Nevis at a glance
NEVIS, a small and delightful volcanic island, sister island to St Kitts, not that easy to get to (usually via Antigua, St Kitts or St Maarten), but consequently uncrowded and largely unspoiled. Just a few mid and light brown sand beaches, one long main beach, some secluded, others lively with sports and beach bars. Generally unhurried island with a gracious, old West Indian air and a handful of the Caribbean’s most enchanting plantation house hotels (just one large hotel, others smaller), many lovely villas, some good restaurants. Excellent golf, biking, hiking, visible history in the historic houses and churches, some watersports.
Read about Nevis history, population and politics in Island Essentials.
The Definitive Nevis Island Guide gives you independent reviews, listings, and information from top travel journalists and Caribbean specialists.
- Best for:
- Gentle and friendly people, relaxing, romance, nature, dining around and drinking Killer Bees at Sunshine's
- What for:
- Eco/Nature, Flowers & Gardens, Hiking & Walking, Weddings & Romance
- Not for:
- All-inclusives, naturist, casinos, nightlife
- How to get there:
- via St Kitts, St Maarten, Antigua or Puerto Rico
- Top tip:
- It's worth hiring a car to get about Nevis; take the ferry to St Kitts for a day trip
Nevis in depth
Neivs has endless, unutterable charm. The island is small, gentle and unhurried, and wonderfully beautiful, immensely fertile and overwhelmingly green. And with its lovely old buildings and plantation houses, it hints at the grace and finery of past ages in the West Indies. More than other Caribbean islands Nevis brings memories of the romantic West Indies of old. This is not to say it is marooned in the past, but still it retains more traditional West Indian charm than any other Caribbean island.
Just six miles by eight, the island is dominated by a massive volcanic cone, the Nevis Peak. Its slopes sweep down in graceful concave curves, rising momentarily over a couple of outlying lieutenants, and then tumbling to the flatlands, beaches and the sea. Politically Nevis is in Federation with St Kitts, which is just two miles away across ‘the Narrows’. The view of each from the other is beautiful, but despite their proximity the two are in fact quite different in atmosphere.
It is easy to relax in a place with such understated allure, but if you find yourself looking for some activity after a few days then there is a surprising amount to do, for a small island. There are some lively beaches and bars, there are good sights and the island’s visible history is there to explore - Charlestown is a pretty town and all around the island you will see the beautiful blackened stonework of the past in the walls, bridges and churches. There is also excellent walking in the island’s forested flanks. Everything is on quite a small scale, but if you don’t need round the clock entertainment, then Nevis is a place that can fill your days and evenings.
A good part of the historic enchantment of Nevis comes from its plantation house hotels, which are the loveliest in the Caribbean. If you are not staying in one then you should definitely visit, perhaps by going to dinner. Inevitably, with the straighter, faster roads and more modern houses, this sense of historic connection is gradually disappearing. Nevis has moved on and there are modern hotels there too. But with all its gentility and charm, Nevis still retains the old time West Indian ambience that makes it so special.
The Definitive Guide to Nevis island (Nevis West Indies) is maintained by a team of top travel writers and our own in-house team of Caribbean specialists. The guide contains independent reviews about Nevis, its accommodation, things to do, places to see, getting around, how to get there and links for travel to Nevis.
Contributors include Jane Anderson, Deana Bellamy, Feona Gray, Peter Ellegard and Sara Macefield. Picture editor, Holly Cocker. Senior Picture Editor, Alexander Gray.
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Looking for inspiration?
- Try a Killer Bee cocktail at Sunshine’s Beach Bar on Pinney’s Beach
- Visit the Horatio Nelson Museum
- Enjoy a game of golf at the Four Seasons Resort, designed by Robert Trent Jones II
- Learn how to windsurf on the protected bay at Oualie Beach
- Stay in one of the island’s delightful plantation inns