Sheltered bays fringed with the finest pearly white sands, azure waters sizzling with marine life, colorful traditions, comfortable winds, and verdant rainforests all contribute to making the Windward Islands one of the most sought-after sailing destinations on Earth.
Volcanic mountains provide numerous hot springs, while astounding miracles of nature are found everywhere. With 32 islands to explore, the vicinity of which makes short sailing routes perfect for endless island hopping, Windward islands are the perfect place to escape the mundane worries of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty and relaxation of these Caribbean gems.
The largest of the Windward Islands is a tropical oasis of green valleys, sapphire coves, and dramatically tapered volcanic mountains, certain to impress even the most well-traveled sailors. Inland, you can explore the Soufriere town, the oldest settlement of the island that suffered tremendous damage from several hurricanes but still offers colorful charms, not to mention memorable scenery. Beautifully backdropped by the twin Piton mountains, this town has preserved its authenticity and is the perfect spot to explore local culture, but also enjoy some wonderful natural spas. The name of the city is simply French for sulfur - so it's not surprising to see numerous hot springs and mineral baths, a true joy to find some relaxation and recharge your batteries. Diamond Botanical Gardens is where you'll see a spectacular waterfall and fertile vegetation.
The island of St. Lucia is often nicknamed the "jewel of the Caribbean" for its neverending stretches of volcanic beaches and secluded coves, as well as gloriously nature-abundant islets, such as the Gros islet, Pigeon Island, Reduit Beach, and Rodney Bay, among many.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Find a calm anchorage in Cumberland Bay to enjoy the marvelous scenery of virgin nature, colorful fragrant flowers, glittery waves, and coral reefs of this Caribbean island. The only reason you'll ever want to leave is to explore the patchwork of 32 secluded islands gleaming on the horizon.
The largest of the islands, St Vincent found fame after serving as a set for the fantasy film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and is famous for its crystalline waters and seductive nature. The capital Kingstown is a major port city where you'll find St George's Cathedral, famous for its stained glass and many 19th-century buildings. Dark View Falls are two stunning waterfalls cascading down cliffs into natural pools and connected to the nearby river by a natural bamboo bridge, but you'll also find Falls of Baleine on this beautiful island just to have options.
Sail to visit the nearby Tobago Cays, boasting some of the most spectacular underwater sites of minuscule, uninhibited islands of this natural reserve. Perfect for diving and snorkeling, these pristine kays are famed for their wildlife and clear waters.
Bequia is the second-largest island of this small nation, its name meaning "island of the clouds" in the Arawak language. Colorful huts of this often unfairly overlooked Caribbean gem will have you smitten in no time, while deserted sugary beaches look almost like a vintage postcard from the 50s. The laid-back atmosphere and welcoming locals of Bequia will provide the ultimate relaxing tropical getaway.
Often referred to as the world's finest private island, the nine splendidly azure beaches attract visitors with crystal waters and the finest white sand. Dramatic hilltops and verdant hills surround the history-soaked contemporary Eden. On land, there are engaging activities such as horseriding on the beach for some romantic sunsets and tennis courts to awaken your inner Nadal. The island was sold for just 45,000 UK pounds to Lord Glenconner, Colin Tennant in 1958 who constructed Mustique as a hideaway for the elites and transformed what was once a simple Caribbean village with no running water or roads into one of the most sought-after locations for luxury travelers. Enjoy some rum-based cocktails and upscale cuisine at the iconic Basil's Bar, where for generations music, food and drinks provided entertainment for visitors.
For some simple days of lazy sun-soaking, visit Macaroni Beach where lapis lazuli seas are backdropped by verdant trees and golden sand, or head out to the Lagoon beach to enjoy some quiet time under swaying palm trees and swim in the translucent waters.
The smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines has a population of just over 300 people and provides more stunning scenery and idyllic nature. Pristine waters offer plenty of sea activities such as kitesurfing and snorkeling in the brightly colored reef. Salt Whistle Bay is warmly embraced by a small piece of land that protects it from Atlantic waters. Paddleboard across one of the most coveted beaches to admire unspoiled nature and turquoise reefs and linger until the sun sets to immerse yourself in a delicious gourmet experience at the restaurant named after this oasis - try the grilled lobster or mouthwatering snapper.
Simplicity is the soul of modern elegance - and such are the views of this small island of the Grenadine archipelago. The vistas are simple, yet astounding - just endless verdant hills, creamy white sand, and impossibly blue seas.
One of the last islands to witness European settlements measures just five square miles and only introduced electricity in the 90s. Named after the inhabiting turtles (Canouan is the Caribbean word for turtle), the boat-shaped island is often referred to as the place millionaires come to avoid millionaires.
Pristine beaches - two of the most popular being Carenage Bay and Godahl Bay, upscale villas and a serene atmosphere make the Canouan the mecca of understated luxury. Windward Bay is famous for the rock formations found among long stretches of sand, and the charmingly named Friendship Bay homes is a luxurious resort boasting one of the world's best golf courses.
For some delicious refreshments, head to the Glossy Bay Sandy Lane Yacht Club where you can enjoy tasty seafood at the Foxy Jack restaurant.
The small country is one of the most stunning islands of the West Indies. The abundant nature and vibrant coastal towns make this the perfect place to explore both on land and while sailing.
Cascading waterfalls, neverending stretches of beaches, and lush greenery are truly creators' masterpieces. The fruitful land yields cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, which is why Grenada is sometimes referred to as the Spice Isle of the Caribbean.
Annandale Falls are a must-see on your arrival to this sun-chasers haven - the bravest visitors can even jump from the cliffs into the natural pools that surround the waterfalls. If you find yourself astonished by the gorgeous falls, there are even more to explore Seven Sisters Falls and Concord Falls are both within reach.
For a glimpse into the history of this fragrant island, visit the Belmont Estate and have a tour of the once-working plantations - nowadays it homes a chocolate factory to enjoy sweet samples.
To enjoy a blissful day of swimming, Grand Anse is a perfect choice with a white paradise-like shore and turquoise waters. While you're in St George, visit The Underwater Sculpture Park to see the exquisite monuments that speak of Grenada's history and serve as artificial reefs, attracting various marine species.