The Caribbean is a winter sun favourite for good reason but how do you decide which island to book? The Turquoise Holiday Company, which creates bespoke trips based on firsthand knowledge, has the answer.
Set up in 2002 by three friends and family-owned, The Turquoise Holiday Company specialises in bespoke itineraries to the Caribbean and beyond. Firsthand knowledge and expert advice on everything from when to travel to visa and vaccine requirements, is what makes this tour operator stand-out, as is outstanding customer service.
In the Caribbean, for instance, high season runs from November to April; in May and early June, the weather is still lovely and prices drop significantly (also, no vaccines are needed and UK nationals don’t need a visa to travel).
‘There’s something so alluring about the Caribbean — each island has its own vibrant, irresistible soul,’ says Caribbean Product Manager Lizzie Alleyne. ‘There’s so much to love: the genuine smiles of welcome, the warm sands, and the lively culture are just a few.’
Here are six islands to consider booking for a winter sun break.
Best for: families
With direct flights and 365 beaches to choose from, Antigua is ideal for multi-generation holidays. Don’t miss Sunday nights at local institution Shirley Heights; bring children for the BBQ, then book a babysitter for the after-party.
Getting there: A direct eight hours 50 minute flight.
Stay: Carlisle Bay. From £7,854 per family, in a two-bedroom beach balcony suite for seven nights, including economy flights with British Airways from London Gatwick, complimentary VIP meet and greet, private transfers and breakfast. Based on an exclusive 35 percent discount, and two adults and two children up to the age of 12 travelling in June.
Best for: watersports
This is the place to try every kind of watersport, whether waterskiing and wakeboarding or surfing and snorkelling. Make time to venture inland for a historical rum distillery tour or to visit a beautiful botanical garden.
Getting there: A direct nine hours and five minutes flight.
Stay: O2 Beach Club & Spa. From £2,773 per person in a luxury pool view junior suite, all-inclusive for seven nights, including economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow and private transfers. Based on travel late April.
Best for: adventure
From spice markets to sensational beaches and the charming capital of St George’s, there is plenty to explore on Grenada (it’s also a brilliant pairing with Saint Lucia and the Grenadines, for a ‘sail and stay’ itinerary). Visit between April and June to witness leatherback turtles laying their eggs – an incredible sight.
Getting there: A direct 10 hours 40 minute flight with a stop-down in Saint Lucia or Barbados.
Stay: Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel. From £3,152 per person in a westside suite for seven nights, including economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow, private transfers, and an upgrade to half board. Based on travel in June.
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Best for: romance
Saint Lucia is known for its romantic appeal and many resorts are geared around creating extra-special couples experiences, such as guided snorkelling trips for two and spa treatments. An up-close helicopter tour to the iconic, volcanic spires known as the Pitons is a must.
Getting there: A direct nine hour flight.
Stay: Anse Chastanet. From £2,974 per person in a superior hillside room for seven nights, including economy flights with British Airways from London Gatwick, private transfers and breakfast. Based on travel in June.
Best for: escaping the crowds
A hop away from Barbados yet off the typical tourist trail, Bequia has a fascinating history and culture. Tick off the white-sand beaches, turtle sanctuary, and look-out point at Fort Hamilton on a round-the-island, open-back taxi ride.
Getting there: An indirect 11-hour flight via Barbados.
Stay: Bequia Beach Hotel. From £2,200 per person in a classic room for seven nights, including economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow to Barbados, domestic flights from Barbados to Bequia, transfers and breakfast. Based on travel in May.
Petit St Vincent
Best for: private island living
A 115-acre private island resort in the South Grenadines, this is rustic, Robinson Crusoe-style luxe at its best – somewhere to truly switch off and slow down. Choose from one or two-bedroom villas high on the bluff or right on the beach; activities include diving, sailing and island-hopping boat trips.
Getting there: An indirect 11-hour 30 minutes flight via Barbados.
Stay: From £6,686 per person in a one-bedroom cottage for seven nights, including economy flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow to Barbados, domestic flights from Barbados to Union Island, boat transfers, and full board with non-alcoholic beverages. Based on travel in May.