When visiting Antigua, your stay can be as relaxing or full-on as you’d like it to be. Whether you choose to spend your days lazing on a breathtaking beach or participating in fun activities, you can guarantee that you will have an amazing time whilst staying at Ffryes House.
To give you an idea of what Antigua has to offer, below are some must-visit beaches and must-do activities to inspire your next getaway.
The many idyllic beaches are one of the main reasons why people choose to visit the Caribbean and some of the world’s best beaches can be found on the island of Antigua. With 365 white sandy beaches to choose from, you really will be spoilt for choice when staying on the island.
There are a number of beaches within walking distance from Ffryes House too, however, we would recommend renting a small car for your visit as carrying your beach essentials in the Antigua sun isn’t fun. When you rent a car, you can get to any of the following beaches in minutes:
This is the nearest beach to the villa and Jolly Beach is about a mile of white sand and turquoise sea. When visiting Jolly Beach, you can hire parasols and lounge chairs, and the Bodog Beach Club and Sandra’s Café both offer a range of food and drink too, so you can stay all day and have everything you need nearby. There are even water sports available at Jolly Beach, making it easy to keep the whole family entertained for hours.
Just south of Jolly Harbour you will find Valley Church Beach and to get here you simply need to follow the signs to the Nest Beach Bar. This beach is very popular with the locals at the weekend, but it is much quieter during the week, so if you’d like to have the beach to yourself, we recommend you visit on a weekday. With restrooms, showers and changing rooms available for public use at Valley Church Beach, it’s the perfect place for a day trip.
If you continue driving south for about a mile, you will come across Ffryes Beach. Look out for the sign to Dennis’ restaurant and Sheer Rocks, and then follow the road to the sandy beach. Ffryes Beach is very peaceful and it is perfect for swimming or relaxing on the sand. You can hire lounge chairs from Dennis’, but there aren’t many other facilities on this beach, so if you’re planning to visit with your family, you might want to bring a picnic with you.
This is one of the most picturesque beaches in Antigua on the southwest coast and it is also one of the largest too. Darkwood Beach is the next beach south of Ffryes Beach and it’s surrounded by a reef, this combined with its crystal clear waters makes it popular amongst those who enjoy snorkelling. There is a small bar and restaurant on the beachfront that has a food and drink menu, and also parasols and chairs available to hire, making this beach ideal for a day out.
Getting its name from the Turners Beach Bar and Restaurant at the far end of the beach, Turners Beach is a great place to visit. The beautiful views from the sand of the island of Montserrat make this beach a brilliant photo spot. Turner Beach couldn’t be more accessible and when spending the day here, you can get everything you need from Turner Beach Bar, OJ’s and Jacqui o’s, so you won’t have to worry about bringing lots of essentials with you.
If you don’t mind travelling a little bit further to a beach, then there are plenty of others on the island that we would recommend visiting as well, including;
Named after the distinctive rock formation that protrudes into the sea, Hawksbill Beach is actually four beaches that are connected to one another. This stretch of coastline is home to Eden Beach, which is the only nude / clothing-optional beach on the island. Hawksbill Beach is paradisal with soft sands and calm waters, and it is worth visiting one of the four beaches that make up this part of the coastline.
On the east coast of the island, you will find Long Bay. This white sandy beach is sheltered by a reef, making it popular amongst snorkelers and its blue waters enable you to see all sorts of local fish and marine life. There is a bar and restaurant on the beachfront too, and you can hire chairs and parasols to use for the duration of your beach visit.
This is one of Antigua’s most isolated beaches and the only way to access Rendezvous Bay is by private boat charter or by foot along a rough track. Due to the fact that it is really remote, this beach is very rarely busy and when visiting, it is likely that you will be alone here or only sharing the sand with a couple of others. You can easily make walking to and around Rendezvous Bay an amazing every day out.
Situated 5km north of the cruise terminal, Dickenson Bay is a full facility beach. There is absolutely everything you need here for a fun-filled day and the beachfront is lined with restaurants, beach bars, and water sports concessions, making it ideal for the whole family. Although Dickenson Bay is popular amongst both locals and tourists, it can be untypically busy and is often much quieter than expected.
