The multi-island country of St Vincent and the Grenadines is a land of contrasts: the volcanic, mountainous St Vincent contrasting with the flat, mainly bare coral reefs of the Grenadines. . The administration of the islands of the Grenadines group is divided between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada; St. Vincent and the Grenadines is comprised of 32 islands and cays.
Population: 116,394 (July 2002 est.)
Area: total: 389 sq km (Saint Vincent 344 sq km)
Highest point: Soufriere 1,234 m
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a plural country and for many visitors its jewels are the sunny Grenadine isles. In contrast with the rugged beauty of St. Vincent, the Grenadines offer clear blue waters and white sand beaches with unparalleled sailing and snorkeling.
From Bequia in the north to Petit St. Vincent in the south, these islands are truly the epitome of tranquility.
Mustique, Canouan and Union Island have airstrips with scheduled and charter flights and luxurious hotels. To further experience the magic of the Grenadines you may wish to sail.
Sailing south from St. Vincent, the first island you reach is Bequia, the largest of the St. Vincent Grenadines. The journey from Kingstown lasts about an hour - spend the time watching flying fish skimming over the waves alongside your boat.
As you sail into Admiralty Bay, the white sands of Princess Margaret Beach glisten on your right just a short ride by water taxi from the main jetty. In the south of the island, find Friendship Bay, a horseshoe-shaped haven of calm with perfect conditions for swimming and watersports.
For centuries, Bequians have made their living from the sea as sailors, fishermen, whalers and boat builders. You will still see boats constructed in the traditional way at various points along the coast. Take time to admire the skill and craftsmanship of the boatbuilders. Everywhere the atmosphere is relaxing and you will not want to tear yourself away.
When you do, head south past the towering rock islands of Battowia and Ballicaeu , towards the magic and mystery of Mustique. Looking out across the turquoise blue waters and white coral sands, it is plain too see what attracts the rich and famous to this small gem in the wide ocean.
Luxuriuos villas blend into the scenery with meticulous attention to prserving the natural; vegetation and the island's privacy.
One of the features of the Grenadines scenery, which adds to their fascination, is the scenic view of other islands. On Mustique to the Southwest is Mount Royal, in Canouan to the West is Isle a Quatre Petit Nevis and Bequia.
Canouan is a crescent-shaped island with some of the best, most private beaches in the Caribbean. Still largely untouched by man, Canouan is a superb place to get away from it all and unwind. For the more energetic, the clear blue waters are ideal for a variety of watersports, or you can walk to the abandoned village in the north of the island, destroyed by a hurricane in 1921, and see its marvelous church.
The beaches at Glossy Bay and on the stunning windward coats are the stuff which dreams are made of. To reach the windward beaches you must cross the narrow spine of hills that form the backbone of Canouan, before emerging in paradise.
South of Canouan is the island of Mayreau and the celebrated Tobago Cays, reputed to be unsurpassed for sailing and snorkeling. In these waters, you will be astounded by the infinite variety of brightly coloured tropical fish and coral, all protected from the ravages of the sea by the impressive World's End Reef.
Looking south from St. Vincent or any of the Grenadines, you will see the peaks of Union Island piercing the horizon. Union is somewhat reminiscent of Tahiti, dominated by mountains that fall away to palms and sands at the water's edge. The views of the surrounding islands are quite breathtaking.
Union Island has two small towns, Clifton and Ashton, joined by the south coast road with magnificent views over a coral shelf towards Carriacou and the other Grenada Grenadines. Clifton is the centre of activity with a choice of three hotels to suit a range of tastes. There are also several shops that serve the local community and the multitude of yachts always anchored in Clifton.
Union has relatively few beaches but the trip to Big Sand on the north shore should not be missed.
The Palm Island resort, just a mile from Clifton in Union Island, is today a beautiful island surrounded by white sand beaches, but the island's beauty is only a recent phenomenon. Once swampy and known as Prune Island, it has been totally transformed by planting vast quantities of Palms, thus giving the island its new name. From west facing Casuarina Beach, you have a perfect view of Union Island and you can swim in clear blue waters among yachts and tropical fish without a care in the world.
The Southern Grenadines:
On maps of the southern Grenadines, you will be intrigued by the shifting sandbanks known as Punaise and Mopion . Punaise is often submerged but not so Mopion, the sort of desert island paradise you thought existed only in your dreams. Perched atop a coral reef, its pure white sands extend all around, forming an ideal location for snorkeling. An infinite variety of tropical fish and coral thrive here and the hours just slide by as you soak up the sun and take in the atmosphere.
The southernmost point in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the exclusive resort island of Petit St. Vincent (PSV). Privacy is the natural way of things here - the tiny island is surrounded by beach and you will almost always have a stretch entirely to yourself.
Like the rest of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, PSV is exclusively Caribbean.
Watching the sun set over the sea in a dazzling array of red, orange and pink is one last memory to treasure.
Union Island is the ideal launching pad for the short trips to the Tobago Cays, Palm Island, Mayreau and Petit St. Vincent can all be reached in minutes by motorboat or a little longer under sail. Excursion operators will sail you around the unique tropical paradise in an unforgettable day's sailing and snorkeling.
This page was last updated on: July 8, 2017
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COSAGO facilitated the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Independence of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at a Church Service, Sunday, October 24th 2004.
"Proud to be a Vincentian, celebrating 25 years as a Nation"