The Windward Islands consist of five countries and more than 600 islands. At the heart is St Vincent and the Grenadines, an island country that offers 32 absolutely fascinating and tempting destinations. Heading north you will discover the colourful St Lucia, diverse Martinique & mountainous Dominica while south is the Spice island of Grenada and of course hundreds of other islands contained within these countries.
Much smaller and lesser developed than the more northern Leeward Islands, much of the Windward Islands carry a canopy of lush tropical rainforest, while on the shorelines you will discover that secluded and sheltered anchorages and captivating, palm-fringed beaches are in abundance. Also scattered across the islands and around the bays are picturesque smaller villages and French-influenced towns with colonial houses featuring charming gingerbread fretwork, and everywhere are carefree islanders from another culture making you feel most welcome.
This is the destination of choice for those wanting a more laid-back, peaceful Caribbean holiday with dramatic vistas, stunning walks, untouched beaches and the best snorkelling in crystal clear seas. Their relativeness remoteness ensures a more private and secluded experience with the opportunity of mixing with either local characters or international celebs ... whatever takes your fancy.
As the name suggests, balmy trade winds blow consistently across this region, so not surprisingly, many charterers choose the experience of being under sail when cruising the Windward Islands.
The Luxury Charter Group has, for your consideration, a select fleet of professionally presented and crewed charter yachts – power and sail – in the Windward Islands. Each vessel is chosen to ensure that you and your guests enjoy an unsurpassed sailing experience when cruising the Windward Islands.
St Vincent & the Grenadines
The Grenadine islands represent all that defines the paradise that the Caribbean is: beautiful islands with swaying palm trees ringed by stunning white beaches and colourful reefs. They lie south of Saint Vincent and stretch nearly 50 miles towards Grenada. Named The Grenadines by swashbuckling pirates in the 17th century, modern-day sailors cruising to the Grenadines aboard a luxury charter yacht have 32 captivating islands and cays to explore. While the most well-known may be familiar including Mustique and Bequia there are many more, each with their own character and navigating among them is pure joy. With far too many to list, here are a few not to miss:
Pronounced 'bekway' and located only nine miles south of St Vincent, it covers just seven square miles. Considered by many to be the best destination in the Windward Islands, Admiralty Bay is one of the finest natural harbours in the Caribbean. The capital, Port Elizabeth, is a charming town comprising many colourful wooden buildings. Glorious golden sand beaches and beach bar hideaways are a feature. The island is famous for the small and colourful model boats made by the islanders, a tradition that harks back to the whaling days.
Mustique in particular is known throughout the world as a hideaway for the rich and famous with gracious private villas and the famous Basil's Bar. It's mostly just a wooden balcony with the waves lapping underneath serving good food with a sociable bar and an open-air dance floor and you can never be sure what celebrity (think Mick Jagger) is going to rock up on any given night. There are some beautiful beaches on the island and excellent diving on coral reefs to be experienced. The island is so small you can take in the sights by foot or on horseback.
A spectacular cluster of uninhabited cays offering excellent diving on easily accessible tropical reefs. The inner reefs offer warm, shallow water with some of the best snorkelling in the world. The range of the marine life you will see will astound as you swim among the colourful reefs and sponges, tropical fish and sea turtles. Not to be missed and yet another destination that is difficult to leave.
With a slightly rough diamond feel Union Island is delightful. The main "town" Clifton has a local charm with markets and funky bars and restaurants but the place to go is the other side of the island. Chatham Bay is home to a few laidback and very friendly beach bars. The time to be there is sunset.... this is THE place to see the ever-elusive "green flash" as the sun meets the sea... with your toes in the sand, Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley in the background and a rum punch in your hand...
