Set amid tropical seas between the teardrop islands of St Vincent and Grenada, the tiny emerald-clad volcanic islands of The Grenadines offer a tranquil and intimate alternative to the Caribbean’s larger islands. Renowned for their untouched beauty and natural landscapes, these picturesque islands have tropical rainforest and powdery white-sand beaches, making them perfect for nature trails and watersports.
- The Grenadines are superbly undeveloped, supremely unspoilt and sufficiently inaccessible to stay that way
- The rainforest, eco adventures, scuba diving and powdery white-sand beaches as just some of the unmissable attractions
- The picture-perfect setting made it an ideal backdrop for scenes from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean films
- The nightlife here is conspicuous by its absence, peace and solitude are unsurpassed
Best time to visit The Grenadines
The Caribbean has become a popular year-round destination with temperatures ranging between the high 20s and low 30s. The dry season is from December to June, while the wet season is from July to November when showers are likely and the humidity levels are high. What’s known as ‘hurricane season’ runs from June to November.
The Grenadines holiday highlights
32 emerald-clad volcanic islands make up St Vincent and the Grenadines which stud the azure waters of the Caribbean, west of Barbados. Known for their untouched beauty, natural landscapes and tranquillity, these south-eastern Windward Islands provided the picture-perfect setting for scenes from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean films. Rainforest eco-adventures, scuba diving and powdery white-sand beaches are just some of the unmissable attractions of this multi-island nation filled with character and charm.
The Grenadines are unspoilt and sufficiently inaccessible so it can stay that way. On these gorgeous islands, nightlife is traded in for peace and solitude and dress codes – like the lifestyle – range from informal to barefoot casual.
A 45-minute flight from Barbados to Union Island, then a ten-minute boat trip takes you to beautiful Palm Island, which is dominated by a private 135-acre island resort. The intimate Palm Island Resort & Spa shares the island with just a scattering of private houses, so guests are treated to blissful seclusion for the most romantic of holidays with nature trails to explore and private dining on the beach.
A 45-minute flight from Barbados takes you to the idyllic island of Bequia and its untouched beauty. The island has a deeply rooted seafaring heritage of fishing, whaling and boat building; today, visitors can watch local craftsmen carving intricate models of the island’s traditional double-ended fishing boats. Secluded beaches and green hills are a stunning backdrop for activities including diving, sailing and hiking. The charming Bequia Beach Hotel is in Friendship Bay on one of Bequia’s best beaches and has a serene setting, laid-back vibe and superb cuisine.
Take a 45-minute flight from Barbados to St Vincent then a three-minute private ferry ride to this little gem, just 200 metres from St Vincent’s south coast. Like Palm Island, there’s only one hotel here – Young Island has 29 cottages nestled in 13 acres of tropical greenery, complimentary watersports and the swim-up Coconut Bar.
Lapped by crystal-clear waters, Casuarina Beach runs the length of the western side of Palm Island – it’s one of the finest beaches in the Grenadines. Bequia’s capital, the sleepy harbour town of Port Elizabeth, is at the heart of Admiralty Bay on the west coast of the island. This natural harbour is a popular mooring site for yachts and nearby Princess Margaret Beach is a glorious sweep of white sand. The sugar-white sands of Friendship Bay on the south-east coast of Bequia have sheltered waters, ideal for watersports.
The Grenadines are great for diving thanks to its shallow-water reefs and abundant marine life which can be seen at depths of only 25 feet. The islands also have some of the best sailing in the Caribbean. Charter a boat or book a day trip from Palm Island or Bequia to visit nearby islands and discover secluded beaches, tropical forest and colourful marine life. The island of Mustique exudes a sophisticated air and lures the rich and famous with its pristine white sands and exclusive villas.
Canouan is Carib for the ‘Island of Turtles’ and this tiny gem of an island features gorgeous beaches, a beautiful barrier reef and an 18-hole championship golf course. The pristine talcum-powder sands and turquoise waters of the spectacular Tobago Cays epitomise the Caribbean dream of deserted paradise islands. This archipelago of uninhabited islands is home to a national marine park where you can explore stunning coral reefs and sea turtle nesting sites.
It’s easy to explore these compact islands by foot and a hike through the countryside and along the coastline will reward you with breathtaking views. Book a guided walk to discover more about the local flora and fauna or enjoy the freedom of following your own trail and stopping to enjoy a picnic on a secluded beach, in a beautiful forest or by a pretty waterfall.