I’m a real beach bum at heart but often wonder how this came to be. I was born in London, one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas. London is about as far-removed from beach life as Alaska is from Dubai. If you’re lucky the sun might shine twice a year and bikini temperatures are even less common. I was lucky enough to travel abroad at least once a year as a child, but my parents always preferred museums and castles to ocean and sand.
The beaches of my native country present a myriad of problems. The occurrence of a few days sunshine per year brings Glastonbury-sized crowds to England’s coastline on warm days. Instead of burning your feet on powder-white sand, you’re more likely to twist your ankle on slippery stones. Intersected by enormous piers selling everything from candyfloss to fish and chips, fun fair rides to arcade machines, you’ll be glad you packed your sunglasses, even when the unpredictable weather brings an unforeseen rain shower in the middle of the day. England has a lot of beauty, but let’s just say it’ll never be famed for it’s beaches. So it is perhaps no wonder that I was most excited about living by the sea when I first learnt I was moving to the Caribbean…
Oddly enough, and unconventional to my nature, I did very little in the way of research before arriving in Grenada. Most of my travel planning revolves around finding the nicest places to stay, and their proximity to the beach. As we’d be staying in a corporate apartment allocated by my husband’s company, I figured it might be better to do some research once we knew which area we’d be staying in.
About a week after arriving, we were introduced to Grenada’s magnificent two-mile stretch of white-sand paradise, otherwise known as the Grand Anse Beach. Situated on the south-east of the island, this beach is at the heart of Grenada’s remarkably laid-back tourist hub. Dotted with upmarket resorts, vibrant restaurants and water sport centres, the beach offers something to every visitor.
In the middle of the beach, close to the car park, you’ll find the Umbrellas Cafe and Coyaba Beach Resort. Umbrellas is a large beachfront diner catering for students, tourists, and expats alike. It serves cocktails, sandwiches and occasionally features the odd bit of live music. Coyaba is an upmarket resort with beautifully manicured gardens, a relaxing poolside bar and ambient evening restaurant. Head to the far right of the beach and you’ll find Coconuts, a French Creole Restaurant with a cosy intimate atmosphere.
The real draw is the beach itself. The Grand Anse is one of the prettiest beaches I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Situated on the relatively placid Caribbean Sea and absent of the tourist swarms found on many of the beaches in Europe and Asia, this beach is certainly deserving of it’s prestigious reputation. The white sand is powder soft and the crystal-clear water free of stones, seaweed and other debris. At about 5.45pm, the sun sets over the water, producing a magical sunset worthy of generating some seriously divine holiday snaps. You’ll find a cosmopolitan mix of locals, expats and tourists, who come to cool off, dance to reggae music and even take swimming lessons in cordoned-off lanes in the sea! Whilst commercial, the beach has resisted the pitfall of over-development, something which the Grenadian government are apparently wary of. Head to the far corners of the shore and you’ll find some fairly secluded spots where you can relax completely undisturbed.
We’ve got one more week on Grenada before we head north to Saint Lucia, which is where we’ll be living. I’m quite sure we’ll be spending many more days and sunsets in this beautiful location before our departure…