Set between a tranquil bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this relaxing resort offers a great range of a...

The Verandah Antigua

This relaxing village-style all-inclusive resort has a host of activities and is ideal for couple...

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

This exceptional couples-only resort offers a beautiful setting, outstanding facilities and incre...

Carlisle Bay

Set between rainforest and soft sands, this leading luxury resort appeals to both families and co...

Hammock Cove

This upscale all-inclusive has private pool villas designed solely for laid-back relaxation.

Holidays in Antigua

hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4 Star

Set on a pristine beach, this intimate all-inclusive hotel is perfect for low-key relaxation

From £2,060 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 5 Star

Set amid stunning gardens, this intimate resort offers impeccable service and exquisite clifftop suites.

From £2,202 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4.5 Star

An intimate and charming adults-only hideaway tucked away between 40-acre tropical gardens and a secluded beach.

From £2,905 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4 Star

This authentic adults-only Caribbean resort has a secluded setting and is perfect for low-key relaxation.

From £1,632 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4 Star

A modern resort where there’s something for everyone and almost everything’s included.

From £1,730 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4 Star

Set between a tranquil bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this relaxing resort offers a great range of activities.

From £1,606 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 4 Star

This relaxing village-style all-inclusive resort has a host of activities and is ideal for couples.

From £1,805 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua

This exceptional couples-only resort offers a beautiful setting, outstanding facilities and incredible choice.

From £2,044 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 5 Star

Set between rainforest and soft sands, this leading luxury resort appeals to both families and couples.

From £2,483 p/p
hotel
  • Antigua
  • 5 Star

This upscale all-inclusive has private pool villas designed solely for laid-back relaxation.

From £3,993 p/p

Antiguan Cooking Class

Immerse yourself in the food and culture of the Caribbean with a laidback cooking class in a stunningly located private home. Under the expert care of chef Nicole Dennis — whose house it is — you’ll learn all about the region’s cuisine, its history and the ingredients that are used to make its best-loved dishes. Trying not to get too distracted by the breathtaking views out over the shimmering sea, you’ll learn how to create gastronomic masterpieces with locally farmed produce and herbs along with a special blend of spices, highlighting their health values, to create an extraordinary meal. You’ll prepare a two-course lunch, before sitting down to enjoy your culinary creations and your own, personally made rum punch. It’s a delightful way to spend a morning that will particularly appeal to honeymooners, couples and groups of friends.

• Duration: half day
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The class operates with between six to 12 participants.

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History & Culture of Antigua

Get under the skin of Antigua on a fascinating day exploring some of its most scenic spots on foot and by kayak and discovering the rich history and culture that surrounds them. The adventure starts with a gentle paddle through a mangrove lagoon to a beautiful secluded beach, learning about everything from how they’re formed to their importance to wildlife of all kinds as you glide along. All kinds of tropical fish, crabs, jellyfish, sea birds and animals make their home in this important coastal environment, while others use it as a nursery, so you’re sure to spot some local wildlife on your eco-adventure. Before enjoying a sumptuous Caribbean lunch on the beach, you’ll work up an appetite by hiking to Goat Head for breathtaking panoramic views of the south coast of Antigua and the neighbouring islands.

• Duration: 6 hours
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Group experience

Good to know
The trip runs with a minimum of six and a maximum of 36 people.

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Antigua Your Way By RIB

Zip along the west coast of Antigua on an exhilarating ocean-going adventure. After being introduced to your Reef Rider, a reassuringly stable 11ft-long RIB that seats two, you’ll rev up the 25hp outboard engine and head off with your guide on a seven-mile trip along the stunning Antiguan coastline. Along the way, you’ll pass some of the island’s best beaches, including Ffryes, Darwood and Turners, and perhaps spot the occasional sea turtle or one of the eight different types of stingray that call these crystal-clear waters home. Your ultimate destination is the glorious Cades Reef, a protected area that’s part of the National Marine Reserve and one of the best snorkelling spots in Antigua. As the Reef Riders are small enough to moor inside the lagoon, you’ll have the maximum time possible to gaze down in wonder on this vibrant underwater world where colourful parrotfish, blue tang and a host of other marine creatures dart and glide among the corals.

