Destination at a glance: Grenada

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In an ocean of beautiful islands ringed by dazzling white-sand beaches, Grenada is an underrated star. Its beaches are indeed white but the sand is so pure it seems to have an inner radiance; and diving in the requisite turquoise waters is appropriately sublime, although here you'll likely have only your partner and some sea turtles for company. The towns are like visions from Gauguin, with their bright tropical colours accenting lush, green hillsides.

Besides the country's main namesake island, there are two tiny charmers: Carriacou and Petit Martinique, which are idyllic, isolated and intoxicating. And forget anything you heard about invasions or hurricanes, it's all ancient history.

BEST TIME TO VISIT
The weather is warm throughout the year; January to April are the driest months

TOP THINGS TO SEE
• St George's: a vision of hillside colonial heritage and rainbow of Caribbean colours
• Carriacou: the coconut-sized sibling of the big island with all the charms distilled down to a rich essence
• Petit Martinique: the smallest of the Grenada troika and the ultimate hideaway
• La Sagesse Nature Centre, which preserves and explains the local fauna, all on the estate of a relative of British royalty
• Grenville is Grenada's untouristed town away from the glitz but with a community of nutmeg growers and a rum distillery

TOP THINGS TO DO
• Pound the crystalline sands at Grand Anse beach, Grenada's trademark beauty
• Dive into the underwater art gallery at Moliniere Bay, where coral and statues combine to create masterpieces
• Join the sea turtles at Anse La Roche, a hidden beach on isolated Carriacou
• Hike amid mahogany trees and dew-dropping ferns in the Grand Etang rainforest
• Build the best sandcastle ever on unvisited Bathways Beach

GETTING UNDER THE SKIN
Read native Grenadian Jean Buffong's Under the Silk Cotton Tree
Listen to reggae master David Emmanuel and Mighty Sparrow, a world-famous calypsonian
Watch the documentary Grenada: The Future Coming Towards Us
Eat the national dish 'oil down', which combines vegetables and meat in a coconut-flavoured stew
Drink the non-alcoholic fruit juice mauby (a bittersweet drink made from the bark of the rhamnaceous tree)

IN A WORD
Sa ki fé'w? (What's happening?)

TRADEMARKS
'The Spice Islands'; Grand Anse beach; the Bianca C shipwreck

RANDOM FACT
Grenada produces one third of the world's nutmeg, the kernel is the odd-looking yellow blob on the left side of the Grenada flag





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