Welcome to The Grenadines
Come and savour over 30 virgin islands & cays between
Grenada and St.Vincent
This necklace in the Eastern
Caribbean is a unique tourist opportunity, offering spectacular landscapes, beautiful white-sand beaches and
blue waters. No wonder these are called the Jewels of the Caribbean! Volcanically part of Grenada after an
ancient eruption, the Grenadines are politically tied to St.Vincent to
the north. The first recorded inhabitants were the Arawaks,
followed later by the Caribs whose simple tools can still be found.
They were ousted by European planters in the 1740's who found they could
grow sugar there in abundance. Because Europe's only sources of sugar at
that time were limited quantities from the Canaries and Cyprus, the West
Indies became economically significant.
A lush volcanic island, 18 miles by 11 miles , St. Vincent is the capital of the
windward coast is lined with cliffs and rocky shores pounded by the Atlantic
ocean. The leeward coast has spectacular slopes and valleys running down to
beaches lapped by the tranquil Caribbean Sea. The Capital, Kingstown, lying
on the southwest coast, combines
reminders of its colonial past with the bright and bustling life of a modern
market town with an assortment of small and interesting shops. Combining rugged
mountainous terrain, lush forest, valleys and waterfalls with many
beautiful beaches and inlets, is one of the most most fertile of
Caribbean islands, sustaining crops of exotic fruits, vegetables and
spices. It is also home to the oldest Botanical Gardens (20 acres) in
the Western Hemisphere. These Gardens include a breadfruit tree
descended from the original brought to the island in 1765 by Captain
Bligh from Tahiti. Much smaller than its St. Lucian counterpart, the
Soufriere volcano is well worth the trek, offering sensational
views of the crater, the Grenadine islands and all of St. Vincent.
around 5000 BC by the peace-loving Ciboney, then by the Arawaks and the
war-like Caribs, St Vincent has had a colourful and turbulent history.
A Dutch slave ship,
wrecked off Bequia in 1675, brought the first Africans who inter-married
to create the Black Caribs whose descendants live here today. For over
50 years the French and British fought for supremity, the British
finally gaining sovereignty in 1783
Today, St Vincent and The Grenadines is an independent democracy and
part of the British Commonwealth.
The fascinating blend of African, Indian, Asian and European influences
are expressed in the lifestyle of the people; through religion, sport,
music, cuisine, arts and crafts. The annual carnival (Vincy Mas') is a
showcase for the best in calypso singing, steelpan orchestras, soca
music and masquerade costumes. Cricket and soccer matches are played
and watched with a passion.
An ideal opportunity to take a boat trip either by yacht charter,
catamaran or ferry boat. For the non-mariners you can also fly. Carol
and I went by 16ft speedboat, not for the faint hearted as the ocean
swells between islands are truly awesome, but well worth the trip . The
waters around here are among the clearest in the world and fellow
tourists (apart from visiting yachtsmen) quite scarce.
9 miles south of St Vincent and the largest of the Grenadines,
Bequia is also the most northerly. Roughly 5 miles
long and half a mile wide, the island is rather hilly, with sandy beaches around
most of the island. Admiralty Bay is a popular yacht anchorage.
Measuring 3 miles by 1 mile, Canouan claims some of the best beaches in the
entire Caribbean - long ribbons of powder-white sands, wide shallows and coral.
The island has an airstrip for for light aircraft.
A small crescent shaped island, Canouan is surrounded by wide shallows and
corals, and the inhabitants are mainly fisherman and farmers.
The old church on the
north side of the island, had a village around it was torn away by a
hurricane in 1921, but was later rebuilt on the other side of the
The name Canouan comes
from the old Carib "Cannouan" which means Turtle Island. Here the
ship-building industry in the Grenadines was started. It's a quiet
island, unspoiled by tourism.
There are three (3)
hotels on Canouan: The French-owned Canouan Beach Hotel, the Crystal
Sands Beach Hotel, and Villa Le Bijou.
One of the smaller Grenadines and privately owned with few residents, it can be
reached by boat from Union Island.
Lying in the middle of the
Grenadines, close to the famous Tobago Cays. It is a one-road, two car island,
rimmed with pristine beaches and affording spectacular views from up on the
hill. The population numbers only a few hundred, so there is plenty of space for
Those cruising the islands have a choice
of two safe anchorages. Salt Whistle Bay has a sweeping half moon beach,
and the Salt Whistle Bay Club is tucked away behind it. (It really is
tucked away, so make sure you find it.)
