Should I Choose a Holiday in Antigua or Barbados?

When it comes to luxury Caribbean holidays, there are plenty of options to choose from. St Lucia, Jamaica and more could be perfect for you. But two of the most popular destinations make for a pretty tough decision: Barbados or Antigua?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you decide which is better for you. We’ll have a look at beaches, food and drink, cost and more to see which could be the ideal location for your dream Caribbean holiday, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family holiday.

Barbados vs Antigua: Which Luxury Caribbean Destination Should I Choose?

Let’s compare six key areas that set apart Barbados and Antigua to see which could be better for your holiday.

1. Antigua vs Barbados: Location, Landscape and Climate

Antigua is half of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Located in the northeast of the Caribbean and to the south of its sister island, Antigua has a lovely climate year-round with December to April being some of the most popular months to visit.

Barbados is to the south and the most easterly Caribbean island. Barbados has a similar climate to Antigua but is very slightly warmer with a little more rainfall.

Antigua has a dramatic volcanic landscape with beautiful cliffs and coves. It’s a stark contrast to Barbados which is much flatter but has more connected beaches, ideal for walking around the island.

There’s little between the two in terms of climate and weather but due to its location and hidden-gem status, Antigua doesn’t have as many flights so getting there isn’t quite as easy.

2. Antigua vs Barbados: Beaches

Known as the land of 365 beaches, Antigua boasts a different beach for every day of the year. It’s home to a huge choice of stunning coastlines with a range of things to see and do from snorkelling to relaxing on beautiful white sand or even boat trips.

Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay and Pigeon Point Beach are just a few beaches that shouldn’t be missed. 

Barbados is also known for its stunning beaches, offering plenty to do when you’re there from boat trips to scuba diving. Bottom Bay and Carlisle Bay are clear standouts to visit.

Again, it’s a tough choice but Antigua has a greater selection of beaches and can be more secluded due to Barbados’ popularity and go-to status.

3. Antigua vs Barbados: Activities and Attractions

If relaxing isn’t really your thing, don’t worry. Both Barbados and Antigua have a myriad of exciting activities from tours and watersports to soaking up a wealth of rich culture and history.

Antigua is less of a tourist attraction but still has plenty to choose from in terms of historical locations, with impressive forts like Fort Barrington and the Shirley Heights Lookout.

Barbados is home to the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the likes of George Washington's House and the must-see St. Nicholas Abbey. 

In terms of sports, both locations have plenty to do from hours to snorkelling and diving and golf but Barbados may offer a little more so it slightly takes the edge.


4. Antigua vs Barbados: Food and Drink

Barbados and Antigua have incredible cuisine with a lot of fish and seafood, barbecue and rice. Each uses a fantastic collection of incredible local spices

Antigua is known for its national fungee and cornmeal dishes, fish dishes as well as stews. Barbados centres largely on seafood, famous for its Oistins Fish Fry (a must if you do choose Barbados.)

Despite both being incredible for foodies, Barbados slightly takes the advantage when it comes to food.

5. Antigua vs Barbados: Accommodation

Due to its size and popularity, Barbados has a tremendous choice of accommodations from hotels and resorts to villas, beachside apartments, and even cruises. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation or a romantic trip without kids, there’s something for everyone.

There’s still plenty of choice in Antigua but the selection isn’t quite as big - that’s not the worst thing in the world as it can make deciding what you want from your holiday a little easier.

Both islands have an unbelievable selection of places to stay where your every need will be taken care of, even some with a private team of staff if that’s your kind of thing.

6. Antigua vs Barbados: Cost

Generally, Barbados is a little more expensive than Antigua when it comes to accommodation, food and drink as well as activities. However, it can cost more if you’re to fly to Antigua as flights aren’t as frequent. 

Both islands offer packages from complete luxury to slightly more affordable, depending on what you want from your holiday.

So, Which is Better, Barbados or Antigua?

Ultimately, it completely depends on what you’re looking for from your Caribbean holiday as to whether a luxury Antigua holiday or Barbados holiday is better for you. For more of an unsung location without the touristy feel, Antigua could be more suitable for you. But for a little more in terms of activities and a choice of things to do, Barbados could be better.

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