Grenada is the Caribbean’s friendliest island and don’t just take our word for it, we ask Sharon from Pure Grenada to tell us why to visit this stunning island.
Pure Grenada, the spice island. Below are 10 of the most fun things to do when you travel to this small island – just the size of the Isle of Wright!
- Unwind on sherbet-white sands at Grand Anse close to the capital of St. George’s. The iconic Grand Anse Beach is Grenada’s show-stopper, wowing beach lovers with a two-mile stretch of pristine sherbet-white sand that gently shelves into the glistening waters of the Caribbean Sea. Spend blissful sunny days beneath shady coconut palms and sea-grape trees and snorkel around nearby Boss Reef to marvel at rainbow-hued fish and coral. Many of the island’s most salubrious resorts are located within walking distance of these fabled sands which stretch from Mount Cinnamon to the island’s capital St. George’s. There are plenty of small bars dotted along the white sands, most of which are open from dawn to dusk. Water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, sailing and scuba-diving are a natural draw, but it is also worth visiting the lively Grand Anse Craft and Spice Market located towards the north end of the beach. This colourful, open-air market is filled with stalls selling everything from Grenada’s famous spices to crafts by local artisans.
Info: Open daily from 8am to 7pm
- Learn the basics of chocolate-making at Belmont Estate and enjoy the delights of the International Chocolate Fest in May 2016 Between the parishes of St. Patrick and St. Andrew on the north side of the island. Set on a 395-acre plot in the northern reaches of Grenada, the authentic 17th-century working plantation known as Belmont Estate is an organic cocoa farm and cocoa fermentry complete with an craft market and gift shop. There is an on-site heritage museum dedicated to the estate’s illustrious history, but most impressive are the open-air dining room where guests can savour freshly-prepared signature Grenadian dishes and the Bon Bon Chocolate Shop that sells sumptuous organic chocolate delights. The 2016 Grenada Chocolate Fest themed “Creating Generation Cocoa” is scheduled for May 13 – 22, 2016. A seven day extravaganza about all things cocoa and chocolate. From health benefits to chocolate spar’s and treks to meet the farmers. http://www.chocolate.truebluebay.com/
- Appreciate underwater art at the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park and Diving Sites: Most of the best dive sites are located in the south of the islands. Grenada’s eclectic and exotic underwater world is a first-rate diving destination that satisfies every demand; from 15 shipwrecks lurking at varying depths below the surface to an underwater volcano. Nicknamed the ‘Wreck Diving Capital of the Eastern Caribbean’, there are over 30 diving and snorkelling sites were novices and advanced divers are guaranteed an abundance of marine life and even the occasional whale. Designed by English artist, sculptor and avid diver Jason de Caires Taylor, the much-hyped Underwater Sculpture Park is an undersea art gallery located just outside St George’s in the Molinere Beausejour Marine Protected Area. – parts of the display can also be spotted from glass-bottomed boats. The collection currently houses 105 sculptures including the visually striking Vicissitudes which was unveiled in November 2012. This haunting masterpiece depicts a circle of 26 life-size children holding hands and is known locally as the Circle of Children.
- Embrace the great outdoors at Grand Étang National Park High up in the mountains of the island’s central highlands, around 1,740 feet above sea-level. Encompassing a 30-acre crater lake – the remains of a once-active volcano – this flower-filled rainforest thrills adventure seekers with miles of accessible hiking trails of varying elevations and terrains. Before hitting the trails, enjoy a fully-charged eco experience at the Visitors Centre and Museum to learn about the park’s history and the island’s vegetation and forestry. Hikes range from 15 minutes to four hours depending on stamina and are best explored with a guide. Teeming with flora and fauna and exotic wildlife, this emerald wonderland features several thriving eco-systems including secluded beaches, volcanic mountains and rainforest filled with Grenada doves (the national bird), Manicous (possums), Mona Monkeys, Red Necked Pigeons and tropical Hummingbirds. The standout attraction here is the Seven Sisters Trail that passes by seven of Grand Étang’s most striking waterfalls; the water rushes down the mountainside into a large pool of icy water that is perfect for swimming. The Visitors Centre is open weekdays from 8.30am to 4pm; park admission costs $2 per person.
