With countless islands scattered across its crystalline waters, choosing your ideal Caribbean island can overwhelm even the most seasoned of travellers. But with dozens of diverse destinations to choose from, whether you’re after barefoot beaches, low-key island living, or an ultra-luxe escape, there’s something for everyone. Not sure where to start? Here’s a breakdown of our favourites to get you started….
Best For: Sailors and sunset parties
Slow it down in this far-flung corner of paradise - the wind in your sails, cocktail in hand and not a care in the world. Less-developed and more isolated than their US cousins, the 60 islands of this archipelago are most popular with divers and yachties looking for some idyllic island hopping. Charter a catamaran and explore the azure waters of seductive Virgin Gorda, past secluded palm-fringed bays lined with talcum-powder sand. Set a course for the exclusive enclave of North Sound - accessible only by sea you’ll find it dotted with yacht clubs and luxury villas. Make your base at one of the sprawling properties on the pristine Oil Nut Bay peninsula- opting for extravagance with a villa nestled so close to the silken shoreline the lapping waves lull you to sleep.
Best For: Steel-bands and Family fun
Live slow, sail fast. That’s the local motto on this carefree Caribbean idyll, where you’ll find old-world colonial charm coupled with a different beach for every day of the year. Soaring jungle-carpeted interiors sweep onto velvet shores, every shade of aquamarine turning to deepest blue. Re-live the island’s swashbuckling maritime history and stretch your sails at sea, or catch the Regatta held every Spring. While the island's charms make it increasingly popular, you can still play Robinson Crusoe on the deserted stretches of sand to the south - or on one of the many offshore islands like the exclusive Jumby Bay. Wherever you choose to stay, expect steel-drums drifting on the trade winds, coconut-infused cocktails and every last worry to simply melt away.
Best for: Jetset Glamour and upmarket eateries
Eight square miles of understated elegance, exclusive St. Barths is the epitome of laid-back Caribbean cool, where Riviera-chic meets irresistible Creole charm. While you may party among models and movie stars at extravagant Eden Roc, you’ll still find the same barefoot island beauty that first attracted the Rockefellers and Rothschilds of the sixties. Soaring peaks tumble into silver-sand bays, encircled by dazzling fringes of turquoise flecked with darkest blues, masts of mega yachts jostling in handsome harbours. Indulge in a spot of shopping in Gustavia’s designer boutiques, or feast on fabulous five-star French-inspired cuisine that’s every bit as polished as the island’s clientele. Whether you’re lounging on white canvas couches at one of the beach clubs that fringe Baie de St. Jean, or people watching at La Plage, the island’s enviable charms are worth the hefty price tag.
Best for: Beachcombers and Foodies
Refined yet refreshingly low-key, Anguilla’s aquamarine waters are a haven for solitude-seekers. Ten miles north of St. Martin, the far-flung nature of this low-lying coral outpost has helped to preserve its exclusivity. You’ll find no cruise ships here, no mass-market resorts - just mile upon mile of some of the Caribbean’s most magnificent beaches, studded with upscale restaurants and elegant villas. At just 35 square miles, it’s an intimate affair, with inventive dining options ranging from beachside grills offering up creole fusion to sophisticated al fresco dining at Anguillan institution Blanchard’s. After dinner, sample the laid-back island nightlife with some reggae beats at Elvis’ on Sandy Ground beach, the epitome of understated, barefoot bliss.
Best for: Low-key luxury
Dreamy clusters of coral-fringed cays, Turks and Caicos’ forty islands boast beguiling palm-fringed coves and more than 230 miles of pearly shoreline. Touchdown in glamorous Providenciales, peppered with luxury villas, a championship-calibre golf course and pretty boutiques. Here you’ll find Grace Bay’s snow-white sands, sprawling villas steps from one of the island's most beautiful beaches as well as breathtaking underwater coral walls - a diver’s dream. With so many islands to choose from, there’s truly something for everyone. Escapists will enjoy the lost world of North Caicos, history buffs can make for laid-back Grand Turk’s colonial buildings while those seeking super-luxury should head to COMO’s 1000 acre private island resort.Search Villas