Discover the Best 11 Antigua Beaches to Visit This Year

This is an insider guide to the best Antigua beaches, where to find them, how to get there, and also nearby restaurants and hotels plus a detailed interactive map.

How many beaches does Antigua have? I am sure you are wondering. In fact, Antigua is renowned for its 365 beaches.

I am not sure if that’s the truth, as in my time living on the beautiful island I didn’t manage to count them all, but I can honestly say that the ones you will find will take your breath away and you will never want to leave Antigua.

And I can assure you that there are enough numbers of beaches in Antigua that you can visit a different one or two every day of your vacation.

To decide what are the best Antigua beaches is a difficult task because they are all mind-blowing, with white soft sand and turquoise water embraced by green rolling hills.

It’s just paradise.  However, has a lot more to offer in terms of history and culture as well and has quite a few interesting activities to explore. I am talking about it in my post on the 19 unmissable things to do in Antigua.

However, I have to say that I have fallen in love with Antigua for its jaw-dropping beaches, some of them among the best of the Caribbean Islands, besides being most of the time deserted, which makes them even more special.

Antigua Beach

There are supposed to be 365 beaches in Antigua, one for each day of the year. And it’s probably true if you also count all the inaccessible bays along the spectacular jagged coastline. I have never counted them though, during my time spent in Antigua, where I have the privilege to live for almost two years, one of the best times of my life.

In this post, I am writing about the 11 Antigua best beaches, where I would hang out more often during my free time when I was living in Antigua.

I will also mention the hotels and restaurants in the closest proximity of each beach, hoping it can be handy for your Antigua vacations. If you are also looking for the perfect accommodation in Antigua, I have two options to suggest. You can choose among the world-class Antigua All-inclusive resorts or rent a beautiful apartment from the Antigua Airbnb options and live like a local.

An Antigua map will help you also localize the spots I am talking about it in the post.

Also read: 21 interesting facts about Antigua and Barbuda that you must know

Antigua Travel Advisory

Is Antigua open to tourists right now?

Antigua is open to tourism but since rules are changing so fast I would suggest you should read more updated information from the Tourism Authority site.

Can I swim on the Antigua beaches?

Of course, you can!

You should know that the coast from St John’s to the English Harbour on the side of Jolly beach it’s the west coast of Antigua washed by the Caribbean sea where the sea is calmer and it’s very easy to access to the water.

However, that doesn’t mean that on the other side of the island you cannot swim. In fact, the popular Dickenson bay for example it’s located between the northwest coast and the east coast and it’s totally swimmable by the shore. Sometimes it can get rough and if you swim a little off the coast you can feel the strong current though. So be careful.

Just for the sake of information, you can take boat tours to green island and great bird island from there and you can find a tranquil place where to swim and do excellent snorkeling by the barrier reefs.

Half Moon Bay is on the southeast coast of Antigua but it’s in a protected bay so it’s pretty much easy to swim if you stay close to the beach while if you start swimming a little offshore you can find some nasty currents.

If you go to devil’s beach that’s the easternmost point and where the sea is rougher but there is no beach there. Just make sure you go and check it out as it’s a great place for pictures and to see different scenery in Antigua.

The most beautiful beaches in Antigua and nearby hotels and restaurants

Jolly Beach

It’s not really the name of the beach, but that’s the beach at Jolly Harbour where the iconic hotel Jolly beach is located. The hotel is nothing special and quite worn out, but the beach is just unbelievably beautiful.

It’s one of the biggest beaches in Antigua and besides the part in front of the hotel, all the rest is infinite white sand beaches washed by blue crystal clear waters.

You cannot use the hotel facilities but there are some locals that rent beach chairs and umbrellas for a moderate price, by the restaurant Castaways. The restaurant is great for a quick lunch or a romantic dinner on the beach.

Deserted beach with white sand blue water and cloudy sky

Darkwood beach Antigua

This is probably my favorite beach in Antigua overall although it’s really difficult to tell as each one has its charm. Washed by the Caribbean sea, Darkwood beach is definitely the most convenient and easy to reach from anywhere.

It’s right on the road when you are traveling from Jolly Harbour towards English Harbour, right after Tamarind Hills, a new hotel that has been built on the hills overlooking this stunning public beach.

Hotels in the area

Jolly Beach

If you are looking for a low key relatively cheap all-inclusive hotel, right on one of the best beaches in Antigua, this is the perfect choice for you. Located right by one of the Marina, but facing on the opposite side, on a spectacular beach. You don’t need to have any expectation on the hotel, though. Otherwise, you will get disappointed. The kindness of the staff and the beach will make it up for the old and tired structure.

