Holidays in Anguilla
They say the best things come in small packages. Measuring just 16 miles by three miles, Anguilla is a pint-sized marvel so paradisal, you’d think the proverb was written with the island in mind.
It seems a tiny speck within the greater array of Caribbean jewels, but a postcard-perfect concoction of coconut palms, sugar-white sands and azure waters show every inch is as stunning as the next. Better still, Anguilla is a destination that slips under the radar for most visitors to the Caribbean and its unspoiled beauty, seclusion and authenticity make it a real luxury holiday. Kaleidoscopic coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, stingrays and reef sharks offer enticing snorkelling straight off one of the 33 beaches the island boasts.
However, Anguilla offers more than just shimmering sands and turquoise seas. It’s a burgeoning foodie hotspot, a culinary capital where world-class chefs serve up top-notch fare alongside authentic street shacks. Somehow, 120 restaurants are squeezed into this sliver of land, offering everything from classic seafood to a smorgasbord of fusion food, mixing Caribbean influences with European flavours. The Caribbean has never tasted so good…
Anguilla has become a haven for foodies and there’s no end to the ways you can sample its delicious cuisine. A day’s sail to Prickly Pear Cay is among the most unique, where you can spot dolphins and turtles on your way to this pair of palm-topped golden droplets floating in the Caribbean Sea. Build your appetite by snorkelling among kaleidoscopic fish-filled reefs straight off the beach, spying the rocky nesting grounds of brown boobies, or simply strolling the powder-soft sands. Then, make a beeline for the beach restaurant and sip on a refreshing rum punch or cocktail as you tuck into a platter of fresh Caribbean lobster, a meal likely plucked from the same stretch of water you cruised to reach this idyllic setting.
Dining on sumptuous seafood right on the beachfront is the Caribbean dream for many. The restaurant Straw Hat delivers this in spades, claiming a prime position on the sleek sands of Meads Bay – one of the finest beaches in Anguilla (quite the accolade for an island packed with fabulous beaches). Straw Hat’s charming staff are on hand to compliment these flawless views with an ice-cold drink as you sit there mesmerised. The menu is brimming with authentic Anguillan cuisine, too – the red snapper ceviche with plantain chips is one of our favourites.
A tiny sliver of sand in the azure Caribbean Sea, Sandy Island is a dreamy lunch spot. It’s somewhere you imagine Robinson Crusoe might have dined, speckled with vegetation and driftwood. While you could argue most food here would taste great given the location, the island’s restaurant is a treat for your tastebuds. Don’t miss the shrimp kebabs, marinated in a signature Sandy spice, and wash them down with a Sandy margarita, before toasting your spellbinding views with a classic rum punch.
With gin-clear waters lapping the velvety crescent of Rendezvous Bay, every hour at SunShine Shack is happy hour. A real toes-in-the-sand experience, sample sizzling snacks (the Creole snapper is our personal pick) straight from the grill on the beach to the soundtrack of reggae beats. It’s a beach bar full of feel-good vibes, so much so you’ll find it hard to leave.
As well as informal beach eateries, Anguilla also has some of the finest dining establishments in the world. Some of the planet’s top chefs flock here to showcase their cooking skills in front of A-listers and Veya Restaurant is one of many leading the charge. Its treehouse-inspired setting is a platform for a feast of global fusion food, including lobster fritters and jerk-spiced tuna. Nightly live music performances from a variety of artists add to the authenticity of a place that seamlessly blends in with its surroundings.
Where to stay in Anguilla
The best time to visit Anguilla
Anguilla is a great island to visit all year round. The high season runs from December to April, with the low season occurring from May to November.
The high season sees temperatures average around 26°C and with very little rain, this is a brilliant time to plan a holiday.
In the low season, the humidity and temperature picks up, peaking in August at around 31°C. While there is a bigger chance of rainfall, Anguilla’s ‘rainy season’ is not as wet as many its Caribbean neighbours. The official hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November, peaking in September, but excellent satellite forecasts give sufficient warnings so the island can make the necessary precautions. As a result, low season (the summer months) can be a great time to visit, drawing less crowds than in the high season.
Anguilla travel essentials
No vaccinations are recommended for Anguilla but the island is regarded to have a risk of contracting the Zika virus. However, please consult your GP at least four to six weeks prior to travel for current advice.
The time difference is GMT -4 hours.
The flight time from London to Anguilla is around 10 hours, with a short stop in Antigua.
The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, although US dollars are also widely accepted.
UK nationals don’t need a visa to travel to Anguilla.
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