Antigua is an island famous for its friendly people, its high-end hotels and of course for its breath-taking beaches. There are hundreds of beaches in Antigua – you could spend months roaming the island in search of new spots to explore. Some of the best beaches in Antigua are far off the beaten path and welcome only a few people a day. If you rented a car (and that is the best way to explore the island) be sure to hit some of these gems.
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5. Deep Bay
Located in the low key town of five islands, is a gorgeous sand covered dune perfect for a lazy afternoon far from the crowds. To get to the first of the best beaches in Antigua, drive from Saint John’s to five town. Located close to Coconut Bay Hotel, you’ll need to park your car next to the little metal bridge. Here, you will find some breathtaking views accompanied by very strong winds. The rocky shore here is not ideal for swimming. Keep walking, past the little metal bridge and you will quickly come across the peaceful bay. The sand is a perfect white, the waters here are calm and there are no crowds here. You can’t rent a chair or an umbrella on this beach, so be sure to bring your own towel. If you up for it, you can do a small hike here, up a hill to an old church, a great place to watch the sunset. Enjoy the day in the peaceful blue waters and white sands of Deep Bay.
4. Landing Bay
Landing Bay is a small, wild beach close to the Hawksbill beach resort property. On the way here (whether walking or driving) you will encounter some gorgeous views overlooking some high-end properties right on the water. These views make Landing Bay one of the smallest best beaches in Antigua. Stop here to take a few “classic” Antigua pictures if you wish. Few visitors come to the Landing Bay beach, but I did see one local family and a couple here. Like most beaches here, its pristine, white sand covered and somewhat protected from the wind.
3. Hawksbill Bay
To get here you’ll need to walk into the grounds of the Hawksbill Beach Resort. Don’t be intimidated by the large security gate, you can walk right through if you tell the security you are going to the Hawksbill Bay. You’ll need to walk through most of the resort and come out on the other side, where the resort road ends. Before you step a foot onto the beach be prepared – this huge beach is just a tad different than most of the best beaches in Antigua on the list – it’s a nude beach and the visitors here seem only too happy to comply. Sheltered by rocks on both sides, you’ll notice the big rock in the water. Does it resemble a Hawks Beak? I must confess, I don’t see it. This is a large beach, so if you feel like it take a walk to the end and watch water break against the mountains. Bonus beach: When you are inside the hotel, as you are making your way to the Hawksbill beach you’ll notice a small, sheltered beach which borders the Hawksbill hotel (just where the property ends). Nobody seems to come here at all – it’s gorgeous. If the nude beach isn’t your thing you can totally spend a few hours here in the blue waters and white sands.
2. Galley Bay
Although I don’t feature many hotel beaches on this list, there is are a couple that are worth going to – even if you are not staying at the hotel. I consider Galley Bay one of the best beaches in Antigua. In Antigua, all beaches are public access, although you can not use the hotel’s facilities such as beach chairs. This huge beach is also surrounded by rock and so makes a calm and welcoming place to swim. I love the length of it, and how picturesque it is – even by Antiguan standards. It took me almost 45 minutes to walk back and forth the entire length (with plenty of stops for pictures of course). You can swim here or do anything you want you’d do on a regular beach, just be sure to bring your own towels if you aren’t staying here.
1. Carlisle Bay
This breathtaking beach just happens to be located in one of my favorite hotels of all times – Carlisle Bay Antigua. This calm beach is usually protected from winds and so often you’ll find sailboats seeking cover here. One of my favorite things about this beach – besides its size and the pure white sand is how many birds there are in the nearby trees. You can hear their song loud and clear, which only adds to the quality and atmosphere of this exceptional Antigua Beach. Needless to say – if you can stay at Carlisle Bay Antigua, do so. This five-star hotel is like heaven on earth.