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Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Black Point Tunnel

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an island nation belonging to the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean. The country is commonly referred to simply as St. Vincent. The entire territory measures at 150 square miles consisting of more than 30 islands and cays although only 9 of these islands are inhabited. With so many islands, there are plenty of attractions to visit when you travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Travel to St. Vincent and the GrenadinesThe main port and capital city of St. Vincent is Kingstown. As part of its history, St. Vincent has been colonized by the French and British. Today, St. Vincent is a member of many top organizations including the Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of East Caribbean States and CELAC or Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

St. Vincent was used as location for one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which helped to somewhat gain additional exposure for the country as a tourist spot. This also attracted more investors to the country. However, agriculture continues to be the primary source of economic growth in the island. Banana production, in particular, is the most important sector of the country’s economy. Despite that, unemployment continues to be a major issue in the country.

Currency: East Caribbean Dollar

Official Language: English is the official language in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Wi-Fi Availability: You can find many hotels, cafes and restaurants with unrestricted Wi-Fi access. However, not all can offer reliable or high quality connection. The airport has free Wi-Fi too.

Airport/s: The E.T. Joshua Airport is the main international airport servicing flights that travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Visa Required: St. Vincent and the Grenadines is part of the mutual visa-waiver agreement with the European Union as of May 2015. This means that all citizens from the Schengen area can travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines without a visa for a maximum stay period of 90 days. Meanwhile, the citizens of the following countries are required to obtain visa prior to travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines: China, Iran, Iraq, Dominican Republic, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Nigeria.

Driving: In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, you must drive on the left side of the road.

Travel to St. Vincent and the GrenadinesTravel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

International Driver’s License Accepted? Unless you carry an international driving license, you must obtain a temporary driving license in St. Vincent.

Crime: The safety concern is on a serious level in St. Vincent. Crime rate on the island is higher than other Caribbean nations. Majority of the crimes are also considered serious offense including murder, assault, and rape.

Electrical Adapters: In St. Vincent, they use an electrical voltage of 230 volts at an electrical frequency of 50 Hertz.

Trivia: DID YOU KNOW that aside from white and black sand beaches, there are also gold sand beaches in St Vincent?

Food and Drinks in St. Vincent

Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Comprising of 32 islands and cays, the diversity of the food options in St. Vincent is reflective of its diverse food sources – from the ocean to the tropical forests. When you dine in any restaurant in the island, expect to be served dishes that are made with fresh and in-season ingredients.

The breadfruit has become some sort of symbol for the cuisine of St Vincent. It is closely tied to the heritage and culture of St. Vincent. It is an ingredient used in the country’s national dish. The tradition of serving and eating breadfruit started way back in 1793 when it was served to the slaves because it was cheap and easy to grow. Today, it is celebrated annually through breadfruit festivals observed in August wherein various forms of preparation for breadfruit are showcased.

Aside from breadfruit, arrowroot is another staple ingredient in the cuisine of St. Vincent. This starchy native crop is cleaned, dried and ground in order to make a flour. This flour is then used to cook a variety of other dishes such as cakes, biscuits or breads.

Lastly, seafood is a staple in every meal in St. Vincent. The most common types of seafood found in St. Vincent include mahi mahi, snapper, tuna, bonito and kingfish, to name a few. There is also an abundance of squid, octopus, lobster and queen conch in St. Vincent.

Travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Travel to St. Vincent and the GrenadinesTravel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

La Soufriere – This active volcano is one of the major attractions on the island. Its last eruption was way back in 1979.

St. Vincent Botanical Gardens – This is considered as the oldest botanical garden in the tropical region, as well as the Western Hemisphere. This garden is located in the city of Kingstown. It is home to a wealth of tropical plant species, wherein some are found only in the island. The St. Vincent Botanical Gardens was first established in 1765.

Falls of Baleine – This is one of the finest natural wonders in the island of St. Vincent. It is hard to access but is totally worth it when you get upclose to the falls. This single stage fall features crystal clear waters that plunge to the ground from 60 feet above the ground. It is situated amidst steep cliffs and volcanic formations.

Black Point Tunnel – This tunnel, which is also referred to as the Jasper Rock Tunnel, was constructed in 1815. This is mainly popular as it was used as a location for the film Pirates of the Caribbean. The entire tunnel measures at 300 feet in length.

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Best winter destinations in Europe

Athens

Winter comes in many guises in Europe – in the polar north there’s serious snow and sunless weeks, while you’ll find lingering sunshine in the mild Mediterranean, and cosy cafe culture and Christmas spirit in the centre.

It’s an inspiring time to visit grand cities and charming villages: with fewer queues you can fit more into your itinerary, and off-season accommodation prices make European travel wallet-friendly in November, December, January and February. Via Europe’s train network you can explore countries at your leisure, meeting locals going about their daily business away from the often-frenetic summer tourist season. Here are the 10 best winter destinations in Europe. 

Editor’s note: Please check the latest travel restrictions before planning any trip and always follow government advice.

A reindeer pictured on a farm in winter in Lapland, Rovaniemi of Finland Rovaniemi is the perfect winter wonderland destination © Roman Babakin / Shutterstock

1. Rovaniemi, Finland

Fistfuls of Christmas clichés characterise Rovaniemi, the “official” terrestrial residence of Santa Claus. Everyone’s favourite bearded man hangs out in an atmospheric Arctic Circle grotto, and it’s free to visit him (but photos are another story). Snow and reindeer add festive spirit, while the Arktikum museum gives insights into life at these latitudes.

