By Megan Grant – Customer Services
There are 365 beaches in Antigua & Barbuda, one for every day of the year, so if you’re here on a sailing vacation you have plenty of different beaches to discover! Exploring by boat has to be the best way to discover Antigua as you can get to the beaches that cars can’t; which means there are tons of beaches that you will have all to yourselves! There are only really three that I spend my time on and have the most relaxing, fun, adventurous time and are perfect if you are on a sail boat. If you’re like me and love to explore, then these three beautiful Caribbean beaches are perfect for you! Antigua is one of the best sailing locations in the Caribbean, with the trade winds kicking in for the winter it makes sailing awesome out here! There are plenty of amazing anchorages for your lunch breaks and lots of protected bays for those relaxing overnight stays on board.
|Crystal clear waters of the Caribbean sea at Darkwood beach|
One of my favorite beaches is Hermitage beach; it’s an amazing beach and the water is always your typical Caribbean crystal clear water. I’ve often seen turtles in the bay and there’s an awesome cave hidden in the pink mummy (I call it the pink mummy because it actually looks like a lady lying down). If you decide to come and explore this wonderful beach I would recommend coming for the day! Throw the hook out, dinghy to shore and drink your cocktails on the beach. For those explorers out there, there is a long rock that separates the two beaches and in that rock is a small cave that’s worth heading in to. I’ve heard there are sometimes some baby nurse sharks in there!.. Watch your toes! The snorkeling is amazing too, you can snorkel right off the beach and along the shore until you reach the rocks on either end. One of the best things about this beach is the luxurious soft sand and the view into Five Island Harbor and the fact that hardly anyone is there! You can also walk around the beach and on to another one which is sometimes good for body surfing and even more snorkeling!
|Darkwood beach bar and restaurant|
If you don’t fancy preparing lunch on board and wanted a beach with an authentic Antiguan restaurant to cook your goat curry for you, I would definitely say that Darkwood is the best place to anchor. You can dinghy or swim to shore and enjoy the long white sandy beach, snorkel off the rocks and head to the restaurant for lunch. One of my favorite things about this beach is the fact the water is always so clear! You can see the small fish that come and swim around your feet and there’s often the local stingray swimming up and down the shore. There are also trees to duck under if you fancy getting out of the sun for a while. I wouldn’t recommend anchoring off here overnight though as it can be rolly but it is the perfect spot to relax for the day, have some lunch and enjoy the warm Antiguan sunshine.
Pinching Bay is my all time favorite beach, ever! It’s an amazing lunch stop and there’s loads of snorkeling all around the bay and even off the beach. It’s beach is perfect with the white sand that your feet just sink into. It’s long and beautiful, perfect for those romantic strolls and awesome for exploring. I’ve found some amazing shells there. When the tide is out it reveals the rocks along the beach which leave amazing rock pools! There is also a small cave on the North side of the bay, it’t not huge but it’s pretty cool! One of the best things about this beach is that it’s only accessible by boat so most of the time you will have the whole beach to yourselves! It’s also a perfect spot for those paddleboards too. Landing a dinghy on this beach is made easy because it gets deep pretty quick so there’s not too much panic about lifting the outboard up in time! It’s also not far from Deep Bay so you can spend the whole day there and then once it’s time to go and enjoy a peaceful sunset before dinner you can just head North for twenty minutes and go into Deep Bay for the night or you can head back South and anchor just outside of Jolly Harbor!
All of Antigua’s beaches are amazing and there are plenty more I haven’t explored yet! But these are by far the top 3! In the meantime I’m going to explore some more of Antigua’s beautiful beaches, here in the Caribbean!