Welcome to Montserrat
ake a walk through paradise where two worlds meet … lush verdant vegetation against nature’s majestic charge of black earth and steam… this is Montserrat’s beauty. No crowded beaches, casinos, fast food chains or shopping malls inhibit the pleasure of the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean. Unwind and feel the warmth of our people and the Caribbean sun which gently embraces our tiny island. The island’s heritage dates back to our first settlers, the Irish, made evident by the names of the towns, villages and family names as well as the distinctive passport stamp - the Shamrock. Our authentic national dish, ‘goat water’ is a rich, thick soup filled with hearty chunks of goat meat; the dish is thought to have
origins from an Irish stew: we are the only country outside of Ireland that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day as a national holiday. Cast your eyes to the south beyond the grey fog where lies the great ‘Mount Soufrière’ our active volcano. Considered as one of the most interesting wonders in the world by scientists; this historical bonus comes with a bird’s eye view from several safe vantage points such as Jack Boy Hill or the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. We are just next door to Antigua, easily reachable by fixed wing air services, helicopter or by sea charters. Come, rediscover yourself and welcome to the bravura isle of Montserrat.
Where to Stay
et your cares slip away as you are cradled in the intimacy and exclusivity that is Montserrat. Small size and relatively secluded locations will appeal to you and is highly
appreciated by the numerous international music personalities and business tycoons who have rented or owned vacation homes. If privacy is your wish, then our “Tranquillity Plus’’ villa vacation homes are for you. Enjoy cozy and romantic two-bedroom cottages or spacious 4 and 5-bedroom houses with open plan kitchens, swimming pools and landscaped gardens. These villas are all fully furnished at a high standard and equipped for your carefree vacation. Your destination of enjoyment and relaxation has a selected number of excellent Bed & Breakfasts, Guesthouses and Hotels. And no matter what type of accommodation you choose, you’ll find that friendliness and courtesy are always part of your package.
Things to See and Do Conquer the Depths
hoy Landlubber’, don’t miss out on the beauty that lies beneath the surface of Montserrat’s tranquil waters. If snorkelling or diving is your passion, the coral reefs are yours to explore as our coast is teeming
Road Bay, Little Bay and Rendezvous Bay and soak in the local ambiance. Relax or explore our coast line and aqua marine seas onboard a yacht or boat. This opportunity of a lifetime offers you exquisite, breathtaking views of Montserrat, the Emerald Isle – coated in its mantle of green.
The Soufrière Hills Volcano
itness the Caribbean’s own version of a modern day Pompeii as you take an
with a variety of tropical fish and other exotic undersea life, such as spotted rays, sea turtles and sponges. Take a spectacular dive off one of our impressive sites like Little Redonda, a rock that reaches the surface from a depth of about 80 feet, the Pinnacles on the northeast of the island or Yellow Hole south of the Pinnacles. While at Yellow Hole explore the skeletal shell of a 19th century steel schooner which sank in 1886. For the fishermen among you, hire one of the many available boats that can take you to ﬁsh in shallow or deep waters, and test your skills against the variety of large fish: wahoo, marlin and mahi-mahi that call these waters home. If you prefer to meditate in peace and serenity while casting your lines then shore ﬁshing, a popular activity in Montserrat, is for you. Visit one of our many casual fishing spots such as Old
educational tour and observe from close quarters in safety the magnificent (and still active) Soufrière Hills Volcano. As the only live volcano in the Caribbean, the allure of the island’s stellar attraction can be seen on a clear day. Imagine the clouds lifting from its summit and seeing the trail of ash and steam that sometimes rise from its crater. After centuries of lying dormant, the volcano rumbled to life in 1995 and buried our once vibrant capital, Plymouth lying in its foothills, reducing it to a deserted shell. This historic event took Montserrat’s 12,000-strong population and reduced it to barely 4,000, as many residents went overseas to rebuild their lives.
Since then our modern day Montserrat Volcano Observatory (www.mvo.ms) and Seismograph Station on the island has been continuously monitoring the volcano and keeping watch for any activity. The Observatory provides one of the best vantage points to view the Soufrière Hills Volcano in all her glory, as well as a multimedia interpretation centre.
