The Grenadines, a chain of idyllic tropical microdots, extend for more than 50 miles south of the dramatic volcanic island of St. Vincent. Many of the smaller islets are uninhabited. World-famous as a sailing ground, the Grenadines also offer some of the most inviting beaches in the Caribbean. Perhaps the most interesting of all the islands is Bequia, where, for centuries, the inhabitants have constructed distinctive wooden boats and interisland schooners. The island’s main town, Port Elizabeth, has a superb natural harbor, well-known among yachtsmen around the world.
Sail the Grenadines
With their azure water and sugar-sand beaches, the islands of the Grenadines provide the very definition of a tropical paradise. There are no large cruise ships, and many of the smaller islands are uninhabited. The island chain also provides one of the world’s finest sailing grounds. (In the Caribbean, only the Virgin Islands offer a semblance of competition.) The easterly trades, which blow steadily in the range of 15 to 20 knots, ensure that yachts traveling from north to south always have the wind on their beams, a boat’s best point of sail. There are a number of luxury yachts that can be booked for private excursions, but the striking, blue-hulled, 70-foot Destiny sailing yachts have always been our favorite. Launched in 2011 by Hylas, these sleek and roomy boats are ideally suited to cruising these waters in style and comfort.
The best known of the Grenadines is Mustique, thanks to a long association with British royalty and members of the rock aristocracy such as Mick Jagger. The island is owned by The Mustique Company, which in turn is owned by the island’s homeowners. Mustique has about 100 private villas, many of which are available for rent. The island was developed by the late Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who had purchased it in 1958 for 45,000 pounds ($62,000). Mustique’s most famous institution is the legendary Basil’s Bar. Despite its royal and celebrity clientele, the island is a relaxed place, little given either to formality or conspicuous displays of wealth. In part, this is because the press and paparazzi are rigorously excluded.
The Tobago Cays
Just north of Petit St. Vincent, the Tobago Cays comprise five uninhabited islands that enclose the most complex coral reef system in the Windward Islands. (Johnny Depp was marooned on Petit Tabac in “Pirates of the Caribbean.”) A favorite anchorage of cruising yachtsmen, the reef has suffered damage from illegal spearfishing, but the marine park established in 2006 has helped to preserve its dazzling beauty
To phone hotels in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, dial 1 + 784 (St. Vincent and the Grenadines code) + local numbers in listings.
Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). Set rate valued at XCD2.7 = US$1.00 as of April 2021. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
None. U.S. Embassy is located in Barbados, Tel. (246) 227-4000.