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Land of sugar and spice and all things nice…

Idyllic beaches. Clear waters. Pristine reefs. Colourful towns. Wildlife-rich rainforest – the Caribbean island of Grenada is a wonderful holiday retreat.

 

Culture and history

French colonial influences are reflected in some of the place names, patois and spicy New Orleans-style dishes. The Amerindians and Indians added their own dhals, rotis and curries to the cuisine.

Early French-owned sugar estates used African slave labour, and their descendents make up the largest proportion of the population. Their tradition of story-telling remains important, with history and folklore handed down between generations. Carnival is another island tradition – celebrated with great exuberance in early August!

The fertile land, plentiful water and year-round warm weather provided perfect conditions for growing valuable crops, including sugar, cacao and spices. This proud tradition continues – the nutmeg even appears on Grenada’s flag!

Grenada gained full independence from Britain in 1974, although it remains in the Commonwealth.

Manners are important. A ‘Good morning…’ is expected, even to passing strangers. When meeting new people, small talk should be impersonal rather than asking about someone’s profession or family life.

Revealing clothing should not be worn in public areas and touching people other than your own family is best avoided. Shaking hands is acceptable, but public displays of affection are uncommon. As elsewhere in the laid-back Caribbean, expect a flexible attitude to time…

Flight time

It’s an eight-and-a-half hour flight from London to Maurice Bishop International Airport in the south-west of the island. As it’s close to most of the island's hotels, your transfer is unlikely to take more than 15 minutes.

Currency

Dollar -

The East Caribbean dollar is the currency used locally. It is linked to the US dollar. US bills may be accepted in larger shopping areas but your change will be in EC dollars.

Passports and visas

You’ll need a valid passport and a return or onward ticket when you arrive. However, proof of citizenship bearing a photograph is acceptable from British citizens, when accompanied by a copy of your birth certificate. Citizens of the United Kingdom and its dependencies don’t require visas.

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

Phrases

Ah gone – I’m leaving now

Aredi – all ready

Broughtupsy – polite, well brought-up

Buh wait nah – hold on a minute

Eh-heh – yes, I understand

Ent? – is that so?

Good night – good evening – used for greeting and parting

Jus’now – some time (but not at all soon…)

Study your head! – watch out!

W’ap’nin? – what’s going on?

Whey yuh say? – pardon, what did you say?

Timezone

Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (the time in the US and Canada) and four hours behind GMT.

Electricity

Voltage is 220 volts – 50 cycles, so UK appliances can be used without problem. Most hotels have standard British three prong plugs and dual voltage shaver units.

Language

English -

English is the official language but French and French-derived words and phrases are also used. Grenadian people also speak Grenadian English (a particular dialect with differing grammar and vocabulary) and a French African patois.

Tipping

Haggling is not the way shopping is done in Grenada – you are expected to pay the asking price or shop elsewhere. Tipping is not necessarily expected, but is always appreciated.

Climate

Tropical. The average year-round temperature is 30ºC/80ºF – nights are slightly cooler. January to May is the dry season. The hottest months are June, July and August, although northeast trade winds make them more comfortable. June to December is the so-called rainy season but it rarely rains every day or for longer than an hour.

Grenada had 49 hurricane-free years before Hurricane Ivan damaged or destroyed 90% of the island's homes in 2004. Cruelly, it was followed less than a year later by Hurricane Emily which caused major damage to the north.

Health

It is safe to drink the water here, as it is chlorinated. Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, as can tiny sand flies, but malaria is not a problem here.

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

The estimated population is 110,200. To put this into perspective, there are around 30,000 more residents on the Isle of Wight.

The smallest country in the Western Hemisphere, Grenada is a three-island state. Grenada is the largest at 12 miles (18 km) wide and 21 miles (34 km) long. (Even so, it’s smaller than the Isle of Wight!)

The total area is 133 square miles (344 sq km). The island is divided into six parishes – Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark and Saint Patrick.

Carriacou is just 13 square miles (34 sq km) and home to 6,000 people. Petite Martinique is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Windwards at less than one square mile (2.3 km), with a population of around 900 people. The two smaller islands are best known for their beautiful coral reefs.



Climate

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