As far as paradise islands go, few come more beautiful than Grenada. A mountainous and volcanic landscape gives the country one of the loveliest environments in the Caribbean, with crater lakes, rainforests and coastal mangrove plantations giving way to white sand beaches, and brilliant blue waters filled with coral reefs. What’s not to like?
Grenada is known as the Spice Island for good reason. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla are just a few of the scented gems found here. When it comes to food, Grenadians like it particularly hot and spicy. Pepper pot is a favourite – meat cooked with lots of garlic, onions and, you guessed it, pepper. As well as fragrant spices, music is also an important part of life on Grenada, with the calypso tunes dancing over the island evoking Grenadians’ African origins.
Many will, of course, be drawn to Grenada for its beaches. They are several dozen of them, immaculate and well-preserved, while digging a bit deeper will bring you to isolated coves where it’ll be just you and the sea. Bring your snorkelling gear – there are plenty of colourful fish species to be glimpsed.
If there’s only so much lounging on a beach you can tolerate, pick up one of the many nature trails running across the island that’ll take you through wilderness brimming with wildlife. Expect to see rare birds in the rainforest and monkeys in the loftier terrain. You’re also likely to cross one or two spice plantations, whose beguiling aromas are one of the trademarks of Grenada.
The capital, St George’s, is a pretty city boasting one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, Grand Anse. Meanwhile, day trips to neighbouring islands come highly recommended for those keen on sailing, diving and fishing. For unassailable tranquility, spend some time on the islet of Carriacou, whose simple, idyllic way of life is sure to charm. In fact, on the whole of Grenada, there are no colossal resorts, meaning peace, quiet and nature are largely the order of the day, along with a friendly and welcoming population.
344 sq km (132 sq miles).
107,327 (UN estimate 2016).
Head of state:
HM Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor-General Cécile La Grenade since 2013.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Keith Mitchell since 2013.
230 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are standard.
Last updated: 13 March 2017
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of violent crime including armed robbery and sexual assault.
You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times. Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark.
Only use licensed taxis and take particular care at late night street parties, especially during the festival season.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in a safety deposit box or hotel safe. You should check that the hotel safe is securely fixed before using it to store your items.
Driving is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving licence. The car hire companies will usually help with this. You must present a valid UK driving licence.
Take care when driving on the roads as there can be potholes and speed bumps. Observe the speed limits. You should take extra care on minor roads and in rural areas where there are narrow roads and blind corners. Pedestrians often walk on the roads and indicators are not always used.
Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible.
Don’t stop if you’re flagged down by pedestrians. Keep car doors locked when driving.
In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move the vehicle.
Taxis aren’t metered. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Agree the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off. You can often pay in US dollars as well as EC dollars.
Public transport is available and cheaper rate. Minibuses drivers might drive above the speed limit.
Take great care at all times when swimming as currents can be deceptively strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags. You should monitor all beaches carefully and obey any local warnings.