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GRENADINE ISLANDS CHAIN INFORMATION


Welcome to The Grenadines   Flight information
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 amazing turquoise 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.

St. Vincent
A lush volcanic island, 18 miles by 11 miles , St. Vincent is the capital of the Grenadines its 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. 
Brief History:
First settled 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. more information


The Grenadines
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.

Bequia
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. http://www.bequia-island.com/Bequia

Canouan
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 island.
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.

Mayreau
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 everyone.

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 existence. more information

Mustique
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 Hazell family.
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.

Palm Island
A private resort with a very casual ambiance 24 beachfront stone cottages, open-air dining and all watersports off wide, spectacular white-sand beaches. more information

Petite St Vincent
website

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.

Union Island
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 Grenadines. more information.
Apartments for rent- Apartmentguide.com
Other Apartments for rent- Uwyo.edu
Information on Renting- Cobbhouse.com
 


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