The top 10 Caribbean beaches you must visit

With endless white or golden sands, turquoise shores and laid-back cocktail vibes, nothing beats the Caribbean’s sun-soaked beaches. It’s not hard to see why this part of the world is heavenly for beach lovers. But with so many idyllic islands and sparkling coastlines to choose from, just how do you decide which tropical paradise to explore?

Enjoy every kind of Caribbean beach holiday

Luckily for you, on a P&O Cruises Caribbean fly-cruise holiday or a Caribbean cruise holiday that departs from Southampton, you can explore a wide range of exotic beaches – one to suit every mood – in one holiday. Here are some of our favourite Caribbean beaches and why you should visit them… 

Our top 10 best Caribbean beaches

Fort James Beach, Antigua

With its palm trees, golden sands and glittering turquoise waters in one of the sunniest spots in the Caribbean, nowhere says ‘tropical paradise’ better than Fort James Beach. Nestled on Antigua’s west coast, looking out to the Caribbean Sea, Fort James Beach is protected from strong winds and waves, making it one the most tranquil spots on the island.

Runaway Beach, Antigua

This long and magnificent stretch of talcum-powder-soft sands on the northwest coast of Antigua is a must-visit on your Caribbean holiday. While home to many bars and restaurants, Runaway Beach still maintains a peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds. Whether you choose to go swimming in the shallow waters or just lie back on a sun lounger with a rum cocktail, you’ll find this stunning beach the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Voted one of the world’s best beaches – and it’s easy to see why. It’s the widest beach in Aruba and, with its trademark Fofoti trees pointing out of the ocean, there’s no better place to soak up the Caribbean sun. If you close your eyes and imagine paradise, the chances are you’ll be picturing Eagle Beach.

Brownes Beach, Barbados

One of the largest beaches in Barbados, Brownes Beach boasts unspoilt white sand and tropical fish while also being a hive of activity and watersports for the more adventurous. If jet-skiing, deep-sea diving, snorkelling or even flying over the sea with a jet pack are your kind of thing, then Brownes Beach is your ultimate playground. And with shallow waters lapping the shore, this is the perfect Caribbean beach for families with children and even the most novice of swimmers.

Brandon’s Beach, Barbados

Nestled on the west coast of Barbados and on the outskirts of the capital city, Bridgetown, Brandon’s Beach is quieter than the more lively Brownes Beach but just as beautiful. With its gorgeous white sands and offshore coral reefs to go snorkelling among, this is a very accessible tropical paradise if you’re after some sunny solitude away from the crowds.

Kokomo Beach, Curaçao

Nowhere says ‘Caribbean beach holiday’ more than Kokomo Beach, so it seems apt that this is also the name of the famous song by The Beach Boys. The beach’s bar-lined boulevard is the perfect place to try the island’s famous Blue Lagoon tipple as you look out to the turquoise waters.

Grand Anse Beach, Grenada

Famous for its flour-soft white sands, this half-moon Caribbean beach with endless palm trees straggling its border is as spectacular as it sounds. If you’re dreaming of relaxing in a hammock in a tropical paradise, then Grand Anse Beach is the place to be. And with crystal-clear waters, this is also a great spot for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Questelles Beach, St Vincent

Located on a tranquil part of the island, picturesque Questelles (pronounced Keet-ells) Beach is a true hidden Caribbean gem, with golden sands fringed by swaying palms and sloping hills. Overlooking a sheltered azure bay dotted with colourful fishing boats, you’ll struggle to find a more idyllic Caribbean setting.

South Friar's Bay, St Kitts

Whether you’re looking to relax, adventure into the clear waters for a swim or enjoy a cocktail at a beach bar, South Friar’s Bay has something for everyone. And with incredible views of the island’s jungle-clad mountains, it’s easy to see why this is considered one of the region’s best beaches.

Vigie Beach, St Lucia

With pristine white sands, turquoise waters and the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage-protected Pitons as your backdrop, discover why St Lucia’s Vigie Beach is considered to be the most romantic of Caribbean beaches. To guarantee a spot, make sure you book your visit in advance.

