Escape the more commercial Caribbean islands for a honeymoon in Nevis – an island famous for maritime history, old-fashioned West Indian charm, pristine beaches, crystal clear waters and lush, unspoiled natural scenery surrounding an extinct volcano.
Combined with a choice of luxurious restored plantation inns and fine dining restaurants, Nevis offers all the ingredients you need for a tranquil honeymoon.
Sighting the cloud-shrouded peak of Nevis in 1493, the explorer Christopher Columbus named the island Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves (Our Lady of the Snows).
During the 17th century the island earned the sobriquet ‘Queen of the Caribbees’ following the success of tobacco and sugar plantations established by British land owners (despite repeat attacks from Spain and France).
After British settlers displaced the indigenous Arawaks and Caribs in 1628, Nevis (and St Kitts) remained British overseas territories until independence in 1983 when the islands formed a two-island nation – the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Today Nevis is a centre for offshore banking and business.
The best beaches on Nevis are on its western and northern shores, and are never crowded. All the beaches on Nevis are public. Nevis's best beaches include…
Pick your own spot to sunbathe on the pale golden sands of this uncrowded palm-fringed beach that stretches for 5km along the west coast of the island beneath the soaring green slopes of Mount Nevis.
Relax beneath swaying palm fronds, go swimming and snorkelling in the calm reef-protected waters of the lagoon and sip cold drinks at a choice of beachside bars while enjoying panoramic views of neighbouring St Kitts. Facilities including umbrellas, sun loungers and snorkelling equipment are generally offered free to guests by the various hotels dotting the beachfront.
Snorkelling and scuba diving is especially good here: expect to see parrotfish, blue-headed wrasse, damselfish, grunts and tangs, among other species. In the late afternoon, look out for flocks of cattle egrets as they fly home to roost at the freshwater pond of Nelson’s Spring.
Picture perfect and rarely crowded, Pinney's Beach is universally rated as one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean and is located just a short walk north of the capital, Charlestown.
Come for a day or stay longer at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort, rated the island’s most prestigious accommodation. The charming Golden Rock Plantation Inn (located a 15-minute drive inland) has a beachside pavilion where you can enjoy the beach close to various creature comforts.
Unwind on the golden sands of this 600m-long beach that curves around a small cove flanked by a soaring bush-clad promontory at the northern end of the beach.
Sunbathe on the soft sand, swim, snorkel and windsurf the crystal clear waters or relax in the shade beneath swaying beachside palm and sea grape trees.
Facilities on this rarely crowded beach, include umbrellas, beach chairs and water sports equipment for hire (free with lunch) at the Creole-style 3-star Oualie Beach Resort, which also offers a range of creature comforts should you decide to stay longer.
Oualie Beach is located at the island's northwestern tip, just south of Mosquito Bay, around 5km west of the airport.
Relax on the soft white sand of this 900m-long white-sand beach that shelves into calm turquoise waters offering good swimming and excellent snorkelling.
Facilities on this broad beach, that was previously known as Newcastle Beach, include umbrellas, beach chairs and water sports equipment for hire (free with lunch) at the gracious Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, a former plantation-style house located right on the palm-fringed beach.
Come for the day or stay longer to enjoy a range of creature comforts. Newcastle Beach faces the channel that separates St Kitts and Nevis at the northeastern tip of the island and is just a 3-minute drive east of the airport.
This is probably the island’s best beach for surfing as it faces rolling Atlantic surf. Discover an isolated and windy beach with wild, crashing Atlantic rollers.
Bring your own food and drinks, as there are no facilities.
Windward Beaach, also known as White Bay Beach, is located on the southeast coast, east of Gingerland.
This 500m-long pale golden sand beach is ideal if you want solitude or to catch a wave. There are no facilities here so take your own food and drinks. Indian Castle is located on the south coast of Nevis.
Explore the island on foot or horseback, visiting lush mountainous rainforest, historic ruins and long-abandoned sugar plantations, looking out for local wildlife such as chattering monkeys and multi-hued butterflies – simply ideal for active honeymoon couples.