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Hermitage Bay

Hermitage Bay is one of my favorite hotels in Antigua, a very special place and if you want ultra-luxury and privacy this is where you should stay. Besides, you will be on a private spectacular beach. The elegant suites are nestled on a lush hill all build to guarantee the privacy and spectacular views over the bay. If you prefer to stay on the beach the beach cottages will be your happy choice. The food is out of this world and healthy options are available for food-conscious travelers.

Hermitage bay rates & availability:
Hermitage bay reviews on TripAdvisor

hermitage bay hotel aerial overview
The best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua & Barbuda

Sugar Ridge 

This hotel was being built while I was living on the island and I have to say they did an amazing job. The rooms are built on a hill overlooking the Jolly Beach bay with breathtaking views. However, it’s not right on the beach

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Sugar Ridge reviewsTripAdvisor


Cocobay resort was the best value-for-money all-inclusive on the island. However, they have refurbished it to become an upscale all-inclusive adult-only retreat. Still one of the cutest boutique hotels in Antigua with the best value for money, just more money. 🙂 Tiny and chic, but not pretentious. Its beach, close to Frye’s bay is also amazing.

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Restaurants in the area

There is a small restaurant on the beach, not remarkable but you can get something to eat if you are hungry.


The perfect place to try the local food, either for a quick lunch or a romantic dinner.

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Deserted beach with palm trees white sand and turquoise water
Shutterstock image

Antigua beaches map: check out beaches and hotels locations on the map

Turner’s Beach

Located just a few miles from Darkwood beach- Turner’s beach is another peaceful white sand deserted beach just for you. The restaurant is delicious too, so you can plan to stay the entire day and have lunch there. Turner’s Beach is a great place to spend the entire day on the beach with all the facilities you need including a great restaurant.

And on clear days you can also see Montserrat island from the beach.

 They also have very simple cabañas if you wish to stay there.

Restaurants in the area

Turner’s Beach restaurant

Located right on the beach. You can actually park in the restaurant parking lot and then head to the beach. The shrimps are their specialty 🙂

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Curtain Bluff hotel overview
Shutterstock image

Hotels in the area

Keyonna Beach Resort

This All-inclusive property is located right there in the middle of the beach. It’s a cozy laid back luxury hotel, definitely worth checking. Unfortunately, they built it before I left the island so I didn’t have the chance to visit them personally. While writing this post I feel so nostalgic and I hope to have the chance to go back to Antigua soon.

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Further up the road at about 10 km there are two stunning all-inclusive luxury hotels

Curtain Bluff 

Iconic all-inclusive property in Antigua, it’s been there for ages and besides being one of the top luxury hotels of the island with one of the highest rates of repeating guests that come back every year to stay at Curtain Bluff, the hotel has also an amazing reputation in Antigua for giving back to the local community around Old road where the majority of the staff is from.

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Carlisle Bay aerial view
Photo courtesy of Carlisle bay

Carlisle Bay

An elegant and classy property with a private beach and graceful exquisite rooms, some of them overlooking the beach and the turquoise bay. It’s perfect for a high-end family vacation.

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Rendezvous Bay Beach

A very secluded beach that you can only reach either walking or by jeep. There are some boat tours that will include a swim on these spectacular bays as well. If you go on foot I would recommend you to go in a group and even better with a local guide, as the road is really isolated. There are also boat tours that take you there. I will talk about it in a different post.

There is nothing nearby so remember to take water and food with you.

The beaches @ English Harbour

English Harbour is one of my favorite areas in Antigua, a historical place that was a fort and you can still see some of the old buildings, while a few hotels and shops have kept the same old feeling.

When you get to one of the beaches in the area, make sure you take some time to walk around Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and have lunch or dinner in the cute local restaurants in the surrounding.

The popular place is also home to a Marina where you can admire amazing billion dollars yachts anchored, very different from the cruise ship dock that you find in the capital city St. John’s.

Cafes, restaurants, coffee shops make it a vibrant and quaint center for a night out but there are also a few beaches where to hang out during the day.

Pigeon Point beach, more crowded, even though just relatively, because it’s easier to reach and it’s the most frequented by locals. The beach is backed by neem trees and palms offering a soothing shade from the hot sun and the sea here is quite shallow for the kids’ enjoyment and adults’ alike.  And you can enjoy a family picnic on the benches…It’s located on the way to Nelson Dockyard behind the restaurants.

