The Leeward Islands (St Martin, Antigua, Guadeloupe)
The islands are either British, Dutch or French, and therefore offer an interesting mixture of different cultural heritages. They are starting point of famous regattas, like the Antigua Sailing Week and the Heineken Regatta as a combination of sportsmanship and fun.
Compared to the Virgins, the distances between the islands are larger. Winds going up to 6 bft,, currents between the islands and coral reefs require careful navigation through an experienced crew
St. Martin is probably the best known holiday destination in the Leewards. Small in size, it offers plenty of white and sandy beaches, backed by scenic hills. The North is French, the south is Dutch. The whole island is a duty free shopping paradise, with the capital of Philipsburg at its centre. This is the place where the large cruising ships go on anchor and leave out thousends of visitors daily. The yachting centre of St Martin is Simpson Bay. It provides sheltered anchorages in the Lagoon and all kind of yachting services. You will also find many happy hours in bars around the waterfront. This is also the starting point for the Heineken Regatta.
St. Barthelemely (St. Barts, St Barths) is a charming little island with a rich colonial heritage of being British, French, Spanish and Swedish. The street signs are still carrying Swedish names. The islands offers gorgious beaches between steep hills. Lately, St. Barths has become a sort of St. Tropez of the Caribbean, meeting point for the chic, rich and famous. They find all the shopping pleasures around the sidewalks of Gustavia Harbour
Antigua is a popular starting point for Caribbean cruises. Here you will find the “English Harbour”, famous meeting point for blue water sailors, along with Falmouth Harbour in the direct neighbourhood. The island is famous for its hundreds of white and sandy beaches and many beautiful anchorages that you should not miss to visit.
Barbuda Island offers unique beaches on its western coast.and a wild nature around its lagoon. Don’t miss a visit to the huge frigatebird colony on the north side of the lagoon – an unforgettable experience.
The French island of Guadeloupe is the largest of gthe leeward islands, with good flight connections to Europe and all other Caribbean islands. Guadeloupe has a very urban face around the capital of Pointe a Pitre, but offers also plenty of wonderful anchorings. Don’t miss a visit to the Natural Park in Basse Terre and the waterfalls.Other highlights are the Cousteau Underwater Park, Pigeon Island, and the beautiful bays of the Isles de Saintes.
Windward Islands with Grenadines (St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada)
The Windwards provide maximum variety of nature. The north is the location for the volcanic islands Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent, with their tropical rain forests, waterfalls, pineapple-, sugar- and banana plantations, as well as fantastic beaches with turquoise water. Further south, the island of Mustique. Famous meeting spot for celebrities, followed by the Tobago Cays: a postcard idyll of five islands with palm fringed beaches, protected by a horseshoe-shaped reef. Further south, the spice island of Grenada with its tropical rain forests, plantations, waterfalls and sandy beaches. Caribbean pure!
Year-round trade winds with 3 to 6 bft., during winter from NE directions. Temperatures range between 18 ° C to 29 ° C between December and May, and from 23 ° C to 35 ° C between June and November. Water temperature around 27 ° C. Rainy season between June and October. Hurricanes can occur between August to October.
Recommended Sailing season:
Between December and May
Connections to the Leewards:
Flights to St. Martin (Air Fance, KLM,), Antigua (Thomas Cook, British Airways) or Guadaloupe (Air France, Corsair, Caribbean)
Connections to the Windwards:
Martinique Airport (Air France)
Airport St. Lucia (Thomas Cook / Condor, British Airways)
Charter bases (all districts):
St. Martin, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada