Slightly off the beaten track, St Vincent and the Grenadines are some of the Caribbean's most beautiful, yet unspoilt, islands. The surrounding waters offer terrific sailing, while pristine coral reefs and plentiful rainbow-coloured fish provide superb diving.
St Vincent is picturesque, mountainous and incredibly fertile with lush rainforest, coconut groves, banana plantations and fields of arrowroot. The 32 smaller islands and cays which trail 40 miles to the south and make up the Grenadines, are blessed with white sandy beaches (many deserted). The largest of the Grenadines, Bequia, was discovered by yachties some time ago but has remained low-key, sleepy and friendly. By contrast, Mustique, an exclusive private island, has long been the haunt of rock stars and aristocrats.
Accommodation includes romantic private island retreats, charming inns and a unique back-to-nature hideaway, only accessible by boat.
There are no direct international flights. Connection times, however, are thankfully short so you should arrive the same day. Don't expect wild nightlife or fine dining in local restaurants. Go to St Vincent in the rainy season (Jun-Nov) and you'll realise why it's so verdant. For white-sand beaches, you will need to head for the Grenadines, all but one of St Vincent's are of dark volcanic sand. Watch out for mosquitos.