Antigua is the largest of the English speaking Leeward Islands in the British West Indies has enjoyed a long history of British seamanship. Lord Nelson established a harbour here - English Harbour - and the island is still a mecca for yachtsmen and other water sports enthusiasts. The island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the region and offers both relaxing, idyllic beaches and good nightlife.
In the summer the island hosts a fantastic Caribbean Carnival - a fantastic time to visit. Antiqua is very family friendly. The beaches are superb and there is plenty to do for everyone. No one would suggest this is great diving, even in Caribbean terms, but it is a good place to combine a family holiday or a trip with a non-diver with some well-run dives. There are a couple of interesting wrecks to check out including the Jetias to the north of the island and the sunken reef of Big John halfway to the neighbouring island of Barbuda is worth the trip. There are believed to be many undiscovered wrecks around Barbuda and the tiny islet could become a fantastic destination in the future.
The fringing reefs are fairly healthy and there is plenty of elkhorn coral and a good variety of sponges. Most dives are gentle potters around the reefs and coral gardens - the further out you go the better the marine life. Marine parks are established to protect the coral.
Direct flights from the UK make Antigue very easy to reach. As well as scheduled flights, it is also possible to find charter flights from airlines such as Air 2000. It is often worth investigation flying via the U.S.A. - whilst adding time to the journey, it can work out cheaper.
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All the signs pointed towards Antigua. The island had warm, steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbors, and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef.
Although the scenery is featureless, exquisite beaches abound. The Antiguans are very engaging especially when it comes to cricket although adopting a more easy going approach will prove useful and ultimately rewarding for a relaxing tropical holiday. Antigua is traditionally one of the driest islands in the region, although tropical storms may occur between July and October.