A guide to the best beaches in Antigua

A twin-island country, idyllic Antigua and Barbuda have 365 pristine beaches between them, one for every day of the year. With powdery, white sand and clear, warm water, you’ll find most of Antigua’s on the protected Caribbean coast, lined with tropical vegetation. Whether you’re seeking untouched, secluded bays or lively stretches of sand dotted with beach bars, Antigua holidays offer a piece of paradise waiting just for you.

Dickenson Bay

Sitting on the north-western coast of the island is Dickenson Bay, a one and a half kilometre long stretch of white sand and tranquil, sapphire sea. With hotels standing shoulder to shoulder, this popular beach offers plenty of activities from banana boat rides to glass-bottom boat trips and some excellent snorkelling opportunities.

Restaurants, shops and beach bars abound the coastline and sunloungers and umbrellas are readily available on the sugar fine sand. With its great amenities, shallow water and pristine sand, Dickenson Bay is a top spot for families, especially those with younger children.

Half Moon Bay

Completely protected from the Atlantic by its reef, Half Moon Bay, on the south-eastern corner of the island, boasts a lovely curve of light pink and white sand. Relax under the shade of a palm tree with views of rich, green rolling hills and the sound of the waves lapping the shore.

Although not undiscovered, there are certainly fewer crowds here and, if you walk the length of the beach, you’ll find some nice secluded spots. While there are no facilities directly on the beach, there is delicious beach food and mobile vendors will do their best to keep you hydrated, all within walking distance of the sand.

Jolly Beach

Over on the west coast sits this favoured stretch of white sand. Backed by palm trees, Jolly Beach is one of the most beautiful on the island and you’ll find some of the largest All Inclusive resorts here. Having been extensively developed there are a wealth of watersports on offer, plenty of restaurants and a handful of independent beach bars.

Rent a kayak or pedalo and relax on the open water, or head to the dive centre and get stuck into the magical underwater world on your cheap holidays to Antigua. Sunloungers are a given and you’ll find plenty to hire under the shade of an umbrella or perfectly placed palm.

Pigeon Beach

At the mouth of Falmouth Harbour, Pigeon Beach is a favourite spot for the locals as well as visitors to the island. Located on the south coast, the shoreline is adorned with sea grape and palm trees and the luxurious white sand gently shelves into the dazzling sea.

An amazing beach for the whole family to enjoy, the water is perfect for paddling and is also a fun place for snorkelling. You’ll find a series of outdoor showers along the sand and plenty of eateries, from street vendors to restaurants serving up traditional West Indian fare.

Deep Bay

Despite its proximity to the capital, Deep Bay has managed to remain quite secluded. This long stretch of soft gold and grey sand not only offers great snorkelling and swimming, but you’ll find some interesting hikes along the coast line too, providing endless ocean views. A 10-minute hike from this beach will get you to Fort Barrington, an impressive structure dating back to 1780.

Just off the shore the mast of a 100 year-old shipwreck from the Andes breaks the surface of the water and makes for thoroughly interesting snorkelling. Although less developed than other resort beaches, you’ll find a few facilities here offering snacks and drinks.