Black sand and strong rum
St Vincent & the Grenadines
St Vincent & the Grenadines are part of the Windward Islands and lie south of St Lucia. The Grenadines are actually a group of small islands including Battowia and Mustique – the haunt of the rich and famous.
Many of the beaches in the area are not the golden ones mostly associated with the Caribbean as St Vincent & the Grenadines are volcanic and many of the resorts have both black and yellow and sand. On St Vincent snorkelling and boat trips are popular whilst those who are feeling fit can hike up to the summit of the La Soufriere volcano. The Grenadines are famous for having some of the best sailing waters in the world.
Kingstown, the capital of St Vincent, has a bustling harbour area, many picturesque 19-century churches and cathedrals, the Botanical Gardens and the impressive Fort Charlotte that overlooks the harbour from a height of 200 metres.
The volcanic soil on the island is, according to the locals, extremely fertile and they pride themselves on their local produce such as breadfruit and cassava. The food can be spicy with hot stews and curries popular, which gives an excuse to wash them down with a Hairoun, the local beer, or a Sunset Rum which is distilled on the island. Beware. There are a variety of Sunset Rums with the strongest 84.5 per cent by volume.
Three things to do
Take a hike and eat your lunch 4048 feet above St Vincent at the top of La Soufriere volcano. Participants must be in good health to take the trip. Not for the faint-hearted. For more information contact + 1 784 457-8634, web: http://www.hazecotours.com
The National Botanical Gardens in Kingstown contain the descendant of one of Captain Bligh’s original breadfruit trees. Visitors can also spy the St Vincent Parrot, the national bird of the island. For more contact + 1 809 457 1003, web: http://www.visitsvg.com
Black Point Tunnel
Take a trip back in time through this tunnel constructed by slaves in 1815. An hour’s drive from Kingstown the tunnel, 360 feet in length, was made to aid sugar transport from the Grand Sable Estate to Byreau. For more see http://www.svgtourism.