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 Four Seasons Resort And Residences 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 Four Seasons Resort And Residences 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.
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.
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.
Onward connecting flights from Antigua to Anguilla: 40 minutes.
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.
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.
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
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.