Leeward Islands

Tired of the BVI? Here are Some Other Great Easy-To-Get-To Caribbean Destinations

Personally I am a great fan of the BVI and have lived in and visited the Islands countless times. I never tire of the peaceful waters and interesting places to visit.
However, if you’ve cruised the Virgin Islands several times and you feel it’s time to move on – well, we have some great options for you to look at. The first of these that we’ll look at will be the Leeward group of islands, a group that includes:

  • Saint Martin or St. Maarten (depending on which side of the island you are on: French or Dutch)
  • Anguilla, a delightful island that is home to many of the rich and famous and has some beautiful beaches and anchorages.
  • Saint Barthelemy, or simply St. Bart as it is commonly called. The jewel of the Leewards, a delightful little French island filled with the joys of everything the French love most.
  • Antigua. Home of Lord Nelson’s Caribbean fleet in the good old Napoleonic days. Lovely island, nice locals and 365 beaches to choose from.
  • St. Kitts and Nevis. Relatively new on the tourist’s list of things to do. Some new resorts, retirement living.

Leeward Islands Charters

Leeward Islands TourismBoth St. Martin (STM) and Antigua (ANU) have international airports with regular direct flights from Europe and also from the US and other Caribbean islands. So they, like the Virgin Islands, are easy-to-get-to.
Antigua, however, is a little further away from the other islands and so if you are on a motor yacht, NO PROBLEM – however on a sailing vessel, catamaran or single-hull, it’s not quite as simple. Antigua is quite a distance from the other Leeward Islands and could almost be a stand-alone destination.
A week’s itinerary, starting in St. Martin, for example, can easily include St. Bart and Anguilla and maybe St. Kitts, but for Antigua you’d have to set aside some additional time unless you’re on a motor yacht.
The Leewards are not as protected as the Virgin Islands and sometimes, especially in winter, large Atlantic swells can be encountered when sailing between the islands. This is not necessarily dangerous but can be uncomfortable for non-sailors.