Top 3 Caribbean beach tips

If you’ve never been on a Caribbean beach holiday before, you’re in for a treat. Before you set sail for paradise, we’ve put together our top three tips to help you have the best possible experience as you explore these idyllic islands.

1. Get ready to switch down to island time

People often use the phrase 'island time' to describe the laid-back vibe of life in the Caribbean. There’s no getting away from it: The friendly islanders take things at a slower pace due to the tropical climate and their desire to simply enjoy life. You’ll soon discover the relaxed mentality is all part of the appeal of this region. So, why not kick back with a cocktail in the sun as you find out what Caribbean limin’ is all about? 

2. Pack plenty of lightweight cotton clothing

When packing for your Caribbean holiday, the best articles of clothing to bring are those made from 100% cotton. Unlike seaside resorts in Europe, in the Caribbean it is seen as disrespectful to wear beachwear anywhere but the beach. So, make sure you have plenty of cotton items that will provide you with the breathability, flex and moisture wicking you’ll need in the Caribbean’s tropical climate.

3. Enjoy the local tipple of choice

The Caribbean is the birthplace of rum, so it’ll come as no surprise to learn it’s the tipple of choice among the locals. And no Caribbean holiday would be complete without sipping the region’s favourite spirit in the tropical sunshine as you gaze out at enchanting coastlines. Whether you choose to drink it neat or in an exotic cocktail, you can expect rum to be the most readily available drink throughout the Caribbean.  

Best Caribbean Beach Holidays

How to get to the Caribbean

If you’re longing to soak up some tropical sunshine on the Caribbean’s exotic beaches, you have the choice of a P&O Cruises Caribbean fly-cruise or a Caribbean cruise holiday sailing from Southampton.

When you fly out to meet your ship on a Caribbean fly-cruise, you’ll be in the heart of the region ready to begin your holiday in the time it takes to watch a few in-flight films. In just eight-and-a-half hours hours you can fly to Barbados or Antigua to join our newest ship, Arvia, or our flagship Britannia for your Caribbean adventure. If time is a factor and you’ve only a couple of weeks to explore, then a Caribbean fly-cruise is the perfect way to maximise your time. And with P&O Cruises you can relax knowing your flights and transfers are included in the price of your holiday.

Another option is to set sail from Southampton to explore the idyllic islands and blissful beaches of the Caribbean, along with the Azores and the southeast coast of the US on selected holidays, on an epic round trip. When you sail from Southampton, the second you step on board your ship, your holiday begins. On your leisurely sailing across the Atlantic, you’ll have time to make the most of your ship, Aurora (exclusively for adults), Iona or Ventura. Relax by the pool, take in a theatre show, enjoy evenings of fine dining or sip cocktails out on deck as your ship carries you towards the Caribbean sunshine.

Caribbean Shore Experiences

Which cruise ships visit the Caribbean?

On our Caribbean fly-cruises, you’ll have the choice between our newest ship, Arvia, and our flagship, Britannia. With her retractable SkyDome and luminous wide-open spaces, Arvia is designed to make the most of the tropical sunshine. And if that wasn’t enough, on Arvia’s Caribbean fly-cruises you’ll be able to taste the flavours of your destination with exclusive dishes created by our Local Food Hero Shivi Ramoutar, the queen of contemporary Caribbean cooking.

If you’re looking to explore the region in style and comfort, then Britannia offers you an abundance of choice and luxurious décor. And on selected holidays you’ll have the chance to meet the godfather of British cooking, P&O Cruises Food Hero Marco Pierre White, as he hosts masterclasses and dinners on board.

If you’re sailing from Southampton, you’ll have the option of a round trip on Aurora, Iona or Ventura. Our family-friendly ships Iona and Ventura offer a world of fun for all ages. Children can make friends in The Reef, adults can kick back in the spa and everyone can enjoy a dip under the tropical sunshine thanks to their pools with retractable roofs.

If you prefer a ship with a more intimate feel, then Aurora is the ship for you. Exclusively for adults, our smallest ship offers a luxurious spa and salon as well as a retractable roof over her Crystal pool – the perfect place to relax on a lounger as the Caribbean sunshine pours through.