Antigua & Barbuda
When to go
Peak season in the Caribbean is from December until Easter. Often the most pleasant times to travel to Antigua is after the tourists have gone home and there are less cruise ships passing on the horizon, and the island takes things down a gear. May and June are also great times to visit, not least because most of the rooms are half the price. Go in July and August if you like the baking heat and flashes of rainfall.
PlanesAntigua is a main hub for the Caribbean Islands; reach it from the UK with five airlines: British Airways flies from Gatwick. Bmi flies from Manchester. Virgin Atlantic, First Choice and XL all fly from Gatwick. The flight time from the UK is approximately eight hours. LIAT, Caribbean Airlines, Carib Aviation and Caribbean Star Airlines provide inter-island connections to popular holiday destinations such as Barbados, Grenada and St Barths.
BoatsYou can’t visit Antigua or Barbuda without a spray-splashed tour of the island – ask at your hotel about a boat trip, or go down to English Harbour and you’ll find a few options, port-side. Private boaters can enter at St John's Harbour, English Harbour, St James' Club or Crabbs Marina.
AutomobilesA car isn’t essential but it is the best way to sample all the sights and get a taste of local culture. Mind you, you will benefit from a decent natural sense of direction as nothing’s properly signposted. Many of the car hire companies are based at Jolly Harbour.
TaxisTaxis can be flagged in the street but a safer and easier option is to ask the hotel to provide one. Ranks are located at the West Bus Station and at Heritage Quay. If you are going to a more remote restaurant or bar, arrange to call your driver 30 minutes before you want to leave. Chances are they will wait outside while you drink/eat.