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Take your pick of picture-perfect beaches – there are no fewer than 365, one for each day of the year!

A jewel set in the heart of the Caribbean, Antigua is the perfect tropical island escape.

Its beautiful coast is dusted with some of the Caribbean’s finest sand and a break in Antigua’s natural coral defences hides the entrance to what was once the British Empire’s foothold in the Caribbean.

The colonial fortifications of Shirley Heights still overlook English Harbour, where luxury yachts now dance in place of Georgian galleons that once waited here for their fill of precious white gold.

 

Top holidays in Antigua

Culture and history

Columbus named the island on his way past in 1493 although it was the British who claimed it for the crown in 1632. Many modern-day Antiguans are descended from slaves who worked in the British Empire’s lucrative sugar plantations.

Vestiges of ‘Britishness’ remain, most notably the Antiguans’ love affair with cricket and impromptu sessions add to the laidback island lifestyle.

Beach attire is just that, with revealing clothing frowned upon in the villages and towns. For a taste of the Caribbean, sample some ultra sweet black pineapple and perhaps add a dash of spicy Antiguan hot sauce to a meal for a little extra kick.

Flight time

From London to Antigua takes 8 hours and 40 minutes.

Currency

Dollar -

The East Caribbean Dollar (EC$) is the local currency although you should have little difficulty spending US dollars with which it is linked.

Passports and visas

Leave a page free in your passport for your entry stamp. British citizens need a full ten-year passport with at least six months validity left to run after returning from holiday. Visas however are not required for British citizens.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.

Timezone

The Caribbean is four hours behind GMT.

Electricity

You’ll need to pack an adaptor if you plan on taking an electrical appliances with you as mains voltage on Antigua is 220/110 volts AC (60 Hz).

Sockets are mainly for American two-pin plugs, although some may be for European two-pin plugs.

Language

English -

English is the official language although the local Creole patois adds a Caribbean flavour to everyday words.

Tipping

When exploring independently, you’ll find that most hotels and restaurants in Antigua add a 10% or 15% service charge. If a service charge hasn’t been included, then it is customary to leave a tip as thanks for good service.

Climate

It’s sunny skies all the way in Antigua, which basks in year-round sunshine. With Celsius temperatures averaging in the twenties, lightweight cotton and linen clothes are suitcase essentials, as is rain gear that will keep you dry during sporadic showers between September and December.

Health

Don’t let midges and mosquitoes ruin your holiday – be prepared and cover up with full-length clothing and insect repellent.

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Less than 90,000 people call this island home, making it one of the lowest country populations in the world.

The island of Antigua is 22.5 kilometers long and 18 miles across at its widest point. At 443 square kilometers, it is just a little larger than Malta.

Smoking

Restrictions on smoking are commonplace in enclosed public places and on public transport.



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