ADVERTORIAL • September 2019
Many Caribbean islands boast silky-soft, white-sand beaches and Grenada is no exception, says travel writer Fred Mawer, Caribbean expert for The Daily Telegraph. The good news is, this gentle-paced little nation has much else to offer besides – from a mountainous, rainforest-coated interior, to home-grown spices, island-made chocolate, first-rate restaurants and a surprisingly lively nightlife
Two miles of gently curving white sand shaded by sea grapes, almond trees and palms, and backed by unobtrusive low-rise hotels – Grande Anse is indisputably one of the Caribbean’s most memorable strands. Splash out on a stay at one of the super-sleek hotels along the stunning beachfront spot. Or lime – that’s Caribbean-speak for laid-back socialising – over a rum punch (or two) at Esther’s Bar, a small bar in Grand Anse’s seaside market. Prefer a magical beach virtually all to yourself? Then head to La Sagesse, a long golden crescent overseen by just the one intimate hotel.
Inland, Grenada is an unspoiled, lush and lofty delight crying out to be explored. A large chunk is covered by the forested Grand Etang National Park. Near the moody Grand Etang Lake you’re likely to come across wild but friendly mona monkeys. Combine a sweaty jungle walk with a cooling swim by hiking to the nearby Seven Sisters Waterfalls, one of several impressive falls dotted around the island. For a watery adventure off the coast, top billing goes to snorkelling over or diving around the unique Underwater Sculpture Park.
Often referred to as The Spice Island, Grenada has long been an important producer of nutmeg. Learn more on a tour of the aromatic nutmeg processing station in Gouyave, and stock up on all sorts of local spices at the lively market in St George’s, Grenada’s scenic, hilly and historic capital. Chocolate production is also flourishing on the island, with five artisan producers. Appreciate the painstaking process from beans to delicious organic bars by touring the cocoa-growing Belmont Estate, then pop into the Grenada Chocolate Company’s ridiculously quaint, cottage-like factory just up the road in Hermitage.
Generally speaking Grenada is a sleepy place, but with a sizeable student population at St George’s University at True Blue campus in the south-west corner of the island, you can nonetheless enjoy a lively night out, fuelled by the rum produced by the island’s three makers, Clarkes Court, River Antoine Rum Distillery and Westerhall. Try The West Indies Beer Co, at the Brewery, for potent ales brewed on site and live music. Dining options on Grenada include BB’s Crabshack and Patrick’s Homestyle, both serving a high quality taste of local cuisine. Alternatively, try Carib Sushi for fresh and wonderfully presented seafood. On Sunday lunchtimes, the place to be is The Aquarium on Magazine Beach, for its barbecue and live music.
Grenada is very much a year-round holiday spot, but there are highlights in the island’s calendar of events with which to consider coinciding your trip. These include an open-water swim meet off Grand Anse Beach in September, the Pure Grenada Dive Fest late September/early October, and the Westerhall White Jack Work Boat Regatta in early February. The Grenada Chocolate Fest in early May is going from strength to strength, with activities such as tasting and making chocolate and working with local cocoa farmers on the agenda. The island’s annual knees-up is Spicemas, a full-on carnival during the first half of August with soca, steel band and calypso music competitions, dazzling parades and round-the-clock partying.