I recently went on a Caribbean cruise that visited several islands including Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Barbados. They were all beautiful, and they all had their own individual personalities. My favourite was the archipelago of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.
With its lush landscapes and unspoiled beaches, the term ‘idyllic’ was never far from my mind from the moment our ship docked in Saint Vincent. The scenery ranged from rainforest clad mountainsides to breeze-kissed central-Caribbean waters. Most of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film was located here and it was clear to see why. It is a tropical paradise.
Islanders never refer to their home simply as ‘Saint Vincent’. It is always given its full title ‘Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. The archipelago consists of 32 islands but only 7 are inhabited. The others are below sea level. One of the most famous is Mustique, home to the rich and famous. Best known as Princess Margaret’s holiday home, more recent residents include Sir Mick Jagger, Shania Twain and Tommy Hilfiger. Access to the private island is by permission only.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Ameridians established settlements in Saint Vincent from around 150AD onwards. Amerindian, European, East Indian and West African heritage combine to influence contemporary culture in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, manifested in language, dress, food and music. June is carnival time, a celebration of both past and present with colourful costume parades, dancing, queen shows and calypso competitions.
From quaint downtown eateries to upscale fine-dining restaurants, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines celebrate food in all its glorious forms. Fresh ingredients grown from the land or fished from the sea are central to most dishes in the region.
Nature lovers, scuba divers and hikers adore Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. Visitors can enjoy relaxed walks or bus tour or challenge themselves with a hike to the top of the La Soufriere volcano. There's an activity for everyone: visit tropical gardens, go bird watching, take in a cricket match or replay scenes from Pirates of The Caribbean.
Saint Vincent and The Grenadine's intoxicating blend of colourful street parties, heritage festivals, music, dance and theatre is captivating. My personal favourite was a boat trip to visit the hidden beaches and bays.
Oh, and did I mention the rum punch?
JANE GODMAN is a 2019 Romantic Novelists’ Award winner and 2018 Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. She writes thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense/Mills and Boon Heroes and paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne/Mills and Boon Supernatural and St. Martin’s Press Romance. She also self publishes her historical and gothic stories.
Jane was born in Scotland and has lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. She still gets the urge to travel, although these days she tends to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history.
When she isn’t reading or writing romance, Jane enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and enjoying the antics of her dogs, Gravy and Vera.
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