Considered by sailing connoisseurs as the quintessential cruising ground, Grenada offers a gateway to the southern Windward Islands, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, where constant trade winds make for ideal cruising conditions, complete with safe anchorages, beautiful backdrops and a score of sandy cays to explore.
Get prepared: Known as the Spice Island for the heady scent of vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and cocoa grown in the lush interior, Grenada also has a strong sea faring tradition and attracts sailors from all regions, many of whom come back year after year. Spend the first afternoon acclimatising at the Victory bar to draw on local knowledge. Then explore Grenada’s capital, St. George’s, known as the most picturesque city in the Caribbean and rich in Georgian architecture.
Take on provisions at the comprehensive Port Louis Marina, local supermarkets, and take a trip to the market square to stock up on exotic fruit and fresh fish.
Take an island tour taking in Grand Etang Nature Reserve, (try and remember a banana or two for the monkeys!) and crater lake, and the Seven Sisters waterfalls – including a swim for those feeling so inclined! Then on to lunch at the Belmont Estate and a tour of the chocolate factory – don’t forget to pick up some Grenadian chocolate on the way out too. And if there’s time there’s still the River’s Rum Distillery, beautiful beaches and Mount Edgecombe
Plantation, plus so much more!
Head out along the south coast, Grenada’s most popular sailing area, with superlative anchorages from True Blue Bay, to Prickly Bay, Mount Hartman and Hog Island before hopping across to the first of Grenada’s sister islands, Carriacou, the largest of the Grenadine islands.
With a myriad of smaller islands off the coast and famed for its traditional boat building, Carriacou is a lovely, sleepy island. Encircled with superb sand for beach lovers and good diving, you can enjoy fresh lobster at anchor or try the local restaurants in Tyrell Bay or Hillsborough, the island’s capital.
Next stop Petit St. Vincent, a very yacht friendly resort with a sheltered harbour, beach restaurant and bar. The southern most of the Grenadines, this 113-acre idyll, dense with luxuriant foliage, has a great hilltop restaurant with stunning views over to Petit Martinique to the south.
Union Island is just half an hour on, and reputed for having some of the most photogenic beaches in the world. The “cross-roads” of the Grenadines, this mountainous island has a good anchorage at Clifton Harbour, home of the Anchorage Yacht Club. Take on water, fuel and provisions and clear intoSt. Vincent. Scuba dive, kite board, or simply lay back at Happy Island, a bar built from conch shells in Clifton Harbour.
The tiny island of Bequia is the northern limit of the Grenadines, and it offers a slice of the old Caribbean. The picturesque anchorage at Admiralty Bay is one of the most popular with visiting cruisers. Onshore, stretch your legs at the Firefly Plantation. Tour the working plantation or indulge children at the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. There’s a lovely maritime museum, but you can learn just as much from chatting to the boat builders who still make wooden schooners on the beaches. Mac’s Pizzeria in Port Elizabeth is a fantastic informal spot for dinner.
Now you have a passable tan, it’s time to pull out the glad rags and go ashore on the private island of Mustique, an exclusive enclave of celebrity in the otherwise low-key Grenadines. Just two hours from Bequia, this island is unique in its manicured elegance. Explore on horseback from the equestrian centre. Have lunch at The Cotton House beach bar, and sundowners at Firefly, Mick Jagger’s favourite haunt. Moorings are available just a short swim from Basil’s Bar, where an unpretentious mix of locals, yachties and barefoot villa owners knock back rum cocktails and dance to live bands at this iconic waterside venue.
Just a three-hour sail away is the laid-back island of Canouan. Five square miles in size and full of old-world charm, this island of farmers and fishermen is also home to the renowned Grenadines Estate Golf Club, and a small airstrip for private jets. Mountainous across the spine, the best beaches lie to the north and east, where reef diving is particularly rewarding.
On to Mayreau, just thirty minutes sail away, and the smallest inhabited island in the Grenadines. It has no roads and is only accessible by boat. Anchor at Salt Whistle Bay with a crescent-shaped icing sugar beach, or south at Saline Bay, where you can snorkel or dive the wreck of a World War 1 gunboat.
Make sure the camera is charged and the snorkels are prepared for the Tobago Cays. These five uninhabited islands, accessible only by boat, are the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Southern Grenadines. With nothing but islets and coves protected by some of the most spectacular coral reefs in the world, sea turtles, conchs, lobsters and iguanas all take refuge in the protected area and the marine life is astonishing.
Days 10 – 12:
Meander back to Grenada via your favourite islands to complete the itinerary, but allow time back at Port Louis Marina to pass your tips on to other sailors.
To book your berth at Port Louis Marina please complete a Berth Booking Form.