Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Antigua

Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:37pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, Antigua in the Leeward Islands is considered one of gems of the Eastern Caribbean.

Palm trees and lush vegetation line the pristine shores of the island, which was once an important base for Britain. Today, Antigua is a stop for cruise ships, which dock in the capital St John's, and a sailing and yachting destination.

With its luxury resorts, hotels and guest houses tourism is the most important industry.

Although it merits a longer stay, visitors can still make the most of a short visit to Antigua, which is just 108 square miles, and has about 68,000 residents.


Unless traveling by boat, visitors to Antigua arrive at V.C. Bird International Airport in the capital, St. John's, which has direct flights from U.S. and European cities and is a short drive to the resorts on the island's western Caribbean shore or the eastern Atlantic coast.

Take a minivan or taxi to your hotel, or if you are planning to really discover Antigua rent a car for your stay. Driving is on the left side of the road. The island is not very large, the roads are paved and well marked and Antiguans are happy to offer directions.

6:15 p.m. - After settling into your resort or hotel enjoy a cocktail on the beach while watching the sun set over the Caribbean and then take a stroll on the white sandy shore before dinner.   Continued...

A panoramic island view from Shirley's Heights, Antigua, is seen in this undated handout photo supplied by the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority on March 29, 2012. REUTERS/Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority/Handout