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Introducing Port Maria

Gazing down from the lawn at Firefly, you might think Port Maria is a quaint fishing village nestled around a deep turquoise and aquamarine bay with mountains rising behind, but up close it’s largely unappealing.

St Mary’s Parish Church, at the extreme west end of town, was built in 1861 in quintessential English style. Facing it is the old courthouse, destroyed in 1988 by fire but since partially restored and today housing a Civic Centre. A monument in front commemorates Tacky, a runaway slave who led the local slave rebellion in 1760 which was brutally suppressed by the British forces with the aid of Maroons, with 50 of the captured rebels hung in irons or burned alive as a deterrent to others.

For a good meal, head to Almond Tree Club & Restaurant, offering curry goat, fried chicken, chop suey and, for breakfast, a selection of porridges. Juici Patties, on the southeast side of the town square, sells reliable patties.

You can catch buses or minibuses to Port Maria from Ocho Rios (J$160, 40 minutes) and Kingston (J$220, 2½ hours).