Are you dreaming about deserted tropical beaches, lush green landscapes, sun drenched skies and a rum punch or two? Well, the small island nation of Grenada just off the coast of Venezuela delivers on all three counts and much more.
Only 21 miles long and 12 miles wide the island will weave its magic on you with its rich blend of heritage and amazing natural beauty. This travel guide to visiting the beautiful Caribbean island will show you exactly why you should consider adding to your bucket list, a holiday to Grenada.
Travel Guide To Grenada
Disclosure: I was hosted by the Grenada Tourist Board, however, all views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a copyright of the Curious Pixie. This post also contains affiliate links whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my disclosure policy here.
Watch the highlights from my Grenadian adventure:
why go to grenada
Not to get confused with Gran-ah-dah the Andalusian city, Gren-eh-dah is the Caribbean volcanic island minus all the crowds.
Laid back and utterly charming, Grenada is less developed than other Caribbean islands. Visitors get to experience authentic island life without the heavy commercialisation at every turn.
The tropical paradise, a former British colony boasts dramatic mountainous landscapes, a rich spice-producing heritage and is home to some of the finest chocolate.
Read on to discover the best of Grenada and more of my travel guide, from what to do, eat and where to sleep:
Things To Do in Grenada
Explore St George’s
The bustling capital of Grenada is frequently referred to by locals as just town and is classed as one of the most beautiful cities in all of the Caribbean. An array of colourful houses cascade down the hillside to the calm bay surrounding St George’s.
Hike up to Fort George, the 300 year old fortress with working cannons. At the top admire the 360 degree views of the city and out beyond to the Caribbean Sea hence why it’s relatively high up on this ultimate travel guide to Grenada because it’s a must do on your next holiday!
Make time to wander the historic streets, along the harbour waterfront, known as the Carenage. The restored Georgian buildings now house shops, restaurants and ocean front bars playing relaxing Caribbean reggae music all day long.
make your own chocolate
This spice island is making big waves in the chocolate market with a boom in the trend for bean to bar chocolate making. Entrepreneurs from the US and the UK have arrived on the shores of the Caribbean island searching not for beaches and rum, but for world class cocoa!
There are five chocolate producers on the island and Tri-Island Chocolate is the new kid on the block. Founder Aaron Sylvester inherited the cocoa land from his grandparents. In a life-changing decision, he stepped away from digital music marketing in London and into the world of Grenadian chocolate.
Tri-Island have launched a great Grenada chocolate making experience in their shop and cafe in St George. After a one hour workshop at a cost of £31, visitors leave with two chocolate bars made by their own fair hands and learn about cocoa and the chocolate making process.
Tri-Island | Lower Lucas Street | St Georges | Grenada | Website
go rum tasting
Almost every Caribbean island produces its own rum and Grenada is no exception. Plenty of places offer rum tasting such as the the River Antoine Estate home to the oldest rum distillery in Grenada, which has been producing rum since 1785. Their most famous is the Rivers Overproof rum at 70% ABV. It’s so potent it can only be enjoyed in Grenada as airlines have banned the combustible liquid on flights. Thankfully they do make different strengths which are fine to transport.
Head to the abundance of rum shacks around the island and bartenders will be happy to talk through all the different varieties. Most hotels will also hold their own rum tasting sessions.
TOP TIP: And for the daredevils out there ask for the under-the-counter rum or Babash as it’s locally known. This traditional homemade version is an infusion of various herbs and spices. Each one will be different with ingredients like mountain spice, lemongrass, cinnamon bark and a number of exotic species like scorpions. Be prepared, it’s very, very strong!
INDULGE IN GRENADIAN CUISINE
In Grenada the smell of spice lingers in the air, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaf, clove, turmeric, thyme, and lemongrass grow in abundance. With year round sunshine and fertile soil, they produce many organic fruits and vegetables like coconuts, sweet potatoes, callaloo (similar to spinach), papaya and mangoes.
The melting pot of cultures means you’ll eat lots of French, Spanish, African, and Indian influenced cuisine too with Caribbean spices adding a delicious twist. Travelling as a vegetarian I had no issues with food always had plenty of options.
Try the national dish oil down, basically a one-pot feast of either meat or saltfish with vegetables and dumplings (vegetarian versions are available too). Then the Frybakes or just bakes filled with either saltfish, corned beef or cheese. My favourite callaloo soups and roti, thin wraps stuffed with curried meat, fish or vegetables. And of course a rum punch or cocoa tea can help wash it all down.
READ MORE: Where to Eat in Grenada
tour a nutmeg plant
You can’t visit the Spice Island and not experience a spice tour. Grenada now produces almost a third of the world’s supply of nutmeg. In the small fishing village of Gouyave, northwest of the island you can discover how. Watch all the stages of nutmeg and mace production in the largest nutmeg processing factory on the island. The factory is still run by hand labour and give you a fascinating insight into factories of old.
TOP TIP: Don’t miss trying trying nutmeg ice cream or nutmeg jelly (jam for the UK readers) whilst in Grenada. Slightly addicted I bought back four jars which should keep me going until my next visit.
snorkel with eagle rays
Explore the magic of Grenada’s marine paradise, there are great sites for snorkeling and diving on both the north and southern tips of the island.