Tip: Finnish thermometers have more numbers below 0°C than above, so pack serious winter clothing.

Christmas market at sunset in Vienna, Austria; shoppers are browsing stalls on either side of the road, while at the end is an imposing building with spires.Vienna is famous for its spectacular Christmas markets © posztos / Shutterstock

2. Christmas markets in Germany & Austria

December sees these romantic historic markets pop up all over Germany, Austria and other Central European nations. Expect cute stalls selling everything from gingerbread to sleigh bells and plenty of good cheer, toasted with a glass of warming glühwein.

Tip: Famous markets in Cologne, Vienna and Munich draw the tourist crowds, but seeking out ones in smaller towns is rewarding.

The Northern Lights are a green swirl above a snowy forest in Abisko, Sweden.You’re never guaranteed a sighting of the Northern Lights, but a visit to Abisko, Sweden gives you a decent chance © Mihai Speteanu / Shutterstock

3. Abisko, Sweden

Almost as far north as you can get in Europe on a train, Abisko in Lapland is for lovers of serious winter. The sun doesn’t rise for several weeks in December and January but that darkness makes it one of the world’s best places to view the majestic aurora borealis. Other attractions include cross-country skiing along national park trails and husky mushing.

Tip: Stop off at nearby Kiruna to see the famous Icehotel.

A close view of the fluted Doric columns of the Parthenon temple on a sunny day in Athens, Greece.Have the Parthenon and other marvels of Ancient Greece all to yourself on a winter visit to Athens © PavleMarjanovic / Shutterstock

4. Athens, Greece

It’s a real downer trying to Photoshop 500 people out of your would-be-prizewinning Parthenon photo, but during the winter in Athens it’s not an issue. All summer stresses – crowding, tourist pricing, intense heat, queues, air pollution – more or less disappear. The average temperature in Athens during the winter is around 13C (55F). It’s the best time to explore the country’s ancient heritage and get to experience local culture.

Tip: By all means do some island-hopping, but most accommodations close in winter.

The amusement park at the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen; we see a lake in the foreground reflecting the illuminations from a Japanese-style pagoda and a rollercoaster with loops.Enjoy thrills and spectacle this Christmas with a visit to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

For fairytale European winter, it’s hard to beat the home of Hans Christian Andersen. Forget the over-hyped Little Mermaid and head to the city’s cosy bars and cafes to watch snow flurrying outside. In the heart of town, the 19th-century Tivoli amusement park is a romantic, kitsch delight around Christmastime, with heartwarming illuminations and body-warming mugs of glögg.

Tip: Splash out on a meal at noma, considered by many to be the world’s best restaurant (reservations can fill quickly, so try to book several months in advance).

The best of Budapest’s thermal baths

6. Budapest, Hungary

Couples skating hand-in-hand, breath cloudy in the frosty air – there’s nowhere better for it than the Hungarian capital’s picturesque central park Városligeti Műjégpálya, with its enormous outdoor rink. Feeling chilly afterwards? Budapest is famous for its ornate thermal baths.

Tip: At night seek out a “ruin pub”– an atmospheric drinking venue artfully created in a once-abandoned building.

Skier at the summit of a mountain in Slovakia; there is cloud cover below and a chairlift rising to the right.Slovakia is the place to go this winter if you’re a skier on a tight budget © mpaniti / Shutterstock

7. Jasná, Slovakia

Slovakia offers high-quality skiing at affordable prices. Accommodation and food are reasonable too, and there’s a friendliness that’s missing from some of the snootier Alpine slopes. Jasná is the best Slovakian resort, with long descents flanked by snow-laden spruce trees, set in the ruggedly lovely Tatras Mountains.

Tip: Flights direct to Slovakia can be pricey, so don’t make this your entry point to Europe.

Part of the Alhambra complex - a Moorish-inspired fort with a graceful cloister in the foreground - reflects off the courtyard pool in Generalife Gardens, Granada, Spain.The Generalife Gardens are just one of the wonders of Granada, one of Andalucía’s – and indeed Spain’s – most fascinating cities © Yuriy Biryukov / Shutterstock

8. Andalucía, Spain

Tip: Head to the Sierra Nevada near Granada if you want snowsport action.

A snowy square of colourful houses in Sighişoara, Transylvania.Follow in the footsteps of Vlad Ţepeş, the historical Dracula, on a visit to Sighişoara, Transylvania © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

9. Transylvania, Romania

You can’t visit Dracula’s lair on a sunny day with lambs bleating in the fields, right? Try steel-grey skies, bare trees and a smattering of snow. Braşov and Sighişoara, two hours apart by rail, are gorgeous medieval towns with various connections to Vlad Ţepeş, the historical Dracula, though it’s doubtful that he ever set foot in his so-called castle.

Tip: Bram Stoker never visited Romania, so don’t expect many parallels with the book or films.

Masked reveller dressed in red, white and black in Venice, Italy, with a row of gondolas behind them and the city skyline on the other side of the water.Venice’s Carnevale is a highlight of any European winter, but be prepared to book ahead © Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock

10. Venice, Italy

Hauntingly beautiful and rather weird, Venice’s Carnevale in February is a European highlight. Elaborate costumes and spooky masks bring the canal city’s colourful history to life. Costumed dances are pricey affairs, but you can have a ball enjoying the free events with a mask bought on the street, but be prepared for epic crowding.

Tip: Book accommodation ahead. Day-tripping in and out on a train will lower costs considerably.

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This article was first published in December 2012 and updated in September 2020.

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