ATBA’s Top 10 Beaches in Antigua

Hey Guys!

Last Summer, I made a bucket list which involved visiting as many new beaches as possible. Before that, I actually wanted to see how many of the 365 beaches in Antigua I could list. However, things don’t always go as planned. This summer whenever a beach trip idea came to mind, I always attempted to find one I (or my boyfriend) have never been to. Therefore, by visiting these beaches and having prior experience I decided to make this list.

As I mentioned before, Antigua is said to have 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. I’m not entirely sure if there’s a list of them found somewhere or who actually counted and named them all. Lowkey I believe it’s all a tourism ploy. Nonetheless, we do have an abundant amount of beautiful beaches located all around the island, as well as on our offshore islands.

In no particular order, I’m sharing my top 10 beaches that I enjoy visiting. If you’re ever in Antigua, check them out and let me know what you think.

1/ Deep Bay

Location
Western side of the island | 10 – 15 minutes from town (St. John’s)

Arriving at this beach requires you to take a trip down a rugged dirt path. It’s quite a rough drive but it’s definitely worth it. What awaits you is a sight to behold. The old bridge over the salt pond transcends you to an area riddled with history and beauty. The path to the right takes you on a rather short hike up to the historic Fort Barrington. From here, there is an excellent view of Deep Water Harbor where cruise ships dock, the salt pond and Deep Bay Beach. (You can also see the Andes shipwreck in the water if you look closely!)

There are a few trees scattered along the beach which provides shade. The newly opened Royalton Resort is also situated at one end of the beach so you may see a few tourist on your visit. It’s actually a local favorite so don’t expect seclusion. As for the beach itself, I prefer when I can see where I’m walking, soft sand aka no pebbles/stones and no seaweed or anything of the sort. By those standards, it passed the test.

One thing to note when visiting is to walk with your own food/snacks before coming as there are no restaurants nearby.

View from Fort Barrington
Deep Bay, Antigua

2/ Galley Bay

Location
Western side of the island | 15 – 20 minutes from town

Over the hill from Deep Bay you can find Galley Bay which houses Galley Bay Resort as well as private homes. Thankfully in Antigua, all beaches are open to the public. If you know me, you should know why this is one of my favorites.

Galley Bay actually boasts of two beaches separated by a rock formation. On one end there’s a long stretch which the hotel utilizes. To me, it also appears to be the rough side (I’ve never walked the entire stretch of it though). The other end is much smaller and secluded, which is where I normally occupy. The area is also frequented by locals in the village and tourists looking to snorkel.

The sand isn’t as soft as the others, but the water is definitely clear enough to see anything that may creep up on you.

3/ Turners Beach

Location
South-Western side of the island | 20 – 25 minutes from town

Before my visit this summer, I’ve probably been to this beach about three times. The fourth time was definitely the charm for me! On this particular day, the usual access point (through the restaurant) was closed so we had to venture through an abandoned hotel to get to the beach. That was definitely the right choice. The beach was pretty empty this day except for a few other beachgoers. There are numerous umbrellas along the beach providing excellent shade. What also makes this beach enjoyable is the soft white sand and clear, shallow waters.

Turners Beach

4/ Long Bay

Location
Eastern side of the island | 30 – 40 minutes from town

When it comes to bank holidays, this is where you’d find quite a few people. The beach houses The Pineapple Beach Resort on one end but that shouldn’t deter you- it’s called Long Bay for a reason! There is lots of space available along this massive beach and public access points. There are also two restaurants and many vendors so grabbing a bite shouldn’t be a problem. The water is splendid and great for snorkeling due to the presence of a few coral reefs offshore. This is definitely a must-visit!

5/ Pigeon Point

Location
Southern side of the island | 30 – 40 minutes from town

Depending on where you are staying, Pigeon Point may require some lengthy traveling to get there. The beach is located in a tourist hotspot, English Harbor but it is also frequented by locals. There is plenty of shade available and there are many restaurants in the nearby village and on the beach. The water is super calm and warm making it perfect for families and its also a great snorkeling spot.

Pigeon Point Beach

6/ Hermitage Bay

Location
Western side of the island | 20 – 25 minutes from town

This has got to be one of my favorite beaches ever! (Despite my lack of photos) Although there are hotels and private property nearby, the beach is virtually untouched. The water is super calm and relaxing with powder white sand. It is the epitome of the ideal Caribbean beach.

7/ Ffryes Beach

Location
South-Western side of the island | 20 – 25 minutes from town

Ffryes is one of the more popular beaches on island but all with good reason. There is a lot of space (both for parking and ashore), a public restroom, and restaurants available. The beach is normally used for picnics or parties so there is almost always something going on down here especially on weekends and public holidays. Nonetheless, the tranquil, blue water makes it a super relaxing spot for anyone who visits.

Ffryes Beach

8/ Pinching Bay

Location
Western side of the island

Unspoiled: that’s the perfect way to describe Pinching Bay. The beach is virtually untouched and is absent of any resorts, restaurants or any amenities. This may sound like a turn-off to some but to others it could be a relaxing utopia. I’ve only been to this beach once via a boat cruise. Initially, I was unsure of whether or not there was a land access for this beach but further research has clarified that it is accessible by 4 wheel drive through a dirt path. A bit difficult to reach but like most of the other beaches I’ve listed, the waters are clear and shallow making the visit worth it.

9/ Galleon Beach

Location
Southern side of the island | 30 – 40 minutes from town

Galleon Beach is located in the heart of one of Antigua’s National Parks. From Galleon Beach, you can see Fort Berkeley in the distance ahead as well as the famous Nelson’s Dockyard to the west. Depending on the time of your visit, you may also be able to see the yachts docked out at sea. If you decide to take the venture out to this beach, you might as well as take the hike to “Mermaid Gardens”. It’s a rock pool formation with a trail available at the east end of the beach and it takes about 15-20 minutes to get there. It’s definitely a cool, picturesque spot if I do say so myself.

Once you enjoyed your time swimming, drive a little further and you can visit Shirley Heights lookout to enjoy the sunset. There’s a small charge though seeing that it is a part of the National Park but the view is priceless. If you’re hungry, there are a plethora of restaurants available in both English Harbor and Falmouth. My personal favorite is Sweet T’s in Falmouth where I visited after our beach visit for a quick bite.

Galleon Beach

10/ Darkwood Beach

Location
South-Western side of the island | 20 – 25 minutes from town

Probably one of the most accessible beaches in Antigua, Darkwood Beach would have to be the perfect spot for just anyone. It’s located along a main road often frequented by public transportation so its quite easy to get here. The beach is absolutely beautiful with the same white powder sand and tranquil, turquoise waters. Shade is plentiful and there is even a restaurant which offers local cuisine as well as free wifi for customers.

What sets Darkwood apart from its counterparts is the presence of an inflatable water park! For a small fee, members of any age group can have fun on the obstacle course so it’s literally perfect for everyone.

Darkwood Beach
Do you notice a trend with most of my favourite beaches?
Have you been to any of the beaches I listed? What’s your favorite Antiguan Beach? Let me know!