Famed for forests fragrant with cinnamon, allspice, cocoa and nutmeg, Grenada is actually a three-island nation including Carriacou and Petite Martinique in the Grenadine chain of islands. Carriacou is a mecca for scuba divers and snorkelers and on Petite Martinique, many inhabitants build boats or make their living by fishing.
Back on the main island, this former British colony offers charming architecture, 300-year-old churches and narrow streets. Fort George and Fort Frederick date back to the 18th century. Restaurants and resorts centres line Grand Anse, a popular 2-mile stretch of sand. South and East of Grand Anse, other beaches line the coves of L’Anse Aux Epines, an upscale residential community. Head north to view Grenada’s rich agricultural and natural bounty. At Gouyave visit one of the nutmeg-processing stations or stop at the Grenada Chocolate Company, a tiny solar-powered cottage factory featuring antique machinery. The nearby historic River Antoine Rum Distillery is the Caribbean’s only water-powered mill still operating. Visit the plantation home Morne Fendue, a 1908 structure that serves lunch and now has guest rooms.
Sailing has long been an integral part of Grenada’s lifestyle. Visitors can hire charter companies for day excursions or weekly charters with crew or bareboat. Game fishing is big sport here and late January heralds the three-day Spice Island Billfish Tournament. Hiking trails with breathtaking scenery challenge walkers of all ability levels. Savour the delights of Bay Gardens, one of many well-kept botanical sites. Active visitors can also sign up for whale- and dolphin-watching expeditions, and can kayak in the quiet waters of Egmont Harbour.
Annual celebrations include Independence Day in February, Grensave International Food and Drink Extravaganza, and St. Patrick’s Day Festival in March. In April, big-drum, string-band music and quadrille dancing take center stage at the Carriacou Maroon Music Festival. Visit in May for the Grenada Drum Festival. In December, delve into the three-day carol-singing festivities of the Carriacou Parang Festival.