St. Vincent and
Enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (the southernmost islands in the chain belong to Grenada), part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. St. Vincent is the largest and northernmost island. To the south are the major islands of Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union and many smaller islands.
With so many options for sailors, it can be difficult choosing where to start. Each island has its own distinct character. Some are deserted tropical isles, others are bustling with markets, shops, restaurants and other amenities.
- St. Vincent. This mountainous 133-sqare-mile island is actually the top of a submerged volcano (Soufrière). Wander through the oldest botanical garden in the western hemisphere, home to two rare parrot species, or dive the undersea Coral Castle and reefs teeming with life.
- Bequia. Queen Elizabeth’s picture hangs in all Bequian bars, a nod to its colonial roots as an old whaling center. Admiralty Bay, with its bustling, protected harbor, is a great provisioning stop to stock up on groceries and supplies.
- Mustique. Renowned as a playground for the rich and famous with its luxury hotels, private villas, upscale bars and gourmet restaurants, Mustique is also a great place to swim, snorkel or windsurf.
- Mayreau. The Grenadines’ smallest inhabited island (pop. 250), Mayreau’s inhabitants live mostly in the Old Wall Village. The path from Saline Bay’s beach takes you to the village with beautiful views of neighboring islands.
- Tobago Cays. A collection of small, uninhabited islands, Tobago Cays form the backbone of the Tobago Cays Marine Park. The park’s protected coral reefs and beaches are home to many native Caribbean species, including sea turtles, conch, lobsters and iguanas.
- Union Island. Mountainous and green, Union Island has many protected anchorages, and there are well-stocked supermarkets, fuel docks, and good restaurants.
Though St. Vincent and the Grenadines offer slightly more challenging sailing conditions than in the British Virgin Islands, there are plenty of short sails to some of the most pristine and exotic natural settings found anywhere in the world.
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