Saline Bay has another long and lovely
beach and from here it is just a short walk up hill to the village and
the handful of restaurants that depend on visiting yachts for their
A gem of an island measuring 3 miles by 1 mile with a landscape as genteel as
its lifestyle — green hills roll into soft white sand beaches and turquoise
waters. Privately owned, this Grenadine isle has long attracted the elite of the
world, including British royalty.The Spanish sailors who first sighted the
Grenadines in the late 15th century called them "Los Pajoros" -
The Birds, because from the horizon they looked like tiny birds in
flight. It was pirates in the 16th and 17th
centuries who named them The Grenadines, and the English adopted the
name when they invaded and took control during the reign of Charles I.
During the 18th century, Mustique, like
other British territories, was heavily defended against the French.
Three forts were built at strategic points: Liverpool, Percival, and
Shandy. The ruins, including several cannon, can still be seen. Nelson's
long blockade of Europe and final Caribbean victory over French Admiral
Villeneuve in 1804, cut the French off from their supply of West Indian
sugar. Soon after, farmers discovered that sugar beets could be grown in
Europe. This led to a rapid decay of life in The Grenadines, and
eventually, abandonment. On Mustique, the jungle grew over the seven
sugar plantations: Endeavour, Rutland, Old Plantation, East Lot,
Adelphi, Campbell Valley, and Aberdeen. Only the sugar mill at Endeavour
and its "Cotton House" remain.
In 1835, Mustique was regranted by the
Crown as two plantations as it had potential for survival. Although
united in 1865 into one estate by the Hazell family of St.Vincent, it
wasn't until the Islands purchase by the Honourable Colin Tennant that
Mustique came out of it's dormancy. There was no jetty and herds of wild
cattle and sheep roamed the Island. About 100 people lived in the
dilapidated village of Cheltenham near the Cotton House. They worked a
few fields of cotton, peas, and corn in a sharing arrangement with the
During the next few years, life improved
on Tennant's private estate. In 1964, a new village called Lovell was
created. By 1968, it supported a plantation of 250 acres of sea island
cotton. New groves of coconut palms had been cultivated and limes,
oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and vegetables were being exported. The
wild livestock was brought under control and a fishing industry
prospered, largely worked by men from nearby Bequia.
Other than yachts, like the
Britannia, taking advantage of ideal sailing conditions, there were few
visitors to Mustique, though word spread about its beauty. Princess
Margaret accepted Colin Tenant's 10-acre plot of Mustique land as a
wedding present in 1960
on which she built a magnificent residence,
'Les Jolies Eaux.'.(She spent
her honeymoon at Arnos Vale on Tobago).
In 1968, a change of policy opened
Mustique to outsiders who were willing to preserve the Island's original
character. An economic development agreement was entered into between
the government of St.Vincent and The Mustique Company. The agreement
covered a broad spectrum of innovative fiscal and social plans including
strategies to encourage tourism and the building of private homes, but
numbering no more than 140. The plan, which was renewed in amended form
in 1989, transformed Mustique Island from a family estate into a
community of people dedicated to maintaining and enhancing their shares
of the land for generations to come.
In 1969, the airport was opened, the
first new villas were built, and the Cotton House opened as an inn. The
first villas and the Cotton House were designed by the British
theatrical designer, Oliver Messel. Other improvements followed: a
comprehensive road network, reliable electricity and communications,
fresh water from a desalination plant, a well-equipped medical clinic,
and convenient air transport services.
Mustique's progress has had a favourable
effect on St.Vincent. After the St.Vincent government, Mustique is the
largest employer of St.Vincent residents, and as such, contributes
significantly to the gross national product. Many new homes on
St.Vincent were built with money earned on Mustique.
A private resort with a very casual ambiance — 24 beachfront stone cottages,
open-air dining and all watersports off wide, spectacular white-sand beaches.
Petite St Vincent
The Tobago Cays
Numerous islets south of Canouan, guarded by some of the most spectacular coral
reefs in the world. You can sail, snorkel and beach comb in complete seclusion
in this rare tropical paradise that can be reached only by yacht. A national
marine park is being developed here.
A 2,100-acre mountainous island fringed by superb beaches, Union Island is the
stopping-off point for yachtsmen and visitors heading to some of the smaller
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