The four best Caribbean islands
As the nights draw in, we’re turning our thoughts to the Caribbean and its crystal-clear seas, white sands, swaying palm trees and welcoming locals. But there’s plenty more to see beyond the blissful beachfronts. On a P&O Cruises holiday, you can get to the heart of each colourful island. Here’s our pick of the four best Caribbean islands...
Stunning St Lucia
Blessed with lush mountains, abundant flora and fauna, stunning beaches and turquoise waters, St Lucia is an island paradise. But beyond the beauty, there’s buckets to do. Sail around the iconic peaks of the Pitons, hike along the Jacquot Trail, take in the views from the Soufriere Volcano and sulphur springs or tee off at the famous St Lucia Golf and Country Club – to name a few. The capital, Castries, is a charming spot, too, with points of interest including the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Derek Walcott Square (named after the Nobel Prize-winning poet) and a bustling market brimming with local handicrafts.
Barbados is a Caribbean cracker. Nowhere else in the region packs in such a mix of island glamour and untamed natural beauty. The easy-going locals and oddly familiar ways (it’s decidedly British in some ways due to its colonial past) make it the ideal place to find your feet. For immaculate white beaches, exclusive resorts, golf courses and five-star luxury at every turn, head to the Platinum Coast on the west of the island. By contrast, find the wild, beautiful and less developed Scotland district on the east. In the middle, lush plantations and gardens, rum distilleries and amazing colonial architecture make this a great place to explore – topped and tailed with spending time in the exuberant capital, Bridgetown.
Bijou St Kitts
Small but perfectly formed, St Kitts is a joy to explore. And it has something for everyone. History buffs are sure to love the brilliant UNESCO World Heritage Brimstone Hill Fortress (a real British military citadel), artistic guests will love the colourful Caribelle Batik (fabric art) at Romney Manor and foodies can relish enjoy West Indian specialities or traditional afternoon tea at Fairview Great House. Adventure-lovers can whizz through the rainforest on a Sky Safari Ziplining shore experience, while explorers can get around by bike, jeep, catamaran, kayak or the island’s charming railway - read all about it in our top tips.
At only 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, Antigua is a beach-lover’s paradise with 365 white, sandy beauties to choose from – one for each day of the year. It’s a maritime haven too, oozing in history and character. Colourful boats and yachts are a key feature off shore, while on land you can explore the island’s historic atmosphere – Admiral Horatio Nelson landed here in 1784. A must is a visit to Nelson’s Dockyard, the only Georgian dockyard still in operation. Within Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, you’ll also find Clarence House, which was built for future King William IV, and Shirley Heights, a partly restored fortification with great views of Montserrat and Guadeloupe.