Follow ‘the trail’ through lush forest and moss-covered slopes to the summit of Mount Nevis (970m) for panoramic island views. For a less challenging walk, stroll beside pools and waterfalls in the Botanical Garden of Nevis, a 4ha site featuring 100 species of palms and 70 varieties of orchids.
For an insight into the plantation era, visit Fothergill's Nevisian Heritage Village, which includes an old sugar mill, blacksmith's workshop, a rum store and a cobbler's outpost.
Stroll the wide and quiet streets of Charlestown and learn more about the island’s history at the Museum of Nevis History where Alexander Hamilton (a famous American statesman) was born.
See a fine collection of the admiral's memorabilia in the Nelson Museum; it was during his tour of duty on Nevis, that Lord Horatio Nelson met his future wife, Frances Nisbet.
Tee-off from a choice of three links, enjoy a flutter at races held at the Nevis Jockey Club or dive Monkey Shoals to view marine life such as angelfish, nurse sharks and turtles.
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Hop on the local ferry and explore neighbouring St Kitts, Nevis' sister island.
Slightly more commercial, St Kitts is famous as the first permanent English settlement in the Caribbean. The island then served as a base to settle neighbouring Caribbean islands for Britain.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the site of the largest fortress ever built in the Eastern Caribbean and an 18th century battleground between opposing British and French forces. Discover the island’s lush natural beauty on foot or horseback.
More about St Kitts…
Nevis offers a range of attractive and charming plantation-era inns, typically surrounded by manicured lawns or sitting in palm groves close to or facing a white-sand beach; the beachfront Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is a good example.
So too are the Montpelier Plantation Inn, an 18th century stone-built inn that sits on the slopes of a hill with stunning views of the ocean and is surrounded by ornamental gardens, and the atmospheric Hermitage Plantation Inn, said to be the oldest wooden house on Nevis.
Or check into the island’s most prestigious hotel, the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Nevis, positioned just a short stroll away from the golden sands of Pinney’s Beach – the perfect spot for honeymoon couples.
The best time to visit St Kitts & Nevis is from early-December to mid-April – the coolest period of the year, and also outside the hurricane season. Temperatures average 26°C (78°F).
Nevis is a year-round destination with a hot tropical climate tempered by sea breezes.
Nevis has a hot and humid tropical climate year-round, with a relatively cool, dry season from January to mid-April and a hot, humid and rainy season from mid-June to mid-November.
You can expect rainfall throughout the year, with the heaviest rainfall in the inland mountainous region from July to November. February to June are drier and sunnier months.
For more climate info: Nevis Weather Guide…
Nevis lies in the northern part of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean (known as the West Indies), around 80km (50mi) west of Antigua and 350km (217mi) southeast of Puerto Rico.
Nevis and the neighbouring island of Saint Kitts constitute one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, the country is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as queen and head of state.
The smaller island of Nevis lies approximately 3km (2mi) southeast of Saint Kitts across a shallow channel called "The Narrows".
The most convenient route to Nevis is by air to Vance W. Amory International Airport (NEV), formerly known as Bambooshay Airport, then Newcastle Airport.
The airport is located 11km (6.8mi) from the capital, Charlestown, and offers direct flights from San Juan in Puerto Rico as well as other neighbouring Caribbean islands.
Alternatively, you can fly into Robert L. Bradshaw Airport (SKB) on Saint Kitts followed by a 15-minute plane ride, or a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal and a 50-minute boat ride across to Nevis.
Saint Kitts' airport offers more flight options with direct flights from Atlanta, Miami, New York and Toronto.
More information about how to get to Nevis…
By passenger ferry, Charlestown on Nevis to Basseterre on St Kitts takes around 20 minutes, with several companies servicing this route.
Hiring a car or bicycle offers the best way of exploring Nevis. Taxis are also available as are micro buses, which offer an inexpensive and fun way to travel around.
More information about how to get around Nevis and St Kitts…
Latest update: Nevis Honeymoon Guide: 8 July, 2022