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Located in the middle of the Leeward Islands, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator, Antigua has an idyllic climate with long hours of sunshine, low rainfall and cooling sea breezes. It is ringed by an almost unbroken wall of coral and fine white sandy beaches which slope gently into a crystal clear sea. The capital of the island is St John’s, which is dominated by the white baroque towers of its cathedral.

The island is not only a perfect destination for beach lovers, but is a haven for sailing enthusiasts. The trade winds that once blew Nelson’s fleet into safe harbour now make it one of the best sailing venues in the Caribbean and Antigua sailing week is now one of the foremost maritime events in the world. Under the water tropical marine plants and animals are diverse and plentiful, with dives sites and reefs perfect for both snorkelling and diving. Cricket lovers will also be in their element with some of the finest players in the world heralding from here and it is still easy to see matches being played on empty ground all over the island.

St John’s should not be missed for its bustling streets, with a vibrant farmers market with folk craft, tropical fruits and a buzzing crowd making for a lively morning. A leisurely drive on winding roads through colourful villages leads to Historic Nelson’s Dockyard which dates from 1745, a must see with the handsome buildings now restored and converted into a nautical museum, restaurants and shops. Home also to world class resorts, spas and restaurants, Antigua is a delight for even the most experienced traveller.

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