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  • Writer's pictureJude

8 of the best beaches in Antigua

Updated: Apr 3

8 of the  best beaches in Antigua

Best beaches in Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua is blessed with 365 beaches, one for every day of the year and all are open to the public. The island, sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, is encircled by coral teeming with tropical fish. Palm trees and sea grape plants sway in the breeze, framing the soft golden and white sand.

Barbuda, the second island that makes up the nation has the most incredible pink hued beaches. The candy floss colouring is due to millions of tiny crushed pink seashells. Stunning crescent shaped Princess Diana beach was re-named from Coco Point beach in her memory in 2011 by the Barbuda Council. It would have been her 50th birthday that year and it was an island she visited several times.

Beaches in Antigua & Barbuda offer something for everyone ... relaxation, watersports, snorkelling, watching a sunrise or sunset, or perhaps enjoy a barbecue or romantic dinner. Here are some of the best beaches in Antigua I have visited on the island so far.

8 of the best beaches in Antigua

1. Dickenson Bay

Dickenson Bay, Antigua

Dickenson Bay is a mile long stretch of powdery white sand on Antigua's NW coast. It is a hit with families with young children as the the beach gently slopes into the cool, clear water. Expect water sports, water hammocks and some non intrusive beach vendors to wander past offering a range of clothing and jewellery, massages on sun loungers and boat trips.

Dickenson Bay Beach outside Siboney Beach Club

Floating in the ocean is unique bar, Kon-Tiki, with a party vibe and speakers that pump out well known favourite tunes. Simply wave from the water's edge and a boat driver will speedily collect you and return you when you're ready to leave. It is a popular place for friends and couples to hang out with a fair priced rum punch and 360 degree views of the ocean and beachfront. Two popular excursions pick up from Dickenson Bay which I highly recommend booking in advance...

A selection of unique sailing experiences with onboard bbq.

A speed boat tour around the island incorporating Stingray City and snorkelling.

Kon Tiki Bar in Antigua

Siboney Beach Club and Buccaneer Beach Club are located on Dickenson Bay. Both are excellent choices for a self-catering stay. They are popular with couples, solo travellers and families with young children.

Siboney Beach Club, Dickenson Bay, Antigua

2. Pigeon Point Beach

Pigeon Point beach, Antigua

Pigeon Point beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand popular with locals and tourists, located on the South coast of Antigua. Access is via a residential road in English Harbour just a 10 minute walk from upmarket South Point Hotel and approximately 15-20 minutes walk from boutique hotels, The Copper & Lumber Store and Admiral's Inn.

Just before the beach is a popular walking trail, The Middle Ground Trail. The hike leads to Fort Berkeley, Antigua's oldest fort.

Once on the beach, trees are aplenty, offering a shady place to spread your towel and relax, though you can hire sun loungers. Make sure you avoid the deadly manchineel tree. There is a sign post propped up against it.

Young children will enjoy spending time at the play park behind the beach. There are some toilets opposite, I believe they charge $1 to use them.

Pigeon Point beach is book-ended by two excellent restaurants - high end French-inspired Catherine's Cafe that plays regular live music and Bumpkins Cafe for a range of burgers and salads with great cocktails. Bumpkins is in prime position to watch a glorious sunset.

3. Galleon Beach

Galleon Beach

Galleon Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand popular for snorkelling due to a shipwreck off the shore with regular turtle sightings. Shade is scarce but Loose Cannon have tables with umbrellas you can use if dining with them and the food is excellent. They also have regular music with a DJ and offer packages to hire day beds with mezze platters and drinks included.

How to get to Galleon Beach

Galleon Beach is across the harbour from Admiral's Inn and Copper & Lumber Store on the South coast of the island. However, a complimentary shuttle boat will take you across in a matter of minutes and bring you back at a time of your choosing if you are staying at Admiral's Inn. From Copper & Lumber Store a chargeable shuttle boat operates peak season. However, Loose Cannon, the beachfront restaurant offers a free return shuttle bus picking up from Covent Garden supermarket from 2pm half hourly, just make sure you have some $s for a tip.

Academy of Rum. is a popular rum tasting/making event located just behind Loose Cannon. Sign up beforehand to sample local rums and make your own blend to take home as a souvenir.

The Academy of Rum, Antigua

The more active might prefer to take a short hike to the Pillars of Hercules, a stunning natural rock formation.

Pillars of Hercules

4. Jolly Beach

Jolly Beach, Antigua

Jolly Beach is a stunning stretch of white sand arguably one of the best beaches on the West coast of the island. Located on the Caribbean side of Antigua, the water is calm and clear. Jolly Harbour Marina is a short walk away with bars, restaurants and shops. There are a number of hotels and apartments nearby as well as villas for rent including this stunning brand new studio apartment just 10 minutes drive away.

5. Deep Bay Beach

Deep Bay Beach

Deep Bay Beach has soft white sand and crystal clear water. It frames luxurious hotel, The Royalton Antigua, on the NW coast of Antigua. As a hotel guest non-motorised water sports are complimentary though bring your own snorkelling equipment as this is no longer loaned out following the pandemic. A lifeguard is on duty at certain times of the day, just let him know you are planning on going out. Sun loungers are readily available with parasols and side tables and drinks are unlimited from the beach bar as part of the hotel's all inclusive package. A burger restaurant is conveniently located beside the beach.

6. Crabbe Hill Beach

Crabbe Hill Beach

Crabbe Hill Beach is postcard perfect located on Antigua's West coast. The white sandy beach is an ideal spot to relax after pre/post dining at OJs Beach Bar and Restaurant. Swim in the clear, calm turquoise water or perhaps wander along to Crabbe Hill Beach Rentals and hire a paddle board or kayak from Crabbe Hill Beach Rentals.

For nearby accommodation, within walking distance check out this stunning brand new studio apartment.

7. Mamora Bay

Mamora Bay within St James's Club Resort, Antigua

Mamora Bay is one of the beaches within St James's Club Resort, one of the all-inclusive resorts I recommend staying in for solo travellers, couples, families and friends. This golden sand bay is on a peninsula on the South East coast. The beach is sheltered with loungers and parasols and ideal for water sports due to the calm water.

8. Long Bay Beach

Long Bay Beach

Long Bay beach is on the Eastern coast, the Atlantic side of the island. It is protected by a band of coral making it a great place to snorkel. It is the beachfront for Pineapple Beach Club Resort, one of the adults only hotels I recommend for couples. Guests benefit from the complimentary use of non-motorised watersports and catamaran hire and rides. The sunrise from here is spectacular.

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