The Grenadines are a group of islands located in the Windward Islands falling under the jurisdiction of St Vincent. To maximise the time spent exploring this beautiful cluster of islands you can take an island hopper aeroplane to Union Island, Bequia or Mustique and eliminate the longer sailing passages between St Lucia to Bequia and Grenada to Union Island which can be quite rough during the winter months. This way you get to cruise the best islands for longer:
Union Island – Palm Island – Tobago Cays – Mustique – Bequia – Canouan – Mayreau – Petit St Vincent – Union Island
A typical Grenadines charter starting from Union Island would visit the following islands:
There are two safe anchorages on this island the main one being Clifton Harbour where you can pickup your charter yacht, and the other secluded anchorage being Chatham Bay where snorkeling is excellent.
Clifton Harbour anchorage lies outside of the main town on Union Island, you will anchor behind a reef. Several years ago the then Minister of Tourism on Union Island was tasked with cleaning up the beaches and clearing the discarded conch shells that the local fishermen used to throw onto the beach, once they had harvested their catch. He decided to gather the empty conch shells and to pile them in a heap onto the reef outside of Clifton Harbour. Soon the mound was above water and it continued to grow with more and more conch shells. The entrepreneurial Janti decided to use these conch shells as a foundation, and built a bar on top. You can still visit Janti’s Happy Island and enjoy a great rum punch or a sundowner and watch the world go by. You will probably be entertained by the kiteboarders who skim across the reef with great agility.
The town of Clifton doesn’t have a lot to offer the tourists except for a few teeshirts. There is however a great vegetable market in town.
Chatham Bay is a beautiful secluded anchorage with a stunning crescent shaped beach. Snorkeling in this bay is excellent a long the north wall of the bay. You are likely to spot turtles, rays, flying gurnards as well as reef fish. Over the past few years several tiny beach bars have been erected on the beach, and this is a great spot to enjoy a beer and watch your beautiful yacht at anchor.
This is a private island resort once called Prune Island, however due to the number of coconut palms that were planted on this island it was renamed Palm Island.
You can visit this island for lunch.
Palm Island is located to the southeast of Union Island.
This is a cluster of tiny uninhabited islands surrounded by coral reef.
Daily locals sail out from Union Island to sell their teeshirts, ice etc. to the boats that are moored here.
Normally you can swim with turtles at this location.
Anchoring in Tobago Cays is one of the highlights of your Grenadines cruise. To be moored behind the reef knowing that the seas lapping around your yacht, have travelled 2,500 miles from Africa. Tobago Cays is a unique location in the Grenadines.
Mustique is well known due to the rich and famous that own villas on this small immaculately manicured island.
Frequent visitors include the late Princess Margaret who used to visit regularly, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, the late David Bowie and more recently Robbie Williams who purchased a villa on the island in 2013.
You can sit having lunch at the Cotton House and pet Guinness, Mick Jagger’s dog, who’s only allowed out when Mick’s off island.
The other famous bar is Basil’s Bar which used to attract celebrities, however since Basil sold his story in the form of a book, it isn’t quite so popular.
Yachts are only allowed to moor in Britannia Bay. You are charged a fee, which gives you up to 3 nights mooring in this location.
Exploring this tiny island is a must. Instead of taking a taxi, hire a Mule (motorised golf cart) they are available in various sizes and explore the island by yourself, it’s great fun, and you are provided with a map of the island.
The beaches on the east side of Mustique are stunning they are very wild and windy, but very beautiful especially Macaroni Bay.
Horse riding on this island is the best in the Caribbean. You will be checked out first to establish that you are able to ride, and then you can enjoy a great trek a long one of the beautiful sandy beaches on this island.
Diving off Mustique is also very good, however there are strong currently. Mustique Watersports will take you to the best dive sites given the conditions on the day that you want to dive.
Bequia is a small island famous for whaling and fishing.
It has a turtle sanctuary on it’s north east shores that you can visit, and a fresh local vegetable and fish market which is fun to explore as well as a few lively local bars.
It also has an extremely pretty white sandy beach where most of the yachts anchor in Port Elizabeth called Princess Margaret Beach, named after the Queen of England’s sister who often used to visit this island whilst she was vacationing on the nearby island of Mystique.
If you visit Sweetie Pie in town you can buy the best local Roti in the Grenadines.
Another nice winter anchorage is located on the southeast corner of the island called Friendship Bay. This bay has a beautiful crescent shaped white sandy beach.
Diving is great off Bequia however the current can be strong. You can expect to see shoals of fish as well as reef fish and you also have the wreck of the Stratmann Tug to explore.
Bequia holds a popular Sailing Regatta ever Easter. You will find local wooden workboats as well as visitors taking part in this regatta.
The small island of Canouan used to rely on fishermen & farmers with no other industry.
Then 15 years ago half of the island got sold initially to an Italian developer who created the luxurious Canouan Resort.
This exclusive resort was managed by Raffles for several years with a very good but extremely expensive Trump International golf course which was designed by Jim Fazio.
Sadly Raffles pulled out of the resort but it re-opened in 2014 as Pink Sands Club with the owners of Sandy Lane Barbados backing the new venture.
Your charter yacht can anchor in Charlestown Bay on this island, and ashore you can visit the Tamarind Hotel, which is nice for lunch if you do not wish to visit the luxury resort of Pink Sands Club.
Mayreau is a tiny island with a large salt pond and lots of local fishermen.
There is one small resort on the island located in Salt Whistle Bay.
Your charter yacht will moor in Saline Bay just off a long white sandy beach. There is a dock where your yacht crew can land the tender so that you can go ashore to explore. If you take the road that runs up the hill through the village it will eventually come to the tiny church at the top of the hill which has stunning views over Tobago Cays to the east and Union Island to the south.
From Saline Bay you can also walk to the beaches on the east side of the island that are wild and windy, but extremely beautiful and semi protected by an outer reef.
Mayreau is the smallest inhabited island within the Grenadines cluster of islands.
Petit St Vincent (PSV)
This is a tiny island again with a private resort which you can visit for lunch or dinner.
This luxury boutique hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotel group, and it has a new addition to the amenities on offer this year; it is now the home of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s (son of the famous Jacques Cousteau) Ocean Future Society that offers excellent diving in the Grenadines.
Just a short dinghy ride away from PSV is the tiny sand bar called Mopion. Here you will find a tiny deserted sandy island surrounded by turquoise crystal clear water. The only structure erected on this island is a tiny wooden sun shade roofed with palm fronds and attached to it’s support is a bottle opener, so that you can open your bottle of beer and relax in paradise! The real Robinson Crusoe adventure.
Return to Union Island to catch your flight home.
The local currency XCD is referred to locally as EC$ Eastern Caribbean Dollar. At banks the fixed rate of exchange is 2.67 to $1 USD.
Local Language: English
Currency: Eastern Caribbean Dollar