The largest island is very much un-developed and unique in many ways. The focal point on approach is the 4000 foot high active volcano, La Soufriere, at the northern end of the island, which is 18 miles long and 11 miles wide. The island scenery is a symphony of rugged natural beauty, volcanic black sand beaches with intriguing little villages scattered along this scenic coastline. St Vincent, which is well known for its excellent diving opportunities, is largely unspoiled and chosen by many as the location for starting or concluding your Luxury Yacht Charter Group Windward Islands experience.
The beautiful pearl in the entrancing string of Windward Islands St Lucia is everything you dream about for your luxury yacht charter vacation in the Caribbean; a destination teeming with cultural treasures and relics to natural wonders. There is colourful and spectacular wildlife to be found in the tropical rain forests, the acres of old banana plantations and the most inviting palm-lined shoreline imaginable. The lovely towns, equally as colourful as the wildlife, reflect the mixed East Indian, French, English, and African heritage as does the richly diverse music and culture.
Overshadowing the southern town of Soufrière is the majestic twin peaks of the geological wonder that is the Pitons that soar above the ocean floor... the most impossibly photogenic of all of the Caribbean summits. You can top up your tan by lazing on a beautiful beach; dive or snorkel on vibrant coral reefs, go rock climbing or fish for the big ones without failure. The French obviously recognised St Lucia's attributes long ago: they established the first European settlement there in 1643.
Walk in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus, delight in some of the most magnificent scenic beauty to be found in the Caribbean, and savour the pleasures of French gastronomic flair in its many restaurants and cafes – and you have a large slice of what is to be discovered in Martinique, one of the Caribbean's most enchanting and international of islands.
Known as the Island of Flowers, this French outpost in the Caribbean is a destination full of scenic and culinary surprises for you. The bustling capital, Fort de France, is particularly French and exciting with the finest of French goods from food to clothing and perfumes available. The place oozes French style and energy; but if it is peace, serenity and seclusion you seek, then it is close at hand. The island's heavily indented coastline provides the opportunity for many voyages of discovery, to isolated beaches, tranquil palm-fringed bays, and anchorages that are embraced by shorelines untouched by nothing more than Mother Nature herself.
Mount Pelée, a still-smoldering active volcano at the northern end of the island, is a natural phenomenon with a tragic history: It erupted in 1902 and engulfed the nearby town of Saint-Pierre in a matter of minutes. Some 30,000 islanders perished, making it worst volcanic eruption of the 20th century.
The mantle of 'the Nature isle of the Caribbean' sits comfortably with Dominica, untouched by mass tourism with the absence of direct international flights. Its natural attributes are almost beyond compare – verdant and dense rain forests that sprawl across the mountains, volcanic activity, the world's second-largest hot spring, and matchless plant, animal and birdlife.
This is where you can go ashore from your luxury charter yacht and bask on numerous unspoilt white sandy beaches, claiming them as your very own retreat from the everyday world. When the urge takes you, you can swim in inviting tepid and turquoise waters, snorkel or dive into the world of coral reefs and vibrant sea-life, or wander aimlessly along the sand.
With few flashy resorts but definitely flashy fauna and flora, and no great beach culture this is a very different Caribbean fast developing into the eco-tourist destination for those that prefer the quiet peacefulness that a closeness to nature brings. Here you enjoy the untamed Caribbean and she has the ability to awe you.
An island country comprising Grenada and six smaller islands, this is another strong contender for being the most beautiful Caribbean destination. Its natural beauty is everything you would want – bold island scenery, idyllic golden beaches where the coconut palms and banana plantations sway ever so casually in the gentle breeze. The capital, St Georges has a colonial charm with a colourful market housing stalls piled high with local spices... it's no wonder this is The Spice Island.
It is also somewhat more underdeveloped than other main Caribbean islands with no major international resorts or high rise developments and it is still easy to find a quiet beach, and beautiful beaches there are a plenty.
Divers can enjoy the lure of coral reefs and sunken wrecks, and there is every chance you will see pods of whales while you cruise between the islands. Grenada's airport provides easy access to the USA and Europe and so is a good place for you to start and/or finish your charter.