Getaway to Grenada

A well-deserved vacation is just the ticket to relieve stress and take some time to reset. Grenada is the getaway you didn’t know you needed.

Tucked away at the bottom of the chain of the Windward islands, Grenada is a secret gem that is simply waiting to become your next favorite getaway. Known as the “spice island” for its plethora of nutmeg and cinnamon plantations, Grenada – and its lesser-known sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique – is stunningly beautiful and full of amazing places to explore. From the traditional beach vacation to a scuba diver’s paradise, we take a look at some of the best reasons to get away to Grenada now.

Perhaps the best part of a visit to Grenada is that it offers something for absolutely everyone. Many destinations claim to be family-friendly, have adventures for thrill seekers all while simultaneously offering the crystal blue waters and soft sandy beaches travelers come to love and expect from the Caribbean. But Grenada actually delivers. All you have to do is decide what kind of getaway you want to have. More great news: you can do it all!

To the Beach

If you’re the person who loves to see the sun both rise and set on the ocean, you’ll enjoy all the hours of warmth of the day with sand between your toes. The beaches of Grenada will not disappoint. Grand Anse Beach is the island’s most popular and a “must-see” for any beach lover. With more than 3 km of soft white sand and plenty of charming beach bars, shops and restaurants to explore, you can claim your spot of sand and have the time of your life. Just west of Grand Anse Beach is a lesser-known Morne Rough Beach. Known by the locals as BBC Beach, Morne Rough is perfect for swimming or relaxing on the sand. For a calm, quiet day away from the beach bustle, see La Sagesse Beach. Tucked in a protected cove, the water is calm and clear and the sand is unbelievably soft. At the north end of the island, Levera beach is secluded and perfect for watching Leatherback turtles lay their eggs during the spring season. Also at the far north east end of the island, Bathway Beach is a hidden gem that is a favorite of locals, so you know it’s good. Whether you’re a swimmer, a snorkeler or a land-loving beachgoer, you’re sure to find the perfect place to relax.

Adventures

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A beautiful island full of all kinds of outdoor treks and waterfalls to explore, Grenada is an unspoiled paradise for those that love active experiences. For scuba divers, Grenada offers a plethora of truly exceptional experiences, including 15 shipwrecks and a Marine Protected Area. Known as the Titanic of the Caribbean, the Bianca C is a fantastic 600-ft cruise liner wreck standing upright on her keel in nearly 50 metres of water. Advanced divers can explore the ship’s swimming pool and see marine life like spotted Eagle Rays and barracuda. The Marine Protected Area hosts one of National Geographic’s “Earth’s Most Awesome Places” in the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park. Divers and snorkelers can swim amongst turtles and a variety of tropical fish as they explore the more than 60 cement sculptures cast from local people.

For land lovers, Grand Etang National Park is perfect for those that want to hike amongst the lush rainforest. Some hikes can be challenging, but adventurers will be rewarded with stunning waterfalls (Seven Sisters, Annandale and Concord falls being favorites) and unforgettable views. For a different (and fun) kind of Caribbean adventure experience, consider enjoying a trip down the Balthazar River on an inner tube!

Back on the water, there is plenty to see on the high seas if sport fishing is something on your adventure bucket list. Plus, there are plenty of cruise tours, powerboat excursions, kayaking adventures and kite surfing, meaning something for everyone.

Taste of Grenada

Any place called the “spice island” is sure to have plenty of unique flavors to experience. The food of Grenada and its sister islands will become favorites of any visitor! Nutmeg and cinnamon often find their way into many dishes. The national dish of Grenada is “oil-down”. This one-pot stew is created with salted meat, breadfruit, dumplings, turmeric and callaloo all steamed in coconut milk and can be found at most restaurants. Cou cou is a pudding-like dish made from cornmeal and a variety of vegetables and is often served aside stewed meats and conch (known as lambi in Grenada).

Cocoa production plays a large role in Grenadian culture and culinary pursuits. Don’t miss the island’s organic dark chocolate! If you’re looking for the perfect time to visit Grenada and chocolate is on your “must-taste” list, May is your month. The Grenada Chocolate Festival celebrates the cocoa of the island with tours of cocoa farms and classes on how to temper chocolate or make truffles. This intimate look at the production cycle gives visitors an up close and personal experience with tree-to-bar chocolate and how their favorite treat is made.

When to Visit

If the chocolate festival in May isn’t for you, there are plenty of other great times to see Grenada. In August, the biggest festival on the island commences: Spicemas. Grenada’s traditional carnival, this festival is full of steel pan orchestras, beauty contests, parades and the famous Jab Jab J’ouvert. For music lovers, the Pure Grenada Music Festival in April allows visitors to enjoy three days of jazz, soul, reggae, folk and more.

Getting to Grenada

Access to Grenada is easy from major international city hubs like Miami, New York and Atlanta in the US, as well as Toronto, London and the Caribbean. Many nonstop flights are available on various airlines and cruise ships from Florida and Puerto Rico frequent the island.

A valid passport is required for all visitors. A visa is not required from citizens of the USA, Canada, UK and British Commonwealth, as well as most Caribbean and European countries. Visiting the sister island of Carriacou is possible with daily inter-island charter flights.

Once on island, traveling round by public bus is an inexpensive way to see Grenada. Plus, you’ll meet some really fantastic and friendly people! In addition to public transportation, taxis are prevalent. Hotel and airport taxis have fixed prices, while other “street taxis” may charge a different rate, so ask the driver what they will charge before getting in the vehicle. All taxis, mini buses and cars for hire are recognizable by the ‘H’ signs in their windows. Renting a car is always another option and there are multiple agencies offering a variety of vehicles.

Water taxis are a quick and fun way to get from major beaches to the town of St. George’s, though be prepared to get a little wet! Ferry service to and from the sister islands is also available and worth a trip to experience these smaller communities.

Where to Stay

Whether traveling on a budget or ready to splurge on something luxurious, visitors will find a wealth of accommodation options in Grenada. Many private villas dot the island and offer an intimate “local” feel. Boutique hotels are also prevalent and offer the bells and whistles of a resort without feeling too commercial.

One of the great pleasures of traveling is experiencing another culture through its sights, sounds and food. A vacation is the perfect way to take some time off and give your body and mind a chance to come back to equilibrium after a stressful time. If searching for the perfect Caribbean getaway with experiences that absolutely everyone will enjoy and remember, Grenada has just what the doctor ordered. Whether you want to relax and do nothing or feel an adrenaline rush and stay active, “getting away from it all” has never felt better.

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a freelance writer, yoga teacher and former St. Thomas resident. Learn more and contact Sara via her website at www.SaraMSherman.com.
Sara Sherman

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