Initially the plan was to experience the Underwater Sculpture Park, however rain in the vicinity meant the team at Aquanauts based at True Blue Bay Resort had to do some quick thinking. The alternative site was Glover Island.
Here we swam with beautiful eagle rays amongst the beautiful coral. Great visibility, and warm waters made for an incredible experience. This rain cloud certainly had a silver lining.
Hike in the Grand Etang rainforest
There are lots of hiking trails within the Grand Etang National Park all varying in duration and difficulty. The natural wonderland centres around the large volcanic crater lake.
We enjoyed a half day tour of the rainforest with Hidden Treasures Hikes and our experienced guide Simon. The tours start from start from £45 and can be adapted for ability and age.
You’ll find all the flora and fauna typical from the island in this microcosm of Grenada’s mountainous interior. Hike to and swim in the waterfalls, meet the ever so friendly Mona monkeys and enjoy the wilder side of Grenada.
Hidden Treasures Hikes | Saint George | Grenada | Contact
relax in the clabony SULPHUR springs
One of the best parts of the Hidden Treasures Hikes tour was a visit to Clabony Sulphur Springs. The route to the springs can be a little complicated, so it’s best to hire a local tour guide. Hike or drive through banana and nutmeg plantations to reach the point from where you are able to walk to the springs.
A short walk over gurgling streams and over rocks will lead to a waist height rock pool. The rain fell as we relaxed in the naturally warm waters whilst we rubbed the sulphur full of healing properties onto our skin and listened to the sounds of the rainforest. A magical moment and one which I didn’t want to end.
visit concord waterfalls
Take a refreshing dip in the clear, cool waters of Concord Falls. Visit the picturesque 100ft cascade by driving 1.5 miles along Concord Mountain Rd from the village of Concord.
Even if the heavens open like they did on our visit it’s still a beautiful site to visit. And if one waterfall isn’t enough, you’re in luck as Concord isn’t one but three waterfalls. The other two Au Coin and Fontainbleu can be reached after a 45 minute hike.
Go ‘lime’ on A beach
When it comes to beaches in Grenada, the question is how many can you fit into your stay. Completely spoilt for choice you’ll find 45 white and 9 black volcanic sand beaches.
All the beaches on the island are public, regardless of how exclusive the area looks. Grand Anse is the most popular, followed by Morne Rouge beach locally known as BBC beach, La Sagesse and Lavera beach. Black Bay beach is where you’ll find the silky volcanic sands.
It’s also the best place to practice the unofficial national pastime of ‘Liming‘. No, I’m not talking about squeezing citrus fruit. It’s more of a state of being and having a good time – Kick back and relax my friends!
Take a Sunset CRUISE on a Traditional Sloop
Enjoy an authentic sailing experience on a traditional handcrafted Carriacou sloop. The vessels history dates back to the 1800s when they were used to trade spices and rum between the Grenadine islands.
Today you can board a sloop with Savvy Sailing, who charter a number of private cruises around the Grenadine islands. Sit back, relax and admire the stunning views of the island from the crystal clear waters. It’s the perfect way to end a day with a rum punch in hand, munching on snacks, listening to music and watching the horizon light up in hues of red, pink and orange.
Savvy Sailing | Saint George| Grenada | St George’s | Grenada | Website
Where to stay in Grenada
true blue bay boutique resort
Friendly and homelike True Blue Bay Resort is a vibrantly designed waterfront hotel. The family run hotel has a strong emphasis on sustainability and recently launched 21 climate-smart Cocoa Pod rooms and suites, all powered primarily by solar energy and harvest rainwater for use in its bathrooms.
Amenities include two swimming pools. yoga studio, kids’ club, onsite shop, spa and dive centre. They even run a complimentary shuttle to Grand Anse Beach.
The popular Dodgy Dock waterfront restaurant and lounge bar is also home to Street Food Wednesdays where a range of local, regional and international street food is on offer – A night many Grenadians look forward to!
READ MORE: On the blog soon
When is the best time to visit Grenada
Grenada enjoys a hot, tropical climate all year round tempered by northeast trade winds. The driest months are typically January to May and rainy season runs from June to December. Or if you would like to experience a party like no other the August Carnival is a great time to visit Grenada.
Located on the southern edge of the hurricane and tropical storm belt, the island is rarely affected by the storms which can occur from July to November.
how to get to Grenada
Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International airport from the UK. Flight time is approximately 10.5 hours with a short stop in St Lucia to change crew whilst passengers remain on board.
Grenada is also a popular stop on many cruise ships and makes for a great day trip.
Other useful information
The Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$) is the local currency in Grenada. Many establishments will accept payments in US Dollars with change being given in local currency. A 10% tax and 10% service charge is added to many hotel and restaurant bills. If no service charge is added at restaurants, a 10% tip is generally expected.
Something not to worry about is plugs. Most places use British style three-pin plugs, but you’ll sometimes see US-style two-pin plugs.
For more information, please visit the Pure Grenada website.
Have you been to the Grenada? Or are you planning a trip? Let me know in the comments box below if you feel there is anything I should specifically add to my ultimate travel guide to Grenada.
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