• Duration: 2½ hours
• Daily departures
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

Good to know
The minimum age for passengers is five years old; drivers should be over 18. Due to the physical nature of the tour, it is not recommended for pregnant women or those with back problems.

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Get to know the island of Antigua and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT -4 hours

CURRENCY

East Caribbean Dollar; many establishments will accept US dollars

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

9 hours

RELIGION

Christianity

LANGUAGE

English

Where is Antigua?
Antigua sits in the middle of the Leeward Islands, to the east of St Kitts & Nevis, and north of Guadeloupe. It’s the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands and although it’s small in size, at just 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, it’s bursting with charm, history and natural beauty.

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Beaches
It's a well-known fact that Antigua has 365 beaches – a different one for every day of the year – so you’re guaranteed to find a perfect stretch of sand, whether you’re looking for calm waters for swimming, fun watersports, lively beach bars or secluded coves that can only be reached by boat. Dickenson Bay lies in the northwest and its soft powdery sands and calm waters are ideal for families with young children. Tuck into tasty coconut shrimp at Valley Church Beach on the west coast and sink your toes into this stretch of glistening white sand dotted with pretty seashells.

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St John's
The capital, St John’s, has a lovely mix of West Indian gingerbread style houses, colonial buildings, excellent harbourside restaurants and a bustling farmer’s market. It’s also home to Antigua’s biggest attraction – Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, a beautifully restored Georgian naval base. Soak up the atmosphere with lunch on the terrace at Admiral’s Inn and watch yachts docking in the pretty harbour. The harbour really comes alive during the annual Antigua Sailing Week, a world-famous regatta that kicks off in late April and attracts skilled yachtsmen from all around the globe. Visit the island during this time to experience the incredible carnival-like atmosphere and enjoy live music and parties as a cloud of billowing sails dot the horizon.

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Shirley Heights
Antigua has some stunning look-out points. Follow the nature trail from English Harbour through forest up to Shirley Heights. Parts of the trail are quite steep but you‘ll be rewarded at the top with panoramic views over English Harbour. The summit is a romantic spot for watching the harbour become enveloped in a golden glow as the sun sets over the bay. Visit on a Thursday or Sunday evening for beautiful sunset views and a rum punch, accompanied by the rhythm of steel and reggae bands.

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Inland Antigua
If you’re travelling from St John’s to English Harbour in the south, take a slight detour and follow the coastal road before journeying along Fig Tree Drive for a scenic - and sometimes bumpy -drive across rolling hills and through rainforest, farmland and banana, coconut and mango groves. Visit sugar mills and tiny, picturesque villages and stop at a local fruit stand to sample the island’s extra-sweet black pineapple.

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Getting around
Antigua is a small island and so all of the hotels are within easy reach of the airport – generally between 10-40 minutes. As many of the resorts are spread out along the coast, they aren't usually within walking distance of shops and restaurants so taxis are often the easiest way to get around the island. Buses are an inexpensive way to explore the island but they can be infrequent and are generally geared towards locals travelling between the villages and towns so they don't service all of the tourist areas. A catamaran or speedboat tour offers a different perspective of the stunning coast, harbours, towns and resorts. Island safari tours are also a great way to see many of Antigua's highlights.

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Diving & snorkelling
While Antigua isn't renowned for its diving it's almost completely encircled by coral reefs and as there is little or no current in the island's shallow water areas it's ideal for beginners. The visibility is good - often between 50 and 100+ feet - and most dive sites can be reached by boat between five and 45 minutes. Cades Reef lies off the south coast of Antigua and is one of the island's most popular diving spots. There are a number of dive sites throughout the inner and outer sections of the reef where you can see pillar-like coral formations as well as marine life including tropical fish, barracudas and nurse and reef sharks.

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Food & drink
Antiguan restaurants offer a mixture of spicy Creole dishes and international cuisine with influences from Europe. Signature Antiguan dishes include ‘goat water’, a deliciously spicy stew; ‘duccana’, a side dish with sweet potato, pumpkin, coconut, cornmeal, sugar and spices steamed in banana leaves; and ‘fungi and pepperpot’, a thick vegetable stew. Taste the island’s sweet black pineapple and visit one of the raw bars along the coast for freshly-caught seafood such as spiny lobster, conch, oysters and red snapper.

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