From the moment you land on the island there are discoveries to be made, whether you’re the type of traveler who loves to keep active, or one who prefers to explore the island at a more relaxed pace. Personally, I like to balance my itinerary so I have days of both; time to explore, but also some time for relaxation and recuperation.
My biggest discovery on Nevis has not been the exquisite vistas, as spectacular as they are, nor has it been the excellent selection of restaurants, or warm inviting waters. My biggest discovery on Nevis has been its rich history, immersive culture, and the most welcoming people I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.
During my active days on the island, I tend to explore Nevis on foot. As a keen triathlete, I am no stranger to a little exercise, and with plenty of different hiking destinations around the island, I am able to quench my thirst for exploration. These hiking expeditions bring out the Dr. Livingstone in me, especially when your guide takes you through jungles, past bat caves and to thermal springs. My favourite aspects of these hikes is the historical aspect; stumbling on the ruins of an old sugar plantation, fort, or even an abandoned village. These forgotten places give a fascinating insight into the island’s past.
Hiking is only half the picture for me. During my last visit, I got chatting with a local man, Darren, in one of the beach bars about the Nevis Triathlon. He offered to join me on a few training sessions and even asked whether I would like to take part in the Triathlon in November. I hardly need an excuse to return to the island, and if I can combine this with one of my favourite activities, the he may well have another competitor for the event!
To get a flavour of island culture, I have always spent a fair amount of time away from the hotel pool, taking time to visit the ‘real’ Nevis. On some other Caribbean islands, you may feel apprehensive doing this, but Nevis has always felt safe wherever I have been. Exploring like this, has enabled me to spend plenty of time in the villages, at local bars, and in restaurants. It’s a great way to meet the locals who are more than happy to talk, whether that’s about their fishing catches for the day, or debating the many nuances of cricket.
One of my best discoveries on Nevis has to be goat water stew. While I may savor the refined menus of the high-end restaurants on the island, enjoying the honest home cooked food of the locals is always a great experience. One of my most memorable dining experiences was being invited to a local fish fry by some local fishermen I had met that day. Not only did I get to sample some authentic Nevisian cuisine, but was also able to share some great stories of fish caught and lost, with the soundtrack of live steel drums in the background.
Image Credit: Dana Moos
I certainly wouldn’t claim I have discovered everything about Nevis – you could spend an entire lifetime on this fascinating island and continue to make new discoveries. For an island that is just 36 square miles, it certainly holds numerous hidden gems and I seem to discover a new one with every visit.
By Samuel Miller