Nature and Adventure
scape on an adventure through the lush, green forested “Centre Hills” renowned for its biological diversity. This moist rainforest is home to many species of wildlife like the Mountain Chicken - a type of frog, the Gecko or the Galliwasp – half-snake, half-lizard.
Listen closely and you may hear one of the thirty-four species of resident land birds and migrant songbirds that inhabit the island. If you are a birdwatcher you can get a chance to spot Montserrat’s rare national bird, the endemic Montserrat Oriole, as well as the Forest Thrush, the shy Bridled-Quail Dove, the Mangrove Cuckoo, the Trembler and the PurpleThroated Carib. Explore historical ruins or take a leisurely walk through an old banana plantation located several hundred feet above sea level. If you are energetic, then take one of the numerous hiking trails through the vegetation that offer stunning views of land, sea and coastline.
Challenge yourself with a hike to our lovely white sand beach, Rendezvous Bay. For the less active, mini-trails offer the perfect route for a relaxing afternoon stroll or a family picnic in a peaceful setting. Discover the island’s hidden charms by taking a bike ride through the picturesque emerald hills of the island and be taken away by the breathtaking views of the ocean. Be sure to stop at Runaway Ghaut (pronounced ‘gut’) to drink some of our pure spring water, piped from the rocks. Legend has it that once you drink from this spring you will surely return to Montserrat! Prefer driving to riding? No problem - vehicle rental is easy and a four-wheel drive jeep will take you just about anywhere on the island. Most main roads and villages are signposted, and being the small, untroubled island, Montserrat is virtually
traffic free. Driving on our twisting roads and hills is an adventure by itself, but you’ll soon get the hang of it! Travel in safety as you explore these natural wonders knowing that Montserrat has one of the lowest crime rates in the Caribbean. The open friendliness of the people who live here will make you feel right at home, whether you’re stopping to ask directions on your way around the island or ‘liming’ (hanging out) at one of the popular night spots on a Friday evening.
Eating Out mell the aroma. Taste the blend of Caribbean fare. Montserrat offers both a sophisticated and simple palette of cuisine at very reasonable prices in picturesque and spectacular settings on the island. Our mostly family-run restaurants offer sumptuous Caribbean and international fare, that will delight your taste buds. You are welcomed to stopover at any of our small restaurants that serve hot tasty meals using locally grown produce and herbs. Savour lobster burgers, freshly grilled fish or saltfish (salted cod) with a variety
of side dishes including ground provisions, pastas and fresh salads. If you really want to ‘go local’, ask for a sample of ‘Mountain Chicken’ one of Montserrat’s delicacies, better known as Frogs Legs. Word has it that it tastes…. well, like chicken! For the less gastronomically adventurous, you can try Goat Water, our national dish, a thick tasty stew with chunks of goat meat, serve hot with a crusty bread roll. Complete your meal with one of our specially blended drinks made from exotic local fruits available daily at our restaurants. Our array of freshly made juices includes soursop, mango, cashew, guava, tamarind, papaya, gooseberry and West Indian cherries. Also, try the local seasonal favourites homemade ginger beer and sorrel.
Weddings & Honeymoons
ove is the place where two hearts meet and Montserrat is the perfect location for you to say I do. Tie the knot on a quiet beach and feel the soft glow of the setting sun. Become one surrounded by a floral haven at your garden wedding with the majestic Soufrière Hills framing the background. New beginnings in Montserrat are easy – just apply for a special or Governor’s marriage license after being resident for only three days on the island. This application can be made to the Department of Administration.
