The Grenadines are a chain of about 600 islands, islets, cays and rocks covering 17 sq.miles / 44 sq.km and extend for 62 miles / 100 km south like a series of unaligned stepping stones from St Vincent to Grenada. The island nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines comprises thirty-two separate islands and is located in this group, 100 miles / 161 km west of Barbados, 21 miles / 34 km south of St Lucia and 60 miles / 97 km north of Grenada. The main islands are Bequia, Canouan, Mustique, Palm Island, Petit St Vincent, Mayreau, Isle D’Quatre and Union Island. All the Grenadines have soft white coral sand beaches and clear waters, ideal for snorkelling and diving and provide the best sailing waters in the Western Hemisphere and arguably the world.
St Vincent is the largest of the island group, 17.5 miles / 28 km in length and 10.5 miles / 17 km wide, with a mountainous, heavily cultivated interior and a rugged coast-line dotted with volcanic black sand beaches. An active, but currently dormant, volcano is located near its north end.
Bequia, the second largest island, lies 9 miles / 14.5 km southwest of St Vincent. It is about 5 miles / 8 km long and 0.5 miles / 0.8 km wide and looks quite different from St Vincent, having rounded hills rather than mountains. There is a large difference between the coastlines on either side of the island: the windward (west) side is very rocky, while the leeward (east) side has many bays, most of them having white sand beaches.
The highest point of the island is at 900ft / 274m. The large natural harbour of Admiralty Bay is a popular yacht anchorage. Hills and beaches of white sand alternate around the Bay, with exposed rock cliffs along the southern edge.
Bequia offers a paradise complete with quiet lagoons, beautiful reefs and long stretches of near-deserted beaches. Small, beautifully lush and on the quiet side, Bequia has its own unique culture. The atmosphere is very West Indian and the inhabitants, who enjoy a comfortable standard of living, are friendly and polite.
Known as Becouya in the 17th century, Bequia is the northernmost, and largest, of the Grenadines, a chain of islands that comprises the southern portion of the nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines and stretches some sixty miles between the main island of St Vincent to the north and Petit St Vincent to the south. Located at latitude 13° north and longitude 61° 15' west, the island has an area of 7 sq.miles / 18 sq.km and is rather hilly and green with white sandy beaches.
Bequia remains one of the most unspoilt and natural of all the Caribbean islands with a population that numbers just under 5,000. The island was once a busy center for whaling and boat building and Bequia still retains its traditions and skills based on the sea. Sailors have long known Bequia as one of the premier sailing and cruising destinations of the Grenadines and the Eastern Caribbean. The superb anchorages, coupled with the traditional nautical lifestyle, attract yachts of every size and description from around the world. The sailing season culminates in the annual Easter Regatta.
Bequia is one of the last Caribbean islands to retain its old-world charm. Not for us the mega-tourist resorts, high-rise hotels, timeshares, shopping malls, fast food restaurants, high crime rates or crowds. Bequia still retains its 1960’s flavour and small island friendliness. There aren’t any traffic lights or no-parking signs. The beaches are really empty like you see in the travel brochures. You don’t have to get up at 4 am to save a beach chair. You feel safe. By the second day you won’t have to tell the taxi driver where you are staying; he will already know you. By the end of the week you will have friendships that could last a lifetime.