Reason-to-Visit-Grenada #2: Carriacou's Tyrrel Bay beach
Did a wise person once say, “the best things in life aren’t easy to reach?” Maybe this dictum only applies to the best Caribbean beaches. Or perhaps the statement’s not always true, but in the case of Tyrrel Bay beach, I think it is. Your effort to reach this crescent of sand and sea will be rewarded with beauty and serenity.
(Tyrrel Bay beach on Carriacou. Photo by Zickie Allgrove.)
First, some background: Zickie and I discovered Tyrrel Bay on the small island of Carriacou, one of Grenada’s three islands. (When I say “discovered,” I don’t mean that we were the first people ever to find it!) We had flown into Grenada on New Year’s Eve; a few days later we took a ferry ride that lasted about 90 minutes to Hillsborough, the main town on Carriacou. The stunningly gorgeous beaches and unspoiled, undeveloped atmosphere of this island suited us both perfectly.
(Unspoiled beach on Tyrrel Bay. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
As I wrote in a guest post for another travel blog, I’d read some travel advice that warned that Tyrrel Bay wasn’t worth a visit. Too touristy, too crowded, and just crammed with the sailing crowd. Long story short: that advice was wrong! Perhaps during a sailing regatta Tyrrel Bay might become jammed with visitors and locals alike, but our experience? This beautiful if narrow stretch of beach appeared deserted. Truly, not a single person lay upon the pale, clean sand or was swimming in the aqua blue ocean.
Once or twice, folks came ashore from their anchored sailboats in dinghies. The handful of restaurants had few diners. Our favorite find was Sundowners, a tiny place (that I previously profiled for Uncommon Caribbean), owned by Grenadian Frankie and his Swedish