Pronounced ‘beck-wye’, this tiny island is still fairly untouched by tourists, and unspoilt by nature. Its coastline is fringed with sleepy, golden beaches that are backed by cedar and palm forests. Traditional boat-builders, fishermen and beachfront tenders make a living near the shores. Wander slightly further inland, meanwhile, and you’ll come across pretty, crayon-coloured houses, and shack-like restaurants serving everything from harbour-fresh fish to oven-fresh pizzas.
• From Bequia’s capital, Port Elizabeth, you can easily reach the land where a historical sugar plantation once stood. The Spring Plantation’s old sugar mill still exists today, while the rest of the grounds are now overrun by soaring coconut palms and grazing livestock.
• The island’s a breeding spot for rare hawksbill turtles. You can visit Brother King’s Turtle Sanctuary, where the namesake retired fisherman nurtures baby turtles until they’re ready to be released into the wild.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Bequia Scenic Tour►
This tour’s a real all-rounder. You’ll start with a drive through Port Elizabeth up to Hamilton Fort. Grab your camera up here – it’s a great lookout point, with views of Admiralty Bay and the Caribbean Sea. Next up, we’ll head to a local fabric shop, where you can browse the rainbow-bright prints and possibly see the fabrics being produced. After a quick cool-down drink, we’ll make our way up the island’s Atlantic Coast. The drive is a scenic one, with ocean views and roads edged with tropical flowers. We’ll wind our way to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, where endangered hawksbill turtles are cared for until they’re old enough to be released into the wild. We’ll have a chat with the owner and learn more about the conservation effort, before heading down to the southern side of the island. You’ll learn about the island’s whaling industry as we go, before returning to Port Elizabeth, where you’ll have some time to explore on your own.
The 1400-acre island of Mustique has pulled in more than its fair share of A-listers over the years – everyone from Amy Winehouse to the Queen and Prince Philip has been spotted on its pristine sands. On this tour, we’ll see its charms for ourselves. After boarding a power boat, we’ll speed away from Bequia, passing the Flintstones-like houses in Moonhole and coasting along the southern edge of the island. Once we arrive at Mustique we’ll have a coastal tour of the island, taking in its lush green valleys and hideaway coves and learning a bit about its history and famous residents. There may also be an option to take an hour-long taxi tour of the island, visiting the gingerbread-style primary school and the famous Cotton House Hotel, and spotting a couple of celebrity homes. When it’s time for lunch, we’ll head to Basil’s Bar and Restaurant – a Mustique institution. After some free time for shopping and sunbathing, we’ll board our boat and head back to Bequia.
Bequia Boat Adventure►
You’ll get to explore Bequia by boat on this tour. As we cruise out of Port Elizabeth, we’ll learn about the island’s fishing and boat building heritage. Keep a look out as we sail along the coast, as we’ll pass the airport, fish market and Petit Nevis, an uninhabited island that’s home to an old whaling station. You’ll be able to glimpse glamorous Mustique in the distance, too. We’ll stop at another uninhabited island, Isle de Quarte, for a chance to swim and snorkel in the Evian-clear waters. As we dry off, you can help yourself to soft drinks or a glass of the captain’s rum punch. Next up, we’ll pass Moonhole, where the quirky houses look like they’ve come from the set of The Flintstones, before landing at gorgeous Princess Margaret Beach for some free time.