Looking for relaxation, brilliant white sand beaches, stunning blue water and a bit of culture? Then Grenada is your place. The small Caribbean island is somewhat off the beaten track (at least compared with more mainstream islands like Barbados and Jamaica) but has just as much to offer travellers. Part of the Grenadines, the neighbouring islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are just a short ferry ride away.
There is no question that the capital of St. George’s is one of the most scenic in the Caribbean. The tiny pastel houses are built into the hillside overlooking the harbour, which is full of boats, beaches and bright blue water. The island itself has maintained its historical charm, thanks to treasures like Fort George and the picturesque Carneage, which visitors can stroll along. Just be prepared to do some hiking, if you’re looking to get a good photo of the scene below!
While some fly to Grenada and settle in for a week, many visitors come via cruise ships and only get to spend a day in the country. While this is definitely long enough to get a good feel for the place, you may be left wishing you could spend at least one more day lounging on the beach or wandering through the markets.
The most popular beach in the country is Grand Anse, which spans for about three kilometers along the southwest coastline. Parts of it are lined with hotels and restaurants, and there are a number of vendors on hand offering everything from cold drinks to water sports. This is about as close to paradise as it gets, folks. The water is warm, the views are spectacular and the sand is soft and rock-free.
If you only have a day in Grenada, you’ll want to spend at least half of it here.
Another bonus? The nearby market, where you can get fab daiquiris! The fenced-off, grassy area houses a number of stalls offering cool drinks and snacks, and there are also spots to pick up souvenirs or seek refuge from the blazing sun under an umbrella.
If you’re not content to work on your tan all day, work up a sweat with a hike to one of the island’s many waterfalls. A popular pick is the Seven Sister waterfalls, a trail which boasts—you guessed it—seven waterfalls. It takes about 45 minutes to walk through the rainforest, at which point you get to reward yourself with a dip in the cool water. Concord Falls is also a good choice, featuring three falls on the edge of a forest reserve. Guides can also be hired for some of the longer hikes.
Where to shop
While you’re wise to spend your time on the island soaking up the scenery, it’s worth a walk over to one of the many street markets to pick up what Grenada is known for—spices. The country is nicknamed the ‘Spice Isle’ as it is one of the world’s largest importers of spices. You can pick up combo packs that will include a number of spices, including cinnamon cloves, black pepper and saffron, which can make for nice gifts, too! The larger markets are located near Grand Anse Beach and the cruise port, and you can try bartering to save some cash.
If you’re not content to lounge on the sun-soaked beach all day and would prefer to take in some history, you’ll want to head up to Fort George. The imposing fortress was built back in the 1700s and is perched 175 feet above the harbour. The grounds are all but deserted, and visitors have open rein to explore all the nooks and crannies—and get a photo of themselves ‘loading up’ the cannons! One of the best parts of a trip to the fort is the incredible views it affords, of the island below. Keep in mind there are a LOT of stairs, to get all the way up! Admission is free.
How to get there: Fly into Maurice Bishop International Airport, or arrive via boat—whether it’s onboard an Eastern Caribbean cruise or a yacht trip through the Grenadines.
Currency: The East Caribbean Dollar (EC) is the local currency, but US dollars are also accepted.
Must buy: Spices, obviously! Hit the markets, and stock up on things like nutmeg and cinnamon.
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