Antigua is one of the naturally stunning Caribbean islands, which doubles up as a great windsurfing and kitesurfing destination! At just 11 by 14 miles, the island is small, but has so many beautiful beaches. Antigua is a great destination for free kiters and windsurfers, who can make the most of the small distances between spots, and different sides of the island. A bike or car is recommended in order to explore the island, and travel to various spots.
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Having returned from a trip in November 2012 - I found that Antigua was a bit different than the staple Caribbean Islands. It certainly was more laid back but did not lack quality. With two superb kiting spots - Nonsuch Bay and Jabberwock Beach - there are Kiting conditions to suit beginners through to advanced riders. I recommend the full set up at Nonsuch Bay Resort - with onsite Kitesurfing and facilities to accommodate families, couples and single travellers alike. This is beautifully located with a huge Kite zone and full services of the onsite Kitesurf Centre.
North East trades grace Antigua with steady winds from November, all the way through to july. The wind blows side /on -shore, making Antigua a really safe place for kiters and windsurfers of all levels and abilities.
From November until March the wind blows north easterly from America, average 12 - 18 knots. June is a strong, warm easterly wind, and often the best wind month of the whole year.
Jabberwock bay is the most renowned area for kiters . It is a beautiful National Park situated on the north coast. The conditions are suitable for beginners to advanced kitesurfers. The are is sandy, with shallow areas, which drop off into deeper waters. Shore break can occur after a storm, or with really strong winds. Bump 'n' jump conditions are also common with strong winds. Overall the wind generally blows between 12 - 20 knots at Jabberwock Bay, making perfect conditions for all levels.
Green Island Nonsuch Bay offers a stunnig area to kitesurf for client staying at the Nonsuch Bay Resort. The kitesurfing area of two square miles is inside Nonsuch Bay and since it is on the windward side of Antigua, behind a barrier reef and with a launching point from a sandy beach at the mouth of the bay, kitesurfers maximise time on the water. The instructors here provide constant support and guidance from inflatable boats and all this is accessed directly from the Nonsuch Bay Resort waterfront.
St John's is the capital city with museums, a cathedral and duty-free shopping. Nelson's Dockyard will fascinate everyone, as will the natural landmark, Devils Bridge located on the east coast. Barbuda, Antiguas' small sister island, is home to Coco Bay, one of the finest beaches on the planet.
Other cool activities apart from the obvious of windsurfing and kitesurfing, include helicopter tours, snorkeling cruises, 4x4 island tours, sightseeing, and deep sea fishing.
With the island being so small, it is really easy to visit the different towns and cities, though a temporary driving license for Antigua is required. They are really easy to get, and are available from all police stations, or at the airport.
There are plenty of diverse restaurants on the island, with everything from fine French cuisine, to a few KFC's. In between are pizzerias, Mexican food, and local dishes. Eating out on the island can be very reasonably priced, especially when eating in a local restaurant.
There are a few nightclubs and lively bars on the island. 'Rabbit Night Club' is located on the southern shore, which is known for being a busy place in the evenings. 'Abracadabra' is in English Harbor, a 20 min drive from the capital St John. It's a nightclub/bar, they serve food in the day time, and regularly have live music. 'Last Lemming' is just a few minutes walk from 'Abracadabra', and is situated at the Antigua Yacht Club, making it a favorite for sailors and travelers.
Various hotels host kids clubs during the days, which is a great way for kids to make friends from around the world. The conditions allow kids to learn either kitesurfing or windsurfing in safe, cross-on conditions. The vibe on the island is generally friendly, and safe, and introduces kids to new cultures.