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If you want to dive into a picture-perfect Caribbean, with soft white sands, clear turquoise seas, swaying palm trees and dazzling sunshine, then you should consider holidays in Antigua and Barbuda.
Beaches, bays and inlets that are worthy of any postcard fringe the main island of Antigua, while the island's interior is lush and green and peppered with sugar plantations. The island is also circled by well-preserved coral reefs; keen divers and snorkellers will be donning their gear the minute they hit the beach.
Formerly part of the British Empire, Antigua and Barbuda retain some traditions and culture from this period of reign, during which Horatio Nelson took residence in the 1780s. You can visit Nelson's Dockyard in the popular English Harbour for a taste of this history thanks to restored buildings and a collection of artefacts and art. This area is also a great base for the yachting pleasures to be found on Antigua. Cruise ships drop by for the day in the capital of St John's, and passengers hop off to take advantage of the excellent shopping in the port city.
There are holiday resorts scattered around the coastline of Antigua, with Mamora Bay and Dickenson Bay proving to be two of the most popular with British holidaymakers. Half Moon Bay is one of Antigua's most talked-about beaches, and the island's reputation for natural beauty is deserved. You can get an eyeful of it by heading to the top of Mount Obama (formerly known as Boggy Peak) for some of the best 360-degree views in Antigua. The 400-metre peak was renamed in 2009 after US president Barack Obama. There are also unforgettable views to be enjoyed from Shirley Heights, a former military lookout, while Devil's Bridge is a natural rock formation on the coast that offers a unique set of holiday photographs.
Antigua and Barbuda holidays can be reached with direct flights from the UK into VC Bird International Airport (ANU) on the larger island of Antigua. It's a short ferry ride to nearby Barbuda, which is less developed than its bigger sister and offers an even more unspoiled island holiday experience.
On lovely Barbuda you'll discover a smaller version of Antigua, where wild deer roam and frigate birds can be spotted at the sanctuary. The resort of Coco Bay is a popular choice for those looking for their beach paradise.
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