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The tiny, twin islands of St Kitts and Nevis are one of the more hidden gems of the Caribbean. While not entirely secret to those already in the know (it is said to be a favourite destination of Anna Wintour), the true pleasure of travelling to these Caribbean Islands comes from the feeling you get that you might be the first guest to set foot here. Miraculously untouched by the encroachments of mass tourism, the glamour is in the simplicity. There are no achingly trendy bars and hotspots, and, though you might spot a few celebrity-encrusted photographs on restaurant walls, the style here is one that never tries too hard, a discreet sense of classic elegance that money simply cannot buy.
The landscape is happily unmanicured, and is a joy for explorers. Flourishes of verdant green rainforest foliage, glowing under the ever-shining sun, twist themselves up the side of the misty volcanic mountain, Nevis Peak, spotted by Columbus on his journey to the Americas in 1493. He derived his name for the island from the Spanish word for snow, Nieves, due to the cloud-capped sight of the hilltop, replacing the name ‘Land of Beautiful Waters’ given to it previously by the Carib inhabitants. Hardy hikers can climb to the top, and will be rewarded with beautiful views along the way, while there are plenty of further activities to keep adventurous spirits occupied, including cycling, horse-riding and kitesurfing in the steady trade winds.
There is a fascinating history to St Kitts and Nevis to be learned about, too. French and English settlers arrived in the 17th Century, and it became the Colonial capital of the Leeward Islands. With fertile soil, sugar grew in abundance, making fortunes for plantation owners. They built themselves opulent mansions and drew in high society visitors from Europe, including Horatio Nelson, who famously met and married his wife, Fanny Nisbet, here. There is a trove of historical remains to explore, and learning more about the fascinating secrets that lie in these islands’ past is highly recommended.
The beaches are, of course, beautiful, with soft golden sands that are rarely overcrowded. The food is a delight too, with international cuisine offered beside fresh and local farm-to-table menus. With a timeless sense of charm that doesn’t try to be anything that it is not, St Kitts and Nevis is a true natural beauty, exquisite in its simplicity and admirable in its authenticity.
The northern and western shores of Nevis are the islands finest, with many of our properties featuring beautiful private beaches that are secluded and host amazing facilities. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the islands many beaches, especially Pinney’s Beach, which is considered one of the islands premier stretches of sand, with its legendary Sunshine’s Beach Bar and Grill. On the north side of the island, you may want to discover Lovers Beach. Hidden from the road, this bay feels completely private and is great for a romantic picnic or afternoon swim.
As one of the wealthiest producers of sugar out of its neighbouring islands, there are numerous plantation houses to visit, including the remains of Hamilton Estate, birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, who drafted the Constitution of the United States of America. Visit Horatio Nelson Museum on Nevis, which has the largest collection of relics related to his life in the Western Hemisphere, as it was here where Nelson met his wife. Charlestown is the main town, and has some of the best examples of 18th to 19th century Georgian style architecture.
There is no denying the glimmering natural beauty of St Kitts and Nevis. The crest is the volcanic Nevis Peak, a breathtaking sight, but a hike to the summit is only recommended for experienced climbers. A less strenuous way to enjoy the panoramic views of the ocean is from atop Saddle Hill. The Botanical Gardens of Nevis, created by a couple from Philadelphia who created a beautiful perseveration area for the islands flora, are set within five acres of gardens along the mountain slopes with an immaculate replica of a Great House and a stunning rainforest conservatory modelled after Kew Gardens in England.
The rugged, yet hospitable terrain is ideal for off-road ventures, whether your passion be hiking, biking or exploring in a four-wheel drive. Riders can gallop along the beach or through the local village, and Montpellier Plantation & Beach can arrange rides for all levels of ability. Cycling is superbly catered for here. There is one main road that circles the island, which is perfect for road biking, and bicycle hire can be arranged by hotel concierges. From December through to July are the perfect conditions for watersports, and with around forty beautiful diving sites, where, with PADI-qualified tuition provided at Paradise Beach you can immerse yourself among colourful sealife and famous, eight-hundred-pound, Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles.
Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park
This enormous hilltop compound (situated in Northern St Kitts), with its bastions, citadels, barracks and ramparts, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The British began construction of what was then a state-of-the-art fortress in 1690, using slave labour to construct this solid military defensive outpost. Wander around the fascinating exhibits to find out what life was like really here.
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.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis is the proud home of a Robert Trent Jones Senior-designed golf course. With eighteen holes sandwiched between the towering Nevis Peak and the open Caribbean Sea, this is a gem for experienced players.
The food of St Kitts and Nevis is fantastically pure, and kitchens pride themselves on the quality of their fresh, home-grown produce. Belle Mont Farm is a pioneer of organic, farm-to-table-style dining, where guests have the opportunity to connect with the local farmers who grow their food and enjoy a fantastically authentic West Indies culinary experience.
With abundant sunlight, lush tropical greenery and miles of serenity, St Kitts and Nevis is a perfect spot for recharging and rediscovering your inner peace. Guests of Montpelier Plantation & Beach can request yoga sessions to help harness this positive energy for themselves.
A hot, tropical climate tempered by tradewinds most of the year. Rain showers occur year-round.
There is a ‘hurricane season’ in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Central Mexico and South Eastern seaboard of America between June and November, the months of August and September being particularly susceptible.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for St Kitts and Nevis.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick (to Antigua), with onward connecting flights to Nevis.
From London Gatwick to Antigua: 8 hours, 40 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Antigua to Nevis: 30 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.
Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in St Kitts and Nevis. 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.
For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
View the travel advice in full here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/st-kitts-and-nevis