Things to see and do in Montserrat
Attractions in Montserrat
Do a jig and celebrate St Patrick's Week
This exotic destination is known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean and is the only country outside of Ireland to make St Patrick's Day a public holiday. Join in the festivities during St Patrick's Week, which commemorates Montserrat's slave uprising on 17 March 1768, as well as celebrating the island's Irish heritage.
Explore the uunderwater world
Duck underwater with a snorkel and mask or plunge deeper with full scuba gear. Montserrat's reefs are teeming with colourful coral and fish that include reef sharks, sea turtles, parrotfish and plenty of colourful coral. There are several major dive centres located on the island.
Lace up your hiking boots
There are plenty of hiking trails that criss-cross Montserrat and make it perfect to explore on foot. Popular routes are the Cot trail (which runs through an oki banana plantation to a historic family house), Runaway Ghaut, the Blackwood Allen trail, and the Silver Hills trail (which passes through one of the island's oldest volcanic centres).
Make a date at Rendezvous Bay
Travel by boat to Rendezvous Bay and enjoy the only white sandy beach in Montserrat; sand in the other bays is of volcanic origin and may be grey or black. You could also hire a fishing boat and try your luck at catching marlin, wahoo or tuna.
Picnic at the Oriole Complex
Trace Montserrat's history at the Oriole Complex, and take a guided tour of the gardens. The accompanying pastry barn is also the perfect place to stock up with some treats before heading to the gardens for a lazy picnic.
See the active Soufrière Hills Volcano
Take the opportunity to see an active volcano, and the devastation caused by the 1997 eruption, from the viewing platform on Jack Boy Hill. After centuries of dormancy, the Soufriere Hills volcano became active in 1995 and continues to sporadically erupt. The volcano takes its name from the French word soufriere, meaning sulphur outlet.
Spend the day birdwatching
Make your way to Pelican Point on the east coast, home to the island's only breeding colony of the spectacular frigate birds. Look out for the icterus oberi (a species of oriole), Montserrat's national bird, at Centre and Silver Hill in the north of the island.
Take a boat tour of the island
One of the best ways to get the measure of Montserrat is to take a boat tour around the island. A view from the sea allows you to observe the Soufrière Hills Volcano, the Tar River Delta and the remnants of the old W H Bramble Airport.
Tour the Montserrat Volcano Observatory
Meet the scientists monitoring volcanic activity at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), they take visitors on a tour of the facility. The activities at the observatory also include research, education and advising on the active Soufriere Hills volcano.
Watch a local football match
Time your trip to coincide with a friendly football match between the Montserrat national side and a visiting European team. Football is the second most popular sport in Montserrat after cricket. Nicknamed "The Emerald Boys", the team play at the Blakes Estate Stadium near the village of Look Out.
Witness the vanishing town of Plymouth
From Richmond Hill, cast your eye over the deserted capital, Plymouth. The town now lies buried in ash, vanishing a little more each year as mudflows and volcanic debris mount up. The town was swamped by volcanic eruptions in 1995 and 1997 and promptly abandoned.
Caribbean Tourism Organisation in the UKAddress: 22 The Quadrant, Richmond, TW9 1BP
Telephone: (020) 8948 0057.
Caribbean Tourism Organisation in the USAAddress: 80 Broad Street, 32nd Floor, New York, 10004
Telephone: (212) 635 9530.