Sunny days, moonlight nights, tranquil beaches is the ideal romantic and magical place for you the honeymooner. Be wrapped in the loving embrace of the breeze which bathes Montserrat’s shores as you explore our secluded beaches. Not forgetting that one of the greatest charms of Montserrat is its simplicity.
ome celebrate with us at any of our festivals as you are certain to have an enjoyable time. See the masquerades and more on St Patrick’s Week a weeklong celebration highlighting Montserrat’s local culture and Irish heritage. This week culminates with the St. Patrick’s Day national holiday on March 17, a commemoration of the slave uprising on that very day in 1768. View pageantry at its best with the Queen’s Birthday Celebrations on the first week in June with a national parade. Here you can get a
with revelry and fun, in a street festival that includes live music and vendors. The celebration may also include a steel band performance, road race, masquerades, string band, and an exhibition of goods produced in the village of Cudjoe Head, named after a runaway slave who was caught and put to death by his master. For your winter holiday in December, there’s the Year-end Festival - our Carnival. Listen to the pulsating rhythms of the calypso competitions and musical concerts. Enjoy the beauty and talent shows, costume parades, and other special events that are a must see for our visitors. Be sure to see the masquerades and ‘Miss Goosy’, a traditional costumed festival character.
Annual Events & Public Holidays JANUARY: New Year’s Day Public Holiday Onshore Fishing Competition
MARCH: St. Patrick’s Week Celebrations St. Patrick’s Day Public Holiday APRIL: Good Friday Public Holiday Easter Monday Public Holiday
glimpse of the Defence Force, Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Brownies, Pathfinders, Red Cross and other uniformed groups on parade.
MAY: Labour Day Public Holiday Whit Monday Public Holiday JUNE: Queen’s Birthday Celebrations JULY: Lookout Day, Calabash Festival Cudjoe Head Day
In July, do not miss the Calabash Festival named after the fruit identified as one of our cultural items. The calabash tree can grow up to 30 feet, and its fruit can be used as an eating utensil, musical instrument and decorative item. Come venture to the festival’s many events from an exhibition to beach barbeques and around the island bus tours.
AUGUST: August Monday Public Holiday Roman Catholic Fete
Be part of Montserrat’s rich cultural heritage on Cudjoe Head Day at the end of July. Join us as we celebrate our African ancestry
DECEMBER: Christmas Festival Celebrations, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, St. John’s Day
OCTOBER: Credit Union Week, Police, Fire, Search & Rescue Community Week, Montserrat Open Fishing Tournament NOVEMBER: Volcano Half Marathon and Fun Run
Visit MVO’s website at www.mvo.ms for up to date information on exclusion zones and volcano hazard levels.
MONTSERRAT INFORMATION SERVICES MONTSERRAT For Tourism Information Montserrat Government (UK) Office Montserrat Tourist Board #7 Farara Plaza, Buildings B&C P.O. Box 7, Brades, Montserrat, West Indies T: (664) 491 2230/8730 F: (664) 491 7430 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.visitmontserrat.com
ANTIGUA For Media, Tour Operator & Tourism Enquiries Tel: (664) 491 2230/8730/2231 Email: email@example.com
UNITED KINGDOM For Media and Tour Operator Inquiries The Saltmarsh Partnership
The Copperfields 25D Copperfield Street, London SE1 0EN T: (44) 020 7928 1600 F: (44) 020 7928 1700 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
180-186 Kings Cross Road London, WC1X 9DE T: (44) 020 7520 2622 F: (44) 020 7520 2624 E: email@example.com
GERMANY & CONTINENTAL EUROPE Basic Services Group Bahnhofplatz 4 D-55116 Mainz, Germany T: (49) 6131 99332 F: (49) 6131 99331 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.visitmontserrat.de
USA For Media Enquiries, Brochure Requests and Tourism Information Cheryl Andrews Marketing Inc. 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 805, Coral Gables, FL 33134 T: (305) 444 4033 F: (305) 447 0415
GUADELOUPE - MARTINIQUE For Media and Tour Operator Inquiries Market One Centre d’Affaires Valmenière Bât. A - 1er étage 97200 Fort de France, Martinique T: (596) 596 63 12 97 F: (596) 596 71 43 10 E: email@example.com
GETTING HERE FERRY SERVICES FROM ANTIGUA
For information on the ferry service E: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.visitmontserrat.com
FLIGHTS INTO MONTSERRAT Winair Flights E: email@example.com Website: www.fly-winair.com
E: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.flymontserrat.com
Photo Credits: David MacGillivray, David Sanger, Andrew McRobb, James Morgan, Kimagic, Acute Vision Inc., Wayne ‘Fenty’ Fenton and Daigan Smith.