- Verdant spice island
- Coast life
- It's a rum do
Our tip – get to Grenada before the rest of the world does. Somehow, this nutmeg-scented island has remained untouched by major tourism and has the real-deal kick-back Caribbean vibe.
With no OTT heritage trail spoiling the island, visitors are free to explore the lush rainforest and waterfalls of the interior, 45 heavenly beaches and buzzing harbour city of St George’s. The community feel is the stuff of nostalgic fantasy for Brits, with schoolchildren in pristine pressed uniforms walking home together along the side of the road in the afternoons.
The River Antoine Estate, in the parish of St Patrick’s at the north end of the island, is home to the oldest water-propelled rum distillery still functioning in the Caribbean. Here, River’s Royale rum of astonishingly high alcohol content is made from fermented sugar cane in astonishingly basic surroundings. Islanders recommend you ‘sit down’ while drinking it (lest you become astonishingly legless, we assume).
- Ask the hotel to arrange an airport pick-up. The ride to the hotel will give you a feel for how bumpy the roads can be. Brightly coloured water taxis can shuttle you between St George's and Grand Anse Beach for about EC$10 a couple.
- Tipping culture
- 10 per cent service charge is added to the bill at most restaurants. Further gratuities are at your discretion.
- Siesta and fiesta
- If you pitched 'siesta' and 'fiesta' against one another in Grenada, they would both just lie down and have a nice long nap. Even the airport shuts at 11pm. Shops close at 4–5pm Mondays–Fridays; Saturdays, 1pm.
- Packing tips
- Bring your snorkel, but leave your watch at home and go with the flow.
- Recommended reads
- Tide Running or Buxton Spice by Oonya Kempadoo, English-born and Guyana-raised, now resident in Grenada. Spice: The History of a Temptation by Jack Turner.
- There's fresh fish and seafood in abundance, with bananas, mangoes, coconuts and roti filling in the gaps; dishes on this spiciest of islands exhibit a fascinating blend of Creole, Indian and African influence.
- Regional specialities
- Grenada’s national dish is known as ‘oildown’. Adored by islanders, the coconut-laced meat and dumpling stew gets its name from the way the coconut oil sinks to the bottom during cooking. Take your chances and report back to us… Fish Friday is weekly festival in Gouyave, when locals hang out from 4pm, often with live music and entertainment, until the fish, rum and beer run out. It’s best to share a cab from the hotel, since it’s a 25–30-minute drive up the coast. As well as various dark and white rums, the island also produces a nutmeg liqueur, La Grenade (www.delagrenade.com).
- East Caribbean dollar (EC$); the US dollar (US$) is also accepted in most places.
- Time zone
- Atlantic Standard Time zone, so GMT -4 hours.
- Dialling codes
- Grenada country code: +1 473.
- Do go/don't go
- The average year-round temperature is around 25˚C, so it’s lovely all year, with tropical breezes to keep you cool. The rainy season lasts from June to December, but showers are brief and don’t fall every day.
Don't go home without...
… ordering the Grenadian version of rum punch: lime juice, sugar syrup, dark rum and ice, with a generous spinkling of nutmeg – go on, you know you want to…