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St Vincent And The Grenadines

St Vincent And The Grenadines

When there's talk of St Vincent, it's generally not only the island of St Vincent but the northern islands of the Grenadines group - Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, and Union.

All lie 100 miles west of Barbados, just south of St Lucia, and are part of the glorious Windward Isles.

St Vincent itself has a rugged and rocky coastline broken up by sandy coves and, in Indian Bay, superb diving and snorkelling opportunities.

From here, the crowds disperse and many people head off to the idyllic coral sand beaches and clear turquoise waters of the smaller Grenadines by yacht, small plane or ferry, depending on their budget.

Admiralty Bay with its green cliffs, and yachts is focal point of Bequia. Not so long ago, the island was a whaling station, but now the last whale harpoonist devotes his time to running the whaling museum and the sea around the island is a Marine Protected Area.

Also close to St Vincent, is Mustique. It might be tiny (just 8 sq km) but royal and celebrity visitors and homeowners keep it in the news. If you tire of the sea, have a round of golf on Canouan.

But it is worth spending time on St Vincent itself. Strange but true, the oldest botanical garden in the Americas is located in its capital, Kingstown. More tropical botany can be enjoyed just outside the town in the lovely Marriaqua Valley where banana, nutmeg, cocoa, coconut, and breadfruit are grown on plantations.