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pastyp Jul 23rd, 2010 05:36 AM

Looking for a lush caribbean experience

Myself and my wife have spent a few vacations In Grand Cayman. We love the island and will return again (hopefully). I would like to experience another Caribbean island and get a taste for a more lush caribbean experience that is largely missing on Cayman. As we live in Ireland, access to certain parts on the Caribbean is as a result difficult and expensive - does anyone have a suggestion for an island experience that isn't to difficult to get to from Europe? This is the road block that I am comign up against in that most places that I am looking at are taking 20+ hours to get there with usually 3-4 stops along the way.

I know very wide open question - but I could go to a travel agent but would value comments from other Fodorites who have first hand experience. I have thought about Greneda or Anguilla, but again they look difficult to get to from Europe - in that they require up to 3 stops in order to get there. Cayman has direct flights from London. Connecting through a US destination would be fine.

We would be looking to spend the same sort of money on accomadation as Cayman and love water sports - scuba etc. We would be looking for somewhere that is safe to explore as a tourist (Cayman is exceptionally safe in this regard) as we like to get out and about and see the island we are staying on. We would also value nice restaraunt experiences and possibly condo type accomadation.

Many thanks in advance.

doug_stallings Jul 23rd, 2010 06:33 AM

Try St. Lucia. There are nonstop flights from the UK (though perhaps only from London). It's a lush, beautiful island and a favorite of British honeymooners. I don't particularly like driving on St. Lucia because the roads are winding and not in good condition in many places, but you'll be driving on the left, which will be normal to you. One of the most beautiful resorts on the island is Jalousie Plantation, which is situated right between the Pitons on the southwest coast. Incomparable location. Most of the resorts are in the north, however, and if you stay there you can be within walking or easy taxi distance of many restaurants (not so at Jalousie, which is kind of isolated). From St. Lucia, you can make an easy hop over to Barbados (100 mi/30 min. by plane) if you want to spend a week in each place. Barbados is beautiful, a bit more green than Grand Cayman but not as lush or jungly as St. Lucia.

J_R_Hartley Jul 23rd, 2010 06:39 AM

St Barts, you can fly Dublin to Paris or Amsterdam, then direct to Sint Maarten with Air France or KLM, then puddlejumper or boat to St Barts.

RoamsAround Jul 23rd, 2010 07:02 AM

While St. Barts is hilly it is on the arid side and not very lush especially when compared to places like St. Lucia.

St. Kitts and it's sister island Nevis (only 2 miles away) are very lush islands. British Airways has several flights each week from London.

A lot of people from England go to the British Virgin Islands (several differnt islands to choose from all linked by ferries) but they are that easy to reach as you'll first have to fly into San Juan than take a commuter flight to Tortola.

Caribzack Jul 23rd, 2010 07:28 AM

When I think "lush" I think of St. Lucia and LOVED Jalousie Plantation! Also, agree about St. Kitts/Nevis--loved our stay at Four Seasons, Nevis

Odin Jul 23rd, 2010 10:46 AM

BA fly direct to St Kitts/Nevis as well as the main islands (check their website). VS fly to the main islands as well as BA which I mean Barbados Grenada Tobago St Lucia Antigua Jamaica from London and some from Manchester. AF fly to Martinique and Guadeloupe from Paris and they are lush islands and probably my favourite although I like all the ones I visited.

VS also fly direct to San Juan via Antigua, once a week if I remember correctly and then you can fly on to somewhere else eg the Virgin Islands.

AA have good connections from London to various destinations via Miami.

The options are good and sometimes I think it's easier to get to the Caribbean from Europe than it is from some parts of the US.

suze Jul 23rd, 2010 12:26 PM

what about Jamaica?

Knowing Jul 24th, 2010 06:44 AM

I have only the very best things to say about Nevis. The locals are extremely nice and the island is more than beautiful. It's a clean island, very safe, and has some absolutely wonderful dining. The beaches are not the reason that you go to Nevis, however.

StanKase Jul 25th, 2010 07:23 AM

I agree with St. lucia. Being from Europe you folfs fortunately are not as hung up on air Conditionung and though iy=t is expensive Landera is an under-stated elegant resort high up but accessible to the shore by hotel jitney fopr scuba, though the snorkeling is limited the diving is pretty good and the island is one of the lushest of al, the Caribbean Islands.

cariblover10 Jul 25th, 2010 09:43 AM

I agree with St Kitts as lush with plenty to explore and esay to get to from the UK
The St Kitts Tourism site has a good range of places to stay
and we loved staying on Turtle beach
and I hear there is some good scuba, try

pastyp Jul 26th, 2010 08:44 AM

You are all very kind to take the time to give such good information - thank you. Lots to look at and research - thats half the fun, right!

Was looking at St Lucia and a place called Marigot Bay. There is a site that advertises Condos for rent that looks interesting - Anyone had any dealings with them or stayed in this area? I believe it is in the south of the island - a bit of the beaten track for a first timer??

Thanks again.

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