It is no secret that there’s no shortage of the best beaches in Antigua, especially as the island has one for every day of the year. Choosing between all 365 can be a difficult task for anyone hanging out in the popular port of call for a day, but as a growing number of ships call at the idyllic island – and some opt for overnight stays – there’s no better time to get the rundown on which beaches are worth your bucket and spade time.

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Here are just some of the best beaches in Antigua, all of which are within easy reach of the island’s most popular ports.

Valley Church Beach

Jump on the number 22 bus from St John’s and head off on the 20-minute journey to Valley Church Beach – you might need to let your driver know where you’re heading, as official ‘stops’ are few and far between in this part of the world!

This sandy stretch of the west coast is widely regarded as one of the best of all 365 beaches in Antigua, not least for the gorgeous pale-blue waters. Many stumble across Valley Church Beach en route to the nearby Jolly Beach, which is always far busier. That said, word has got out and Valley Church Beach isn’t quite as quiet as it once was, though this has meant the arrival of some much-appreciated features including an open-air restaurant that has become famous for its rather strong rum punch.

Valley Church Beach

Darkwood Beach

Buses from St John’s run regularly to Darkwood Beach, which sits on the southwest of the island. Home to stunning panoramic views, white-sand beaches and tropical forests, the beach is loved by locals, particularly on a weekend, which is always a good sign in our eyes.

Aside from weekends, Darkwood Beach is largely very quiet, its mile-long sands featuring little more than a charmingly ramshackle beach bar. The waters here are warm, immaculate and the marine life inquisitive, making it a snorkeller’s paradise.

Ffryes Bay

Just along the coast from Darkwood Beach are the sugar sands of Ffryes Bay, where little other than a driftwood log will disturb your strolls along the sand. The beach is your stereotypical Caribbean paradise, leading to it becoming something of a hot spot for high fashion photoshoots. Whilst the thought of sharing the sands with a bikini-clad Heidi Klum might fill you with dread, the chance of afternoons spent amidst stunning sun-struck scenery make it a risk we’re willing to take.

Not only is Ffryes Bay considered one of the best beaches in Antigua, but its restaurants are likewise held in high regard.

Dickenson Bay

Located just 15 minutes from the Antiguan capital of St John’s is Dickenson Bay, one of the island’s most developed and liveliest beaches. If you prefer your beach time packed with watersports, boat trips, beach bars and fun for the family, this is your place.

When the action gets old, stroll the couple of miles along the water’s edge to nearby Runaway Bay. This serene spot is a real island escape but lacks any facilities at all, so make sure you’re fed and watered in Dickenson Bay before making the trip over, or pack yourself a picnic for good measure.

Dickenson Bay Antigua

Rendezvous Bay Beach

Thrillseekers will be rewarded at Rendezvous Bay Beach, located on the south side of Antigua. Although isolated, don’t be fooled – if it’s setting off along rugged tracks and exploring nature parks that gets your pulse racing, this is the beach for you.

Oh, and we failed to mention that access to Rendezvous Bay Beach is pretty much limited to hiking or boat. At least the views are great once you get there.

Discover the best beaches in Antigua for yourself on a Caribbean cruise visiting or leaving from Antigua.
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