Soak up some colour and warmth on the Caribbean’s Spice Isle
Grenada sits in the eastern Caribbean, between Barbados and the north-east coast of Venezuela. Locals say that if you drop a few seeds anywhere on Grenada, you will have an instant garden; it is a major producer of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. The capital, St George, has the most picturesque horseshoe harbour in the entire Caribbean. Grenada gained its independence from Britain in 1974. Its history is marked by invasion by the French and the British and, more recently, by the USA under Ronald Reagan. It was struck by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Emily in 2005. Grenada is home to 100,000 people and has a strong tourist industry, within which eco-tourism is developing a niche. Its attractions include a balmy climate, magnificent beaches, a tropical garden, rum distilleries and the opportunity to see plantations.
Explore shipwrecks and see dramatic waterfalls; go for the beautiful beaches and to hear Grenadian Creole. Sip on the rum, mango and papaya juice. Go for the soca, calypso and reggae music and eat meat, dumplings with vegetables cooked in coconut milk.
When to go?
Temperatures range from 24°C to 30°C. From January to April, there are cooling trade winds, and there is up to one hour of rain a day during the rainy season of June to December. In January/February you can see the Grenada Sailing Festival. In May, groove along to the Drum Festival. Between July/August, enjoy the Carriacou Regatta. In August, allow yourself to be swept away by the ebullience of the Grenada Carnival.
How to get there?
Grenada is served by Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND), which is a 10-minute taxi ride from St. George. It welcomes flights from the UK, the USA, Canada and the other islands of the Caribbean. On the island, get around by taxi or water-taxi; for a livelier trip, take a minibus ride. Many cruise-ships and yachts also drop anchor in Grenada.
Step back in time on Belmont Estate, a working 17th Century plantation. Visit the aromatic Gouyave Nutmeg Factory and sample the wares at River Antoine, the oldest rum distillery in the western hemisphere. Climb Mount Qua Qua or Mount St Catherine for breathtaking views. Marvel at the waterfalls of Annandale, Mount Carmel or the Seven Sisters. Soak up the rays on Grand Anse Beach and visit the historic forts of St George and St Frederick. Dive down to explore the 1961 shipwreck of Bianca C. Whatever you do, do not miss Fish Friday, a wonderful celebration of seafood.