On the south coast of Antigua, you will find Carlisle Beach and its palm-fringed border makes it stand out from the crowd. The water at Carlisle Beach is very clear, so it is another hot spot for snorkelers. Carlisle Beach has an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ vibe too as it is located in the quiet countryside and the surrounding landscape is just as beautiful as the Atlantic ocean sea view.
This beach can be found between Falmouth Harbour and English Harbour, and Pigeon Point Beach is a great place to visit whether you’re wanting to relax in the sun or swim in the open waters. There are a number of useful facilities at this beach, including restrooms and showers, and there is even a small children’s play area. Catherine’s Cafe is right on the beachfront too, serving classic French cuisine with a relaxed, beachy twist.
As the name suggests, Halfmoon Bay is a crescent-shaped beach and it is possibly one of the best beaches on the island. In addition to being ideal for snorkelers and body surfers, this beach neighbours a world-renowned national park and it provides breathtakingly beautiful panoramic views. The Beach Bum Bar and Grill that is situated on this beach is brilliant too and you can easily spend a few hours here, if not more.
You don’t have to spend all of your time on the beach when visiting the Caribbean and there are a number of fun activities to do on Antigua. If you want to squeeze as much into your holiday as possible, it is definitely worth planning in advance to make sure you don’t miss out on the best things. You may find that some activities are only available on certain days too, so be sure you double-check this.
When staying at Ffryes House, some of the best local activities are;
You can take a unique journey through the Antigua rainforest high above the trees by booking an Antigua Rainforest Zipline Tour. This is the only attraction of its kind on the Caribbean island and it is a short 20-minute drive from the luxury villa. The rainforest zip lines can be enjoyed by the whole family and you can trust that it will be one of the top things and an unforgettable experience.
There are a lot of different excursions that you can book during your stay on the island revolving around the sea, which is the primary attraction of Antigua. A couple of operators we recommended using are Tropical Adventure and Cruise And Chill Sailing.
Tropical Adventure provides a range of activities, including but not limited to; reef snorkelling, sunset cruises, canopy tour and land tours or boat tour. It is worth noting that Tropical Adventure offers Ffryes Villa guests a discount too.
Cruise And Chill Sailing provides an excellent private charter from Jolly Harbour. Christian will take you where you want to go around the island and if you’d like to have a day out, lunch can also be requested for your charter.
This really is a must for all first-time visitors to Antigua. The Shirley Heights Lookout provides one of the best views on the island and the sunset over English Harbour from this restaurant is spectacular. On Thursday and Sunday evenings there is a barbeque with live steel band music here too where you can toast the evening with their signature rum punch.
When looking for a fun yet educational experience, Nelson's Dockyard is a brilliant place to visit. This cultural heritage site is in the English Harbour area and it is fully restored to how Antigua was in Nelson’s time. If you enjoy day trips and history, then this marina is well worth a visit whilst you’re on the island and it is considered to be a national treasure.
Swim with, hold and feed the friendly stingrays at Stingray City and make your visit to the island one to remember. When taking day trips tour with Stingray City, you can also snorkel amongst coral reefs and tropical fish. Not to mention, they even offer tours for reptile and tropical bird lovers too and you can see giant tortoises, iguanas and parrots in their natural habitat.
There are several scuba diving operators in Jolly Harbour alone who will take you diving at dive sites along the coast both inside and outside of Cades Reef. If you’re interested in scuba diving, which is always recommended by locals, take a look at the many different excursion options available on the Antigua Scuba School website or the Indigo Divers website.
Ffryes House is ideally positioned for any island visitors that love to hike. There are a range of different hiking routes to choose from, with some hikes starting right on your doorstep, and whilst hiking, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the island. If you’re interested in exploring Antigua go on foot, we can recommend a local guide who can share their knowledge of the fauna and flora along the way. Hiking is one of the top things and really is a great way to see the island and there will be so many incredible views to take in wherever your path may lead to.
Many don’t realise that the sister island of Antigua is only 39 miles away and it is worth setting aside a day trips to visit Barbuda. You can get to this quiet island by either a short flight, a daily ferry or an organised tour and there is lots to see and do here. Barbuda is probably most well known for its spectacular 17-mile long ‘Princess Dianna Beach’ which is where the princess famously honeymooned, yet places like the Frigate Bird Sanctuary and the Pink Sand Beach are worth visiting as well.