Whether you're a guitar god, an ex-Beatle, or even the founder of the Virgin Group, chances are you've spent a considerable amount on Antigua and its neighbouring islands. With 365 pristine beaches, year round sunshine, white sands and azure oceans it's hardly surprising that the super rich love kicking back in this Caribbean paradise.
Until recently getting to the islands of Antigua and Barbuda has been extraordinarily expensive, allowing the likes of Keith Richards and Elton John a modicum of privacy and an assured escape from the prying lenses of the paparazzo. However, with the recent announcement of low-cost flights from Manchester with Fly Thomas Cook, their cover is well and truly blown.
Anyone who fancies a hint of the luxury celeb life can get there for as little as £250, meaning your chances of lounging in the English Harbour alongside a Rolling Stone just increased considerably. If this isn't enough to sway you, take a look at a few other reasons why Antigua is so awesome...
The Antiguan Carnival
Antigua's biggest attraction is the countries laid back and welcoming disposition. With English considered the official language, it's easy to get involved in the local culture, should you choose to peel yourself from that beach towel. The local carnival is a must-see – 10 days of music, dancing and body painting during which the island moves to a Calypso beat and the sound of the steel drum.
Beaches and Marine Life
Antigua is said to have 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. The waters around the island are littered with shipwrecks and a rich variety of sea life perfect for scuba diving. If snorkelling is more your thing then head east to Long Bay or Spanish Point where you'll find the best dive sites on the island.
Hawksbill Bay, on the Northwest coast of the island, boasts a series of stunning crescent beaches fit for a king, or even an island princess. For sun worshippers looking for a luxury spot to satisfy those Vitamin D cravings head to Jolly Beach or stick to Dickenson Bay for lively bars and pumping music.
No luxury destination is complete without a little retail therapy, so make sure you pay a visit to Radcliffe Bay and Heritage Key. There's an abundance of cute, privately owned boutiques and some great duty-free shopping on offer. Of course, if you're looking to splash out on something a little more extravagant it's worth considering purchasing a villa on the island. Property hot spots tend to correlate in the more amenity rich parts of the island. With a thriving investment market in St. John's, English Harbour and Jolly Harbour which is the largest residential resort in Antigua.
Now, where did I bury that $50,000…
Flights from Manchester to Antigua launch in December 2013 with Fly Thomas Cook, starting from £233.49.
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