Winward bay beach is more secluded and wilder. From Pigeon’s point, you need about 10 minutes walk. I would suggest you shouldn’t go on your own as it’s too isolated.

Galleon Beach – Galleon beach is a secluded beach in English Harbour. To access you will need to go through a security gate because it’s located in a residential area but access to the beach must be granted since in Antigua the beaches are public.

Deserted beach in antigua aerial view

Restaurants in English Harbour:

There is a huge quantity of restaurants for the night and day. Here is my pick:


I have to admit I have never tried it, probably it wasn’t there when I was in Antigua, but as far as I can see its location is stunning, right in the heart of Nelson Dockyard, with spectacular views over the bay in a historical setting. From the reviews, it seems that they are doing a good job with the food as well, which helps too! 😀

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Trappas is one of the historical restaurants in English Harbour, it’s been there forever and that says a lot. Its laid-back atmosphere and tasty Caribbean dishes are their best recipe for success.

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Caribbean Taste

They couldn’t have found a better name. For an authentic Caribbean Taste, this is where you should eat. It’s open for lunch and it’s strategically located right on your way to Pigeon Point. Very handy.

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English Harbour aerial view
Shutterstock image

Catherine’s  Cafe’ 

This elegant restaurant has it all, a spectacular location right on the bay in front of Nelson’s Dockyard, delicious french ambiance and cuisine with some hints of Caribbean Taste as well. From what I am reading it seems that service is a little slow, but, hey you are in the Caribbean and on vacation, take it easy, there is no rush! just enjoy the breeze and the views while waiting for your meal.

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It’s quite an institution in Antigua. It’s been there for ages and offers a real Italian Cuisine, and has a great reputation. Open for lunch and dinner, during the weekend it’s also open for after dinner drinks and dance.

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Sunset over English harbor bay
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Hotels at English Harbour

The Inn @ English Harbour

The Inn is another of my favorite hotels in Antigua, for its unrivaled class and elegance,  its unique blend of colonial feeling and modern look, amazing service and unparalleled views over the bay. The suites are finely decorated with art objects from all over the world. The top-notch dining experience offers an exquisite fusion between the authentic Italian flavors and the tasty creole traditions.

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Antigua Yacht Club

Spacious rooms with modern decorations, right on the English Harbour Marina.

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South Point Antigua

I have to say this hotel was built after I left the island but I have heard from local friends that’s a really good cozy property. Located right on the marina but further uphill, in a tranquil area.

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Copper and Lumber Store

This iconic tiny hotel is located right inside the Nelson Dockyard, the historical part of Antigua. The hotel is a piece of history itself and it makes you feel like you are in a different dimension, back in the colonial era. It’s very well kept and quite charming.

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Extra insider tip – On a Sunday night you cannot miss Shirley Heights with its famous rum punch, live music and stunning sunsets over English Harbour bay. Antigua Postcard.

Deserted Half Moon Beach
Shutterstock image

Half-moon bay

Half moon bay is the best beach in Antigua, in my opinion at least. It’s a little far away but it’s a beautiful half-moon-shaped stretch of beach with pristine waters and white sands and most of the time almost deserted. It was my Sunday getaway. There is nothing around, except for the few people that had the same idea.

If you walk on the rocks on the left side you will arrive at another beach where they are now building a new Rosewood hotel. I am sure it will be stunning. For now, you can just enjoy your day trip to the beach and bring water and food.

Restaurants nearby

There is actually one restaurant right before the beach, with a small selection, but great local food.

Hotels in Half-moon bay

They are building a Rosewood resort, one of my favorite hotel group and I am sure they are going to surprise us one more time.

Long Bay beach

Here is one of the few Antigua beaches where you can find decent snorkeling while swimming from the beach on the right side especially.  It’s the beach of Pineapple hotel but it’s actually public and you can lay down wherever you want, except using the hotel facilities.

Long bay beach is one of the best places in Antigua that has coral reefs at a swimming distance from the beach. If you stay on the right side of the bay you will be able to find some nice colorful fish.

Signature Photo Beach overview - The Verandah hotel antigua
Photo courtesy of Elite Island Resorts

Nearby hotels

Pineapple Beach resort

This cute hotel has been recently undergone a full facelift after being acquired by the Hotel group Elegant Resorts. I haven’t visited the hotel after the remake, but I noticed from the pictures that rooms have had a nice revamping and it’s not a family hotel anymore, but for adults only.

I assume it offers a more laidback style compared to other all-inclusive hotels on the island but the beach makes up for everything else. To me, it’s one of the best beaches in Antigua for sure.

