This couple’s excited.
Two red Samsonites are packed and parked at the door. We’re finally liberating ourselves of heavy jackets, boots and gloves – it’s official, this couple is done with winter! The exchange of jack-frost for tropical warmth on alluring islands, sprinkled with palms, warm sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters has been anticipated for months.
On Saturday, we’ll hop on board Celebrity Summit, with one goal in mind: to scout out the best beaches in the Caribbean. Okay, not quite the entire Caribbean, but at least within the island hopping itinerary that Summit has us on. That’s 5 islands in 7-days.
I couldn’t think of a better assignment than having to evaluate these sun-drenched beaches. And to better prepare ourselves for this lofty exercise, we’ve taken some time to pre-plan our excursions. Sampling sand and sea in Tortola, Martinique, St. Kitts, Dominica and St. Thomas will be our homework for the week. We’ll report back to you with some inspiring advice and images of what we’ve uncovered. So stay tuned for that.
But for now, here’s a peak at what we’re planning.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Within each of the palm treed islands of the Caribbean, you’ll find a bevy of beaches to choose from. Tortola has several, but this is by far this island’s most famous. Actually, it’s been noted by some as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
It’s picturesque, Cane Garden Bay and it’s the closest beach to Road Town which is one that is most frequented by tourists. Cruise ships unload thousands of passengers here and they find their way to Cane Beach making it pretty busy, so I’m not sure if we’ll by-pass this one and revert to the much quieter Brewers Bay.
We can grab a cab and head just north-east of Cane Garden Bay to the much smaller and much quieter Brewers Bay beach. Apparently Brewers Bay features some of the best snorkeling on the island. The reef is quite shallow with a gentle slope that apparently goes on forever. I think this one’s a keeper. Note to self: pack the snorkeling gear.
A few beaches in Dominica share evidence of this island’s volcanic nature that can be seen in the black sand on some of the island’s beaches.
Mero Beach is the closest one to Roseau, (where the Summit will be parked for the day). This silver-gray stretch of beach on the west coast, is just outside the village of Mero. It’s calm, warm waters seem like a great place to ‘beach’ ourselves for the afternoon. I know Mary will appreciate the proximity to some of the neighboring amenities, like restaurants and restrooms.
White sandy beaches can be found along the western coast of this island near the city of Fort-de-France. That’s likely going to be a busy area since Celebrity and a half-dozen other cruise ships drop off passengers here for the day. I think we’ll hike it by cab to Pointe du Bout. This beach is on the south-west edge of Martinique and it’s only 3.5 miles south-southeast of central Fort-de-France, so we won’t have too far to go. If you’re cruising, you have to be back on board by 5:00 (preferably sooner) so you don’t want to be trapped on the other side of an island with a flat tire or be stuck in traffic. Cruise ships don’t like to wait for late passengers. So they don’t!
This area of Les Trois Islet is where the largest concentration of Martinique luxury hotels and resorts are found. Pointe du Bout beach is situated in the middle of it all, which offers more than just loitering in the turquoise water. Mary will enjoy the fact that this beach is lined with restaurants, shops, and facilities.
Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis
Basseterre is the island’s major port with some interesting history attached to this small town. One of the first things that the thousands of passengers that dock here see is the old Treasury Building. Apparently every slave and every shipment of goods that landed here first passed through the Treasury Building, as did all the sugar transported by ship to Europe.
And just four miles southeast of Basseterre is Frigate Bay South, which boasts the liveliest and most popular beaches on the island. Long stretches of beautiful white sand, and calm waters make this an easy pick for those jumping off a cruise ship for the day. Frigate Bay is home to St Kitts’ major tourist hotels and most of the island’s big houses, and over the past decade a string of beachfront bars, known collectively as ‘The Strip’, has sprung up.
But St. Kitts offers another more quieter option which is more attractive sounding to Mary and I. They say you can’t go wrong if you follow the locals. South Friar’s, a long stretch of golden sand handily located off the south-east peninsula highway just beyond the Frigate Bay tourist area, is a favourite with locals for its excellent sun worshipping facilities and wide choice of places to eat and drink. Ramshackle bars oozing with charm and character dot this beachfront.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
The entire island has scores of excellent beaches to choose from, but just a short hop from the port at Charlotte Amalie lies one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque beaches. Megans Bay Beach is found on the north shore of St. Thomas and is considered to be the island’s best sandy stretch of beach. The turquoise waters here are calm and ideal for swimming, though the snorkeling isn’t as good – like that’s going to stop us. The beach is no secret, and it’s usually terribly overcrowded with dozens of cruise passengers calling it home for the day.
So, once again, Mary and I will probably take a pass on Megans Bay and head to a less crowded runner-up, Coki Point Beach. Either way, cab fare to both beaches seems costly (at least from what I’ve read on TripAdvisor). A taxi from Charlotte Amalie will cost about $8.50 per person each way to Megans Bay and roughly $10-13 per person each way to Coki Point Beach. But the transit costs might be worth it, as Coki Point is noted for its warm, crystal-clear water, ideal for swimming and if you’re snorkelers like us, there’s a good chance you’ll see thousands of rainbow-hued fish swimming among the beautiful corals.
Back to you
Have you been to any of the beaches that I’ve listed here? There’s no shortage of beautiful beaches on each of these five islands, I just wish we could spend more time exploring them. If you have any recommendations, don’t be shy, pass them along in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.
Otherwise, stay connected as we’ll report back with our official inspiring advice and images of what we’ve uncovered.