A relaxed blend of the Caribbean’s reclaimed colonial style and modern commitment to being a first-class holiday destination, Anguilla may surprise you with just how distinctive in character it can be. A flat, low lying island made out of limestone and coral, the beaches here haven’t changed too drastically since 1500BC, when the first inhabitants called this paradise home. A peaceful tribe originally from South America, known as the Arawak, they were predominantly fishermen with a colourful culture that flourished for hundreds of years. Evidence of their spirituality was discovered in the remains of their ceremonial caves, enlightening us to their worship of the deity named Juluca, a rainbow spirit depicted with a solar orb and covered in bright feathers who brought luck to all those who ventured from the shores out to sea.
A rainbow is a very fitting starting point for introducing Anguilla. The bright colours be seen in the striking blues of the ocean lit by the glow of the sun, the pristine white sands contrasting with palm tree leaves and lush emerald-green golf courses, while the spectrum of diverse marine life hidden under the water’s surface is discoverable to all who wish to scuba-dive with PADI-qualified instructors. The same can be said of the food – an integral part of any holiday here, a vibrant mix of local and international flavours make up restaurant menus, often accompanied by a lively steel pan beat. As the day ends, watch the island palette change from a dreamy sky blue to soft pink as the sun sets, and cocktails of all hues are mixed up with splashes of rum and plenty of fruit.
It is the laid-back aspect of Anguilla that is so well loved by many, though. The focus is on how you spend your day – leaving the commotion of busy modern life behind you, a feat which could not be achieved without the first-class service provided by the warm and welcoming people of the island, who have decades of experience and are masters in the art of providing visitors with their own vision of laidback, Caribbean luxury. Romantic, serene, and never disappointing, Anguilla is a holiday destination that is both enriching and incomparably relaxing, a unique addition to any traveller’s portfolio.
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For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in Anguilla and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more details about this outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre.
View the travel advice in full here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/anguilla
Sources of information include: www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Beaches are a trump card of any Caribbean holiday, though with the much sought after sands of Barbados and unusual pink hues of Bermuda claiming most of the fame, Anguilla is perhaps more of an underdog. For the well-travelled among us though, who are looking to expand their Caribbean horizons and find their next dream piece of tropical solitude a step further than the expected, Anguilla is ideal. With thirty-three beaches open to all visitors, some have declared this island home to the finest coastline in the Caribbean.
There’s a bay here for everyone. While Shoal Bay, on the east side of the island, attracts many holidaymakers with its lively atmosphere and beach buffets, the west coast has a more exclusive and peaceful tone. Maunday’s Bay is a beautiful spot for couples, with views of the neighbouring island of St Martin a few miles into the distance. For a prime spot here, stay at Cap Juluca, perfect for celebrating a special romantic occasion as you lazily sip away on rum punch until the sun sets and you are lulled to sleep by the sound of gently lapping waves.
On the opposite side of the coastline is Meads Bay, a stunning stretch of powdery white sand on the doorstep of many luxury resorts, including Viceroy Anguilla and Malliouhana, an Auberge Hotel, as well as exclusive private villas, Bird of Paradise and Le Bleu. For wildlife, you may chose to venture to Little Bay, a smaller cove accessible by boat where you can watch on as pelicans dip in and out of the water, or ask your hotel concierge to find you a dive instructor to take you into one of the island’s best snorkelling spots.
Anguilla may be more known for its part in colonial history, but prior to this, it was inhabited by Amerindian people, and fascinating titbits of their history can be stumbled upon across the island.
The Big Spring Heritage Site was discovered in 1980 when a dog walker noticed some intriguing carvings on a cave wall which, upon investigation, turned out to be dated back to between 600 – 1400AD. The petroglyphs here refer to the spirit named Juluca, a colourful spirit who is said to still appear in the form of rainbows. Hotel concierge desks are more than happy to advise on and arrange cultural tours that introduce visitors to the island’s heritage, whether your interests be history, art or nature.
Galleries are peppered around, showcasing international and local art, both contemporary and traditional, while upscale jewellers and artisan craft shops have plenty of unique wares to purchase. You may also wish to visit the capital area known as the Valley, where you will find the last remaining remnant of the old colonial rule in Anguilla’s only surviving plantation house, Wallblake House, a suggestion for those who like to pay their respects to the history of the people of the island.
