Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another Tourist Note

By Douglas Scott
An island country in the central Windward Islands of the West Indies. It comprises St Vincent Island and the northern islets of the Grenadines. Part of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962, the country gained self governing status in 1969 and full independence in 1979. Kingstown, on St. Vincent, is the capital.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and export crops include bananas and arrowroot. Tourism is also important.
The islands are composed of volcanic rock. Thickly wooded volcanic mountains run north south and are cut by many swift streams. Soufriere the highest of the mountains has had devastating volcanic eruptions.

The country is a constitutional monarchy with one legislative house, its chief of state is the British monarch represented by the governor general, and the head of government is the prime minister. The French and the British contested for control of Saint Vincent until 1763, when it was ceded to England by the Treaty of Paris.

From casual and economical to elegant and exclusive, lodgings in St Vincent and the Grenadines offer something for every taste and budget. The choice ranges from a rustic cottage on the beach or a historic country hotel in the mountains, to a luxury resort with an island to itself. Young Island, an idyllic small island off the south coast of St Vincent, has a cottage community of separate huts including all modern facilities. All hotels are small and emphasise personal service.

Tropical, with trade winds tempering the hottest months, June and July.

St Vincent, like all the Wind wards, is volcanic and mountainous with luxuriant vegetation and black sand beaches. The Grenadines are equally lush. Secluded coves, spectacular coral reefs, rainforest hiking and superb sailing conditions are among the main tourist attractions.

St Vincent is one of the few islands where good West Indian cuisine can almost always be enjoyed in hotels. There is plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and other seafood on offer. Lobster is available in season.

Most evening events take place in hotels and it is best to ask at individual hotels for a calendar of events. Nightclubs include the Aquatic club and the Buccama Club on the Leeward Coast. The Attic in Kingstown features a wide variety of music during the week and live entertainment at weekends. There is one casino on the island, at Peniston, on the Leeward side.

Designs on sea island cottons can be bought and made up into clothes within a few days at a number of shops. Handicrafts and all varieties of straw made items, grass rugs and other souvenirs can be bought at a number of workshops and gift shops.

Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for TheSt Vincent Rental Site