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The Verandah

Right opposite the before-mentioned hotel, The Veranda is its sister property. It’s a little more upscale but it’s not on the same beach.

The hotel is suited for family and it actually has a great kids program. They also have 2 semi-private beaches but they are not the best in Antigua. Guests can still enjoy the long bay beach at walking distance.

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Deserted Beach - turquise water cloudy sky
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Dickenson Bay

Located at only 10 minutes drive from St. John, the quaint capital town of Antigua,  Dickenson bay is another spectacular long stretch of beach, where despite being home to two huge hotels, Sandals Grande Antigua and Halcyon Cove (which is now closed), you can still find lots of room for your private beach corner.

The beach is free there is beach access from the sides in between the hotels. You will find funny red phone boxes wedged between the palm trees which can look a little out-of-place, probably to remind you that you are in an ex-British colony.

They are for sure an amusing sight for the kids, while the teens and adults can enjoy an array of water sports and activities offered by local vendors. 

If you think this is still too crowded you can walk a few steps and reach the more isolated and stunning Runaway bay.

Close-by restaurants

Ana’s on the Beach

The place has been revamped since I left, and although it was already quite cool and very much frequented, they made it even fancier, with cozy seatings and gourmet food. Definitely to try.

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Overwater restaurant in Antigua
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Coconut groove’s

I loved the food there and it’s still the same, with a laid back ambiance and great drinks and food.

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Close-by Hotels

The Buccaneer Beach Club

Besides the above-mentioned hotels, you can find this cute little property made of self-catering apartments, with a fully equipped kitchen. They are nicely decorated with a beautiful garden, a nice pool, and a spectacular beach. The place is run by a good friend of mine, Simonetta, so if you go there send her my regards as she is too busy looking after her guests and never has time to chat with me.;)

Check rates & availability: | | VRBO
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Runaway Bay

To be honest, although the beach is amazing and just never ending, I almost never went there. I find it a little isolated if you know what I mean. I still wanted to include it in here for the sake of information. If you are a surfer and have a shortboard with you, you can find reef breaks just a few meters from the beach.

Be careful because the bottom is rocky. Since it’s not a super famous spot for surfing there is no surfboard rentals that I know of. Locals have their own boards.

Hawksbill bay

This is the beach of the Hotel that gets the same name, Hawksbill Resort but it’s not private and anyone can have access, but not to the hotel facilities unless you buy a day pass.

This beach is a bit off the main road and there is no restaurant in the area so if you decide to stay all day bring something to eat and drink unless you decide to get a day pass in the hotel.

The Inn Hotel overview of the beach and bay
The Inn beach – Shutterstock image

Deep Bay

Right beside Hawksbill bay, you will find this isolated spectacular beach that almost nobody knows of. There was an old semi-abandoned hotel right on the beach which is still there. On the side of the beach, there is a nice short hike to Fort Barrington with amazing views on the bay.

No restaurants are available in the area.

Nearby hotels

Galley Bay

Galley Bay is another one on my list of favorite hotels in Antigua. It’s an adult only all inclusive and it shares the beach only with the spectacular house owned by the Italian stylist Giorgio Armani. The hotel has an extraordinary service and a top-notch dining experience and spectacular rooms facing the beach and the water. The beach is out of this world, very secluded and immaculate white. However, on this side of the island, the see can be quite rough at times.

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pink beach in barbuda
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Barbuda pink sand

Have you ever heard about Barbuda pink sand beach? It does exist for real and it’s of unimaginable beauty, still wild and untouched. There are only a few hotels on the island. You can get there by ferry on your own or on an organized tour. I would certainly stay there a couple of nights, to enjoy it fully.

As a side note, besides basking on the dreamy beaches Barbuda offers one of the biggest Frigate bird sanctuaries in the world, where thousands of Frigate birds gather during mating season. You will see their inflated red necks which serve the males to attract females. It’s simply a spectacular show to watch.

Hotels in Barbuda

Coco Point Lodge

Coco Point is the oldest hotel in Barbuda and the most popular. They don’t even need advertisements because they live mainly on their affectionate guests that return every year. Yes, it’s that beautiful. Nothing pretentious, though, just comfy and cozy and right on the spectacular Barbuda beach.

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Here you go! I hope I didn’t forget anything and it will be a useful guide whenever you decide to visit the island. And hopefully, I have given you 365 reasons to book your trip. Should you have any questions feel free to ask either via email or in the comment below. Happy travels 🙂

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