Dickenson Bay - situated on the north west coast of the island - is popular with those looking for Caribbean holiday deals. It has soft golden sand fringed with palms and is one of the finest beaches on the island. The beach is popular with everyone, from families to water sports enthusiasts, and those who just want to enjoy the tropical weather. There are many beach bars and restaurants lining the beach too, as well as places where you can rent water sport equipment or go out for trips in glass-bottomed boats. If you’re looking for a quieter stretch of sand, head south towards Runway Bay.
Half Moon Bay - A pretty curve of light pink sand, Half Moon Bay stretches for one mile along the southeast coast of the island and is protected by coral reefs. It’s a quiet and natural beach without any commercialization. Make sure you bring your own snorkel to enjoy the underwater world of red and pink coral reefs and iridescent tropical fish.
Hawksbill Beach - Just north of St Johns is the spectacular Five Islands Peninsula, home to the four secluded and picturesque Hawksbill Beaches. The offshore coral gardens here are perfect for snorkeling. Although out of the way, the beaches can sometimes be crowded due to the large resorts located on the peninsula.
Diving and Snorkeling - Antigua is surrounded by many colorful coral reefs, mainly on the south and eastern coasts of the island. Most of the reefs are accessible right from the beach, which makes for perfect snorkeling conditions. You can choose to go on an organized tour or even hire your own mask and snorkel from a resort and simply dive in. Among the best places for snorkeling and diving on the island is the Cades Reef - a designated underwater park, the ledge of Sunken Rock and Stingray City. There are also various wreck dives around the area; the Andes is one of the best.
Windsurfing - The warm Caribbean trade winds and safe harbors make Antigua a perfect for a spot of windsurfing. Some of the best places on the island are Jabberwok Bay and Nonsuch Bay. Travel between December and April for the best windsurf conditions.
Kayaking - Exploring the island by water is a great way to get to know its small inlets, harbors and beaches, and one of the best ways to do this is by kayaking. This is your chance to get up close and personal with Antigua’s wildlife, whilst enjoying the spectacular tropical scenery.
Sailing - The Caribbean is well known for its excellent sailing conditions and Antigua is no exception. You’ll find many yacht charter sailing holidays, as well as sailing schools dotted around the island.
Photo credits: [ThinkStock - iStockphoto] [ThinkStock - Creatas]