The Windward Islands, with a much more romantic name in French Îles du Vent, are a group of smaller islands right in the heart of the caribbean. Located a few miles north of the coast of Venezuela and a bit down south east from Puerto Rico’s coast, these ones are right next to the British Virgin Islands. With beaches white as clouds and the world-known aquamarine blue of the caribbean sea, the Windward Islands are no lesser paradise than the Virgin Islands. From north to south, the french département of Martinique, the independent english-speaking Commonwealth islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenada and far off to the east, but still a part of the Windward Islands lies the island of Barbados.

 

The northernmost island is Martinique has a special landscape - not only the island itself is a volcanic island, it also has an active volcano, Mount Pelée with a height of more than 4,500 ft., sitting on its northern part and going further south you encounter the Carbet Mountains with its highest peak, Lacroix Peak, reaching nearly 4,000 ft. But Martinique is not only a mountainous island, the island also has the infamous caribbean fine sand beaches with palm trees all around, so you can leave your sunshades at home without any worries. The notorious Martinican cuisine is a mélange of French, Caribbean, African and even South Asian cuisine and therefore makes it an unbelievably gorgeous experience to go out eating on Martinique.

 

Martinique’s smaller neighbour, Saint Lucia is nearly the same in landscape rather with two inactive volcanos, the Gros Piton and the Petit Piton. The island is bisected from north to south by a central mountain ridge with nearly endless forests.

 

Through its volcanic origin, most of the island’s shores are rugged or steep cliffs and inbetween those you find white and golden sand beaches in crystal clear blue bays of water -          a beautiful sight.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadine is a smaller group of island within the Windward Islands consisting of more than 30 islands and islets - makes for the perfect discovery from St. Vincent to Grenada, the two larger islands. As usual in the caribbean, clear blue ocean and white sand beaches and especially for the Windward Islands the forest-covered hills and mountains as a backdrop creating a beautiful scene on each one of these islands. St. George’s, the capital city of Grenada, is the yachting and charter-boat centre of the eastern caribbean. Just a few miles to the north of Grenada, an interesting landmark named “Kick-’em-Jenny” is situated. It is an active submarine volcano and her neighbour “Kick-em-Jack”, a smaller volcano below the sea. All the islands of this smaller group are of volcanic origin, which gives them their special mountainous forests and pristine white sand beaches.

Way over a hundred miles to the east, Barbados lies quietly in the caribbean ocean. Different to all the other Windward Islands, Barbados is exactly between the south american and the caribbean plates, so the island is of a different origin than the others and because of this the east goes into an incline and the west slopes in a series of terraces. Most of Barbados’s coast is circled by coral reefs and although the difference in origin, the island still flaunts you with the characteristic caribbean landscape details of gorgeous beauches, mostly untouched nature and crystal clear waters, with the only difference in being flatter than the other Windward Islands.

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14 days sailing holiday on a monohull or catamaran in the Grenadines

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