St Vincent and the Grenadines
St Vincent and the Grenadines consists of the main island of Saint Vincent and two-thirds of the northern part of the 32 tiny islands that make up the Grenadines. St Vincent is by far the largest island (with its capital Kingstown). It's bigger than better known Grenada and not much smaller than Barbados. Not all of of the Grenadines are inhabited, but many are small and privately owned. Some of them are very well known for their rich and famous connections — Bequia, Mustique, Union Island, Canouan, Petit Saint Vincent, Palm Island, Mayreau and Young Island. They're favoured yacht destinations, at the right time of year. Paradise is never perfect. Most of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lies within the Hurricane Alley.
The name “Saint Vincent” was given by Columbus on his 'discovery' of the island on 22 January 1498, after Saint Vincent of Saragossa, a Spanish saint. The name “Grenadines” derives from the Spanish for “pomegranate” (a reference to the distribution of the smaller islands; pomegranates do not grow on the islands!)
Visiting the Grenadines
- It's a delightful day trip to the Grenadines from St Lucia on a small plane. We fly into Union Island, with stunning views en route, over some of the islets, including Mustique. Mustique of course, is a private island owned by the Tennant family. Princess Margaret was given a 'plot', here. She built a house, which she visited regularly, bringing various guests to amuse the media.
- The oldest botanic gardens in the western hemisphere is located in St Vincent & The Grenadines, having been founded in 1765.
- The national dish of the country is fried jackfish and roasted breadfruit.
Then a catamaran to Palm Island, another private island, only accessibly by boat. It's only a mile from Union Island, which we can still see across the clear turquoise channel that takes us to our pristine sand. It was once a deserted swamp known as Prune Island (I don't know if the two things are connected) - before the eponymous palms were planted.
And onto Mayreau, the tranquil, smallest inhabited island of the Grenadines, with a population of about 271. It too, has picture perfect beaches.
Next, Tobago Cays, the so called Jewel in the Crown, a natural marine park, with colourful coral reefs and wafting green sea turtles, The islets are deserted – your Robinson Crusoe island stereotype - and stunningly gorgeous. This is, without doubt, one of the loveliest areas in the Caribbean.