With beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery and amazing cuisine, this relaxed spice isle is arguably the best out of all Caribbean destinations.
Grenada (not to be confused with Granada, Spain) is a sovereign state in the West Indies and is located at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain just outside the hurricane belt. There are direct flights from London, but arguably the most popular way of getting to the island is by cruise ship.
So, if you’re going to be sailing into Grenada on your next Caribbean cruise, discover the best things to see and do on this tropical paradise island.
1. It’s spectacularly beautiful.
Sailing into Grenada, St George’s port has been hailed as one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. The Caribbean island is one of the most scenic, with white-sand beaches intermixed with lush rainforests, mountains and breathtaking ridges, which can be explored on a thrilling dune buggy ride.
2. It’s easy to get around.
Thanks to the island’s small size (being nearly the size of the Isle of Wight), you can go from one of the pristine white sandy beaches (Grand Anse Beach being the most famous) to a refreshing waterfall or the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park, where you can see sunken sculptures intermixed with local reef life, in just twenty minutes.
3. The island is rich in spices.
The island has an abundant mix of spices, including turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, ginger and of course, nutmeg. The fishing village of Gouyave is home to the Nutmeg Processing Station, one of the island’s largest sites for processing the spice, for which Grenada is most famous and is one of its biggest exports. This charming Caribbean island also offers a new Savour the Spice tour, which provides four unique offerings that bring local flavours to life.
4. The local cuisine is superb.
The island’s spices have been infused into the cuisine, making it rich and flavoursome. For Grenadian specialities, check out BB’s Crabback overlooking the harbour (so easy to get to if your cruise is docked for the day), which serves up crab backs, curried goat and fried plantains. If you’re spending the day at the beach, The Beach Club at Calabash has everything from tapas to lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, while the more formal Rhodes restaurant is perfect for dinner and sampling some nutmeg ice-cream, washed down with a glass of local rum.
5. There are lots of rum factories.
The Caribbean is known for its world-famous rum and Grenada is no exception. Each factory has its own charm, but one of the most historic is River Antoine Rum distillery near Tivoli, which dates back to 1785. Named after the river, it is the oldest functioning water-powered distillery remaining in the Caribbean.
6. You can go diving to the Caribbean’s largest shipwreck.
Having probably spent more than enough time on the water on your cruise holiday, you should take the opportunity to venture beneath the surface in Grenada and explore the island’s hidden depths. The island is home to Bianca C, the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. The passenger ship sank twice, once in France and then the second in Grenada after an explosion and fire. Grenada also offers excellent snorkelling and diving with beautiful reefs and diverse marine life.
7. There are chocolate factories.
Live out your Willy Wonka fantasy at one of the island’s chocolate factories. Grenada’s chocolate is infused with the island’s homegrown spices, including its most famous nutmeg, making it truly unique in taste. At the Grenada Chocolate Factory, you can enjoy a ‘bean to bar’ tour to witness the interesting and ethical organic chocolate-making process and there are artisan chocolate pieces on sale so you can take some home with you. There is even a dedicated festival in May whereby the island comes together to celebrate its sustainable chocolate-making culture.
8. There are 15 waterfalls.
You are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to waterfalls in Grenada. Annandale Falls, a picturesque grotto surrounded by greenery and with a small pool at its base, is an easier option to get to with just a short walk from the main road, while Concord waterfall is also easily accessible if you have a car. Grenada’s centre is where you’ll find the Grand Etang National Park, a natural forested landscape home to the Grand Etang Lake, which sits in the mouth of a now extinct volcano. If you have time, this is a must-visit and from here you can go on a rainforest trail or hike up to Seven Sisters Falls.
9. St George’s town has a lot of history.
St George’s, the capital of Grenada, beckons with its colourful buildings and historic architecture, having been colonised by the French in 1650. At the heart of the town is St. George’s Market where you can enjoy fresh coconut water or purchase spices to add some flavour to your favourite dishes when you get home. Located to the west of the harbour is Fort George, which was built in 1705 by the French and much of it is still intact and open to visitors.
10. It’s warm all-year round.
Grenada is located in the south east of the Caribbean and offers year-round warm tropical temperatures. However, one of the best times to visit the island is between January and May as these are the driest months. Between June and December, there is rainfall, which tends to fall in brief but very heavy showers (as is typical in a tropical climate).
For more information, visit puregrenada.com.