Holidays in St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Slung like a cluster of jade pebbles floating in a bath of Caribbean Sea blue, the islands of St. Vincent & the Grenadines are often referred to as the ‘jewels of the Caribbean’. With only nine of the 32 gems inhabited, there’s a real Robinson Crusoe desert island feel here.
Escapism is king in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. It’s a luxury holiday where you can get away from it all on its perfectly formed sandy crescents, safe in the knowledge that with barely a soul around, you’ll be undisturbed.
With so many islands to pick from, hopping between them offers a flavour of each isle’s subtle charms. Take in the eye-popping snorkelling and diving found off the coast of Tobago Cays, the lush wilds of St. Vincent, the old-world charisma of Bequia or the celebrity glitz of Mustique. Or sail between a handful for a watery adventure of your own.
Your stay doesn’t have to be 100% ‘R & R’. Plenty of the islands offer walking trails that wind through lush, rolling hills and tropical forest, not least the ascent of St. Vincent’s volcano, La Soufrière. It’s a challenging hike but one that rewards with a panoramic view of those fine Caribbean jewels.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines highlights
The clue’s in the name with the private island of Petit St. Vincent, the smallest and southernmost isle in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. This is tropical exclusivity at its very best, a 115-acre wooded crescent skirted by beach so immaculate you feel you’re the first to ever set foot here. With only 22 cottages in the island’s luxury resort, it can often seem like you’ve fallen off the map to somewhere undiscovered, such is the rare likelihood of spotting someone else while you’re there. We think you’d agree Petit St. Vincent is a secret we’d very much like to keep between ourselves…
Mention Mustique to anyone and they’ll start to namedrop the rich and famous who’ve stayed at this paradisal escape over the years – Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Jude Law, to name but a few. The tone was set for this elite escape when former owner, aristocrat Lord Glenconner, handed a 10-acre slice to Princess Margaret as a wedding present in 1960. Though it’s a playground for the affluent, it’s by no means off-limits for those who just want to get away from it all. It’s a retreat where you can wander tropical gardens, laze on pearl-white sands and snooze on hammocks strung between two palms, probably sharing the lot with a clutch of Hollywood A-listers.
Away from the glamour of its sisters Mustique and Petit St. Vincent, Bequia offers a more off-the-beaten-track experience. It retains an old-world charm that can’t be found on its glitzy neighbours, a land where boatbuilding and fishing are very much still evident and easy ways to soak up local life. A mix of beautiful beaches and a languid way of life means you can’t help but take it easy here, lazing on the sand while watching fishermen bring in their daily catch. It’s an island that’s still rough around the edges but that forms much of it appeal, offering an option unlike anywhere else in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
With five tiny emerald lozenges bobbing in aquamarine lagoons, the protected marine park of Tobago Cays is heavenly. And encased by a horseshoe-shaped reef, it’s one of the Caribbean’s crown jewels when it comes to snorkelling and diving. The coral is as vivid as anywhere on the planet, populated by schools of tropical fish, queen conches and spiny lobsters, while the snow-white beaches are popular feeding and nesting grounds for green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles. It’s an underwater world like no other.
Between them, the islands of St. Vincent & the Grenadines offer a rich blend of local charm, marine magic and glamour. So why not dip your toe into a splash of them all? Chartering a yacht is a great way to savour everything this enchanting archipelago has to offer, hopping between a tailored selection of islands for a more rounded adventure.
Where to stay in St. Vincent & the Grenadines
The wonderful thing about St. Vincent & the Grenadines is that each of its islands offers an atmosphere completely different to the next. Here, stay at more than one island is highly recommended! There's emerald-wrapped St. Vincent, Bequia's slow pace of life, the glitz and glamour of Mustique or the exclusivity of the private island of Petit St. Vincent.
The best time to visit St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Due to the wide-ranging nature of its many islands, the climate can vary from isle to isle. However, as a general rule, the more southerly isles (including Tobago Cays) are slightly drier and warmer than those towards the northern tip of the chain (the likes of St. Vincent and Bequia).
Temperatures across the archipelago tend to drift between 27-30°C throughout the year.
December to May is the driest time of year to visit and with such a good spread of weather right across all the islands, this makes it an ideal time for a sailing holiday. This half of the year is also peak season for St. Vincent & the Grenadines, although we’d use the term ‘peak’ very loosely with the small amount of footfall the country attracts!
June to November is considered the islands’ rainy period, falling within the Caribbean’s official hurricane season. However, the chances of experiencing one are small, as they usually pass to the north of the islands. Short, sharp showers are a more likely feature. Sunshine hours are still in plentiful supply, though, and the rain you do encounter ensures the vegetation stays lush and green.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines travel essentials
No vaccinations are recommended for St. Vincent & the Grenadines but the country 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 can differ, depending on which island you’re flying to. The easiest route is to fly from London to Barbados or Saint Lucia – a total flight time of around nine hours. This is followed by a charter flight to the island you’re visiting, which is normally booked through the hotel.
The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, although US dollars are also widely accepted.
British passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
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