Situated at the mid-point of the Leeward Islands chain, St Kitts and its stunning sister isle Nevis, separated by just a two mile wide channel, are a romantic blaze of bright blue seas, picture perfect beaches and furrowed volcanic peaks. Cheeky vervet monkeys natter in trees plotting ways to steal fresh fruit, sea turtles swim in gin-clear waters and the scent of mango envelops the islands. St Kitts and Nevis are relatively unknown and still remain largely off the tourist track, which is, of course, a great part of their appeal.
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On sleepy Nevis, while away days in a beach cabana enjoying hot spicy shrimp straight from the fire pit, washed down with coconut water or a strong rum punch. Climb Nevis Peak, take a rainforest hike or a join a monkey tour with ‘bush doctor’ Michael Herbert. Experience sunrise at the Devil’s Copper, ride on horseback along Oualie Beach’s indigo shores and indulge in chilled Champagne on your terrace under clear, starlit skies. The impeccable dining at Montpelier Plantation's Mill Privée, set in a unique 300 year old sugar mill, is impossible to resist, with its seductive, candlelit six course tasting menu. Nevis is a paradise of bleached beaches, Georgian houses, tropical heat, cool breezes and weathered sugar mills just waiting to be explored by foot, bicycle or jeep; colonial Charlestown is a must, as is a round of golf at Robert Trent Jones II’s challenging course and a cheeky rum punch at colourful island hangout the Sunshine's Beach Bar & Gril, on Pinney’s Beach.
St Kitts is the busier of the two islands, although you would hardly say it’s developed. Teeming with monkeys and mongoose, home to exotic black sands in the north and silvery white shores further south, the island boasts reef-protected waters on Friar’s Bay Beach, ideal for snorkelling and swimming, and plenty of dive sites with distinctive coral beds. A scenic railway follows the trail of old sugar cane tracks, the Upper Round Road is ideal for hiking, and if you’ve got the gumption, you can zip line over steamy rainforest or climb to the edge of Sofa Rock, the crater rim of a dormant volcano. If swaying coconut trees, Champagne cocktails and balmy days soaking up the sun are more your thing, Banana Bay delivers unspoilt white sands and Pump Bay is a great place for the novice diver or snorkeller, while if you’re more of a pro, try Booby Island. Sunday Brunch at Ottley's Plantation Inn is not to be missed, while Fisherman's Wharf in Basseterre serves up generous portions of lobster and fresh fish from an open charcoal grill.