- Enjoy adrenaline-charged thrills at Concord Falls In the hills of Concord, St. Johns, on the island’s western coast. The most dazzling of Grenada’s waterfalls is a series of three separate cascading falls known collectively as Concord Falls. Located at the edge of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, all three waterfalls are ideal for daredevils who fancy taking an exhilarating dip in icy cold crystal-clear waters against a stunning backdrop. Whilst the first fall (Concord) is very easily accessed, the second fall (Au Coin) can only be reached on foot – the trek through the forest reserve and nutmeg plantation takes around 45 minutes. The third fall (Fontainebleau) is even further off the beaten track and accessed by following a path with slippery boulders – this is the mightiest of the trio. For those who fancy taking the plunge, literally, the water cascades down a 65-foot cliff and there is a swimming area in the natural pool below.
Info: A fee of US $1.00 is charged.
- Seek out cultural landmarks at St. George’s on the island’s south-western coast. Established by French settlers in 1705 and steeped in history, Grenada’s colonial capital is gorgeously wrapped around the perimeter of the island’s natural horseshoe-shaped harbour. Reflecting its European legacy with red tile roofs, red telephone booths, hilltop forts and whimsical pastel-painted buildings, this working port is often regarded as the most picturesque in the Caribbean. Feel the island’s heartbeat at Market Square where farmers and spice vendors sell their home-grown wares to bartering locals and visitors. For a taste of Grenada’s past, head to the National Museum on Young Street; opened in 1976 this structure was built by the French in 1704 and used by the British as a female prison until 1880. Other notable landmarks include the 19th-century St. George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, the stately House of Parliament and Fort George. For unsurpassed views of fishing boats, colourful yachts and whopping great cruise liners, stroll along the waterfront of the Carenage on the inner harbour.
- Explore the rainforest Home to the Grenada dove (the national bird), rare Mona monkeys, armadillo (known locally as tatou), a type of opossum known as manicou, and other uncommon animals and birds, as well as all kinds of intriguing plant life, the mist-enshrouded Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve is a sense-surround experience of nature in all her glory. Its centrepiece is Lake Grand Etang, once an active volcano. From its vast, lofty interior, a series of breathtaking hikes can be undertaken, including the demanding climb to Mt Qua Qua, for which a guide is essential—try the legendary Telfour Bedeau, a sprightly 67-year-old known as the “Indiana Jones of Grenada,” who has hiked over 10,000 miles since 1962 (473 444-4128).
- 4 Sizzle in remote hot springs Many Windward Isles are volcanic, and although Grenada’s peaks are now dormant, the submerged volcano known as Kick ‘em Jenny, offshore between Grenada and its sister island Carriacou, is still definitely active. Geological activity finds an outlet in the River Sallee Boiling Springs, six fascinating waterholes in the far northeast: the water in each of the pools has a temperature of 35 degrees C, and many of them hold clear, salty water, despite being over a mile from the sea.
- Take a bite; Grenadian cooking blends African, Asian and European traditions and with so many fresh ingredients on the doorstep, the end result is often memorable. For the well-heeled, there are upscale “fusion” establishments such as the Red Crab, Belair Plantation and the Aquarium, and you can find genuine Italian cooking at La Luna or La Boulangerie in Grand Anse. But make sure to try the stewed lambie (conch) at Coconut Beach and oildown (breadfruit stew) from roadside eateries at lunchtime, along with reliable roti from D Roti Hut, opposite the Grand Anse roundabout. For something memorably different, grab a bowl of hearty stew from the Soup Master, near the Lagoon roundabout.
- River Tubing Balthazar River “am not named Grenada’s GREAT RIVER for nottin’, as we say locally” says Sheree-Ann. Fed from sources located deep in the island’s interior, this river is nestled between the exotic and magnificent tropical rainforest, flora, fauna and history of the Balthazar Estate. Our river tubing guest will experience, “a thrill of a life time!” A 45 minute drive out of the town of St. George’s through either the scenic hilly interior of the Grand Etang Rainforest Reserve, or along the breath taking Atlantic east coastline, takes you on to the Balthazar Estate. First stop, the launch site for the introduction and safety briefing. After the briefing you will be provided with your life vest and a modified river tube before getting into the river. Wet, wild and wonderful from the word go, with everyone in the water, the guides will accompany you on the journey, gently spinning and swirling in the currents of the river, as you take in the exotic scenery of tropical vegetation and wildlife, at the same time. A thrilling ride down the river, stopping only in the pools along the way to catch your breath. Then finally at the last pool, an opportunity for a swim before you enjoy a much deserved Rum Punch or glass of local fruit juice, before returning to your “home away from home”. http://www.adventuregrenada.com/ContactUs.php
To book your holiday to Grenada contact Travel Designers on 0207 720 8484 or email email@example.com