Antigua and Barbuda: Suggested Itinerary

Life is a beach

Day 1: The best way to enjoy Antigua and Barbuda is to either commandeer a vessel or take a cruise through the various islands. From the main airport in Antigua you can get a taxi for a half hour drive to the main Jolly harbour where you should be able to find many places to acquiesce your sailing. As it is your first day on board, venture out into the calm, protected water on the leeward side of the island, hoist the sails and enjoy a leisurely cruise. Just to the north of Jolly Harbour you will find Deep Bay. Drop anchor and dive or snorkel on the wreck of the Andes - a three-masted barque that lies in 20 feet of water. In the evening go ashore for a traditional island meal and dine on the beach to the accompaniment of a calypso band.

Day 2: Set sail to North Sound and sample all this area has to offer. Choose from Jumby Bay on exclusive Long Island, nearby Maiden Island or Great Bird Island on the inner edge of the protective reef. The many beautiful sheltered bays are only accessible by small vessels, like dinghys.

Day 3: Continue to explore this magical area, and in the late afternoon drop anchor in Dickenson Bay. This long beach fronts several hotels, with all the nightlife you could wish for. This is the place for watersports, nightlife on the beach, casinos and restaurants.

Day 4: An early start is necessary for an invigorating sail to Barbuda. Barbuda is only visible from within a few miles so approaching with the sun high in the sky gives you plenty of time to pick your anchorage on this timeless island. Overnight off the beautiful beach just to the northwest of Cocoa Point and enjoy dining under the stars.

Day 5: Explore, swim and snorkel. Barbuda has an abundance of colourful coral reefs and amazing beaches. For bird lovers, a visit to one of the world's largest Frigate Bird Sanctuaries is a must. Take a stroll along Eleven Mile Beach and admire the soft, pink powder sand. In the village of Codrington, you can enjoy a very-reasonably-priced seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Setting sail from Barbuda, an early start is once again suggested for your sail back to Antigua. Head southwards to Nonsuch Bay on the East Coast of Antigua, dropping anchor at West Bay on uninhabited Green Island. The perfect time for a swim and to fire up the BBQ, whilst sipping a sundowner. Jump in a dinghy and explore Nonsuch Bay. Inside its protective reef, you will find some of the best snorkelling dives - a place most visitors just don’t want to leave. Stop in at Harmony Hall, a converted sugar mill which houses a bar, restaurant and an art gallery.

Day 7: Today it’s a brisk three hour sail along the rugged southeast coastline, past the unusual rock formation of the Pillars of Hercules and into English Harbour. Moor stern-to at the famous Nelson's Dockyard, the only remaining working Georgian Dockyard in the world. Wander around the beautifully restored buildings and soak up the historical atmosphere, including a visit to the museum. Take a short taxi ride up to Shirley Heights for a magnificent view of the southeast corner of the island and enjoy a sundowner as the skies turn from blue to crimson. Head back to the Dockyard for dinner in one of the many restaurants in the area.

Day 8: Out of English Harbour and sail downwind to picturesque Carlisle Bay with its calm, clear, palm-fringed waters for a truly "away from it all" night. Beach bars serve West Indian food and act as an ideal spot to hang out with the locals.

Day 9: Continue the downwind sail inside Cades Reef, enjoying the calm, turquoise waters. Drop the hook behind the reef for a snorkel and then lunch. Carry on north along the beach-studded West Coast, past Jolly Harbour and anchor off Hermitage Beach in the beautiful, protected bay of Five Islands Harbour.

Day 10: Take the short sail back to Jolly harbor and once anchored, scoot around for some last-minute gifts before heading home.