Antigua was the most important Caribbean base for the Royal Navy in the days of Horatio Nelson. The dashing admiral may have been Napoleon's nemesis on the high seas but he lacked a good eye (no pun intended) for a luxury holiday destination, describing Antigua as a 'dreadful hole'. Admittedly there was a distinct dearth of quality hotels on the island two centuries ago, and the intervening two hundred odd years has seen something of a sea change.
Antigua now hosts sailing ships of a more peaceful variety during the famous annual Sailing Week. The smaller sister island of Barbuda lies some 20 miles to the north. Both islands have wild, Atlantic coastlines to the east, and the calm Caribbean Sea to the west, with numerous sandy beaches, sheltered coves and coral reefs that provide excellent snorkelling and diving.
Original Travel's team know the region intimately, having lived, sailed and dived here over the last decade. We can advise on the best things to see during your luxury holiday, from the colonial history of Antigua's English Harbour or Barbuda's rich wildlife, including a lagoon sanctuary for the rare frigate bird.
Also possible are kayaking, kite-surfing, fishing and boat charters. Inland, there's a variety of interesting excursions from rainforest canopy tours or eco-tours of Antigua's mangrove forests and reefs and to discover the island's wildlife, from turtles and stingrays to the pelicans and West Indian whistling ducks of Bird Island. Other possibilities include trips to the historic Nelson's Dockyard and English Harbour, and helicopter tours to nearby Montserrat Island to see its active volcano up close.