Flights to Antigua
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Antigua has a fascinating history, first contacted by Christopher Columbus in 1493, it then became a British colony in the late 17th century. The architecture and rough cobblestoned streets evoke memories of this past, with great historical ruins to explore. But the real attraction lies around its coastline.
Through its association with sailing and beautiful beaches, Antigua really comes into its own. The strong trade winds that brought the British colonists their fortunes now attract a different sailing crowd – the pleasure seekers. The sunken coral reefs which protected the fledgling colony now serve as a haven for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. The unpretentious island of Antigua is also home to some real hidden gems. Visit the exquisite Georgian buildings along Nelson's Dockyard or take a picture postcard shot from the spectacular Shirley Heights. Observe the mass of yachts bobbing around English Harbour, or hire a boat to take you to the uninhabited Green Island. And make sure you try the local Butter Bread for a delicious breakfast treat.
Before the European colonisation of the Caribbean islands, Antigua was settled by the Arawak, a people indigenous to Venezuela and Columbia. After Columbus contacted the new world in 1492 and the subsequent colonisation, the island was turned into a sugar producing settlement by the British. This can be seen in Georgian architecture at Nelson’s Dockyard, the Shirley Heights Fortress, and the plantations themselves, like the famous Betty’s Hope. The trade winds and coral reef were ideally located to shield the British Navy, yet these characteristics make Antigua a hot spot for tourism today.
You can expect year-round sunshine on Antigua. Annual rainfall rarely tops more than 45 inches on average, making it the driest and sunniest island in the Eastern Caribbean. The Northeast trade winds are almost constant, flagging only in September, ideal for sailing for most of the year. Antigua’s low humidity and high temperatures – it is very rarely below 20 Celsius at any time – provides plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind on one of the island’s many beaches.
Antigua is a relatively small island, with just 15 miles of roads, so it doesn’t take very long to find your way. Hiring a car is a popular activity to see the entire island. But note that you will have to pay for a permit to drive on the island, as well as the rental fee. Taxis have fixed rates for transfers to the airport and hotels. Taxi drivers are also qualified tour guides, and can be hired to show you around the island, for a small fee. Their knowledge is rich and will give the local flavour.