It’s a tough one. Windsurfing the laundering Atlantic Ocean to the north, or wallowing in the aquamarine hues of the Caribbean Sea to the south? Wherever you are in Anguilla’s translucent waters, you’ll be entranced by your own reflection above the sand-rippled seabed.
This limestone island may only be 90km2, but Anguilla is the Caribbean queen of crushed-coral beaches; over 30 of them. Exquisite Meads Bay is home to nesting Leatherback turtles, but coconut tree-lined Shoal Bay East, a necklace of ground pearls, is hailed as the Caribbean’s finest. Feast on fresh snapper at Gwen’s Reggae Grill, before watching the horizon guillotine the sun from a hammock, swaying to the grooves of a live band.
Intoxicating steel bands are Anguilla’s beating heart during the August festival. As locals celebrate their national sport by racing their hand-crafted wooden vintage boats, visitors follow the calypso trucks and costumed parades, refuelling at the fusion of food stalls that flavour the streets. But couples beware – one of you is likely to be pulled back up to bounce to the beats!
Opulence defines this British colony’s architecture. Inspired by Moroccan and Greek island influences, Anguilla is white stucco building-central. Accommodation comprises of guest houses, tasteful low-rise resorts and über-luxurious villas, and if marble bathrooms, private hydrotherapy spas and a personal chef are on order, Anguilla will deliver.
Head inland to enjoy the salt ponds; home to much birdlife such as egrets, herons, stilts and pelicans. Spared the effects of mass-tourism, Anguilla is deemed the safest and friendliest of all the Caribbean islands, with 10,000 residents of African, Irish and British descent waiting to welcome you.
Need to Know
DO hail the complimentary water taxi from Island Harbour to Scilly Cay and sip rum punches beneath the thatched roof of the islet’s bar/restaurant.
DON’T miss snorkelling off the north-eastern coral cays at Grouper Bowl where honeymooners flock.
COUPLES WILL LOVE private horseback-riding at Seaside Stables on Cove Bay. Memories of splashing through the waves will last long after the tan has faded.