One of the main draws of Anguilla is the beach life – the opportunity to simply relax and take on a slower pace of life. For others though, a little adventure is welcome in the mix too (especially for those travelling with teenagers). With a warm, pristine ocean, it is no surprise that watersports are popular here and that sailing is the national sport. The sub-aquatic kingdom of Anguilla is perhaps the finest in the Caribbean, and features on the checklist of many a diver. Colourful reefs and wreck sites are teeming with marine life, and PADI-qualified instructors cater to both the experienced and beginners with shore dives and excursions out to nearby islets.
Golfers are very well catered to as well. The 18-hole Greg Norman designed golf course CuisinArt spans 7,063 yards of lush greenery with beautiful water features and views over St Martin and the Caribbean Sea. Cyclists may have bike hire arranged for them, while riders can take to horseback to explore their surroundings. For those who prefer to be the spectator, Webster Park nearby hosts a number of cricket matches and other sporting events, alongside domino tournaments, a pastime you will notice is very popular with local residents.
A range of traditional Caribbean food is served in Anguilla and many of the restaurants have won numerous accolades for their cuisine. Seafood is a speciality, and freshly caught lobster or crayfish top most menus, along with sizzling fish frys usually accompanied by live steel pan music while you sit with your toes in the sand under the breeze from the sea – an experience that never seems to lose its enchantment. Alternatively, take a break for Afternoon Tea, an English institution that the Caribbean loves to add a twist to – hot or poured over ice with sweet and savoury treats, this adds a spoiling touch to any afternoon.
Fine dining on the island is exceptional and you’ll be spoilt for choice with an array of venues attracting five star chefs from across the globe. Home-grown produce is a pride of the island, though specially selected imports feature in many gourmet dishes for a delectable blend of local and international flavours. It’s no hardship to come across a good bottle of aged rum, which also forms the staple of many cocktail menus and punches – the classic accompaniment to any luxury day at the beach.
The landscape of Anguilla is picture perfect – plush sands and bright, blue waters that look like they have been lifted straight from a magazine cover. So there is perhaps no finer spot to share a romantic moment than on one of the most idyllic islands in the Caribbean Sea. Luxury resorts Viceroy Anguilla , Cap Juluca and Malliouhana, an Auberge Hoteloffer wedding and honeymoon services that capture the elegance and style of beach ceremonies and harness the magical atmosphere of the tropical surroundings. Whether you are already married or have just started out on a new life together, intimate accommodation will allow you to savour each other’s company during those sunset moments, away from all distractions back home.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick (to Antigua), with onward connecting flights to Anguilla. Private charter flights on request.
From London Gatwick to Antigua: 8 hours, 40 minutes, with onward connecting flying time of approximately 40 minutes from Antigua to Anguilla.
British Airways upgrades start from as little as £660 per person, each way.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
Just a short boat trip from the harbour at Sandy Ground sits Sandy Island, where an entire tropical paradise is packed into one tiny islet. Here you can seek out pastel hued shells and relax with a cocktail in hand before the drum-pan barbecue grill fires up. Your hotel concierge will be more than happy to arrange your transport.
Swim with Dolphins
If you are staying at Viceroy Anguilla, you may want to take up the chance to swim with dolphins. An easy 25-minute drive to Blowing Point takes guests to the marine centre where visitors of all ages can experience an encounter with these gentle sea mammals, perfect for those travelling with younger families.
Wine and Rum Tasting
For the wine connoisseurs among us, a wine and rum-tasting session is a chance that shouldn’t be missed during a visit to Anguilla. Guests of Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort are invited down to the Sunset Bar every Tuesday and Saturday evening to learn more about the rum-making process from the in-house expert and relish the flavours for themselves against the backdrop of the Caribbean sunset.
Known for its dedication to perfecting romantic moments, couples staying at Cap Juluca may wish to arrange a private dining experience. With an intimate table set down on the beachfront under a blanket of stars, this memorable experience will elevate any honeymoon into absolute perfection.