Without a doubt Antigua’s 365 beaches are a draw to this tropical island but there is much more to it than that. Antigua has a rich history, a rainforest, great snorkelling spots and is home to a popular annual sailing event. When you combine this with reggae, local rum and delicious food, you have somewhere very special. Hence my regular visits! Here are 5 of my best memories from solo holidays to Antigua…
1. Nicole’s Table, Cedar Valley
Nestled in the hills of Cedar Valley, Nicole and Adam open up their home for several types of cookery sessions and rum tasting classes. Cooking within a family home became a memorable experience. Nicole, her friends and husband were warm and welcoming. It was a fun filled day. Nicole instructed us to chop, mix and stir while we drank our home made, old fashioned rum punch. Dishes made included plantain wonton cups filled with spicy prawns and blackened salmon.
Nicole’s husband educated us about rum with a tasting session. We enjoyed a selection of English, French and Spanish rums before ending with a local English Harbour Port Cask Finish Rum, paired with dark chocolate.
Finally, we sat together on the verandah and enjoyed all the delicious dishes we made.
Have a look at Nicole’s Table website for details of courses and availability
2. Shirley Heights
My solo holidays to Antigua wouldn’t be the same without a trip to Shirley Heights. However, the last time I was here, I wondered if I might be thrown out! My taxi driver purposely drove fast past the ticket office so that I didn’t have to pay!!! He was laughing so much and all night I was worried security would ask to see my ticket haha!
Even though the event is more touristy now than my early travels to Antigua, it is still a wonderful way to spend a Sunday evening. The atmosphere is incredible. The night begins with a superb steel band playing. As the music plays, the sun starts to set. The far reaching views and sunsets from this restored military lookout are amongst the best I have seen from my worldwide travels. After dark, a reggae band performs on stage and the dancing begins. Throughout the night fantastic bbq food is being cooked and served.
There are vendors selling jewellery, steel drums and dolls and men making items from bamboo. One of them made me a rose and an angel fish. When he presented them to me I told him he was very talented. He informed me it was not his only talent. Perhaps naively I asked what it was and his reply was that he was a good lover too haha.
3. Infinity Pool at Boom
The infinity pool at Boom offers breathtaking views of Nelson’s Dockyard. It is free to use when dining at the restaurant for lunch or if you are resident at Admiral’s Inn. The pool area is framed by comfortable sun loungers and hammocks and varied music is piped through speakers. Food served here is of an excellent quality, serving a range of local and International dishes.
4. Snorkelling at Galleon Beach
Galleon beach is a rugged beach with walking trails to the rear of it. Snorkelling is highly recommended here. It is fantastic. There is an abundance of marine life to see around the location of the shipwreck which is close to the shore. I was lucky enough to see a turtle which was a very memorable experience for me. It is common to see rays too apparently.
5. La Brasserie, English Harbour
I fell in love with this French, fine dining, waterside restaurant located in English Harbour. Perhaps it was because they collected me by water taxi. The harbour looked so pretty lit up at night. Or perhaps it was because of their excellent hospitality and the relaxing ambience. Maybe it was because I had the best steak I have ever had. Cooked old fashioned style in cognac with a peppercorn crust, it was exquisite. Future solo holidays to Antigua will definitely include a return visit to La Brasserie.
Suggested Further Reading:
Antigua Holidays – links to things to do, restaurants and where to stay
Travel Products – Items recommended to purchase for solo travel
Solo Travel Destinations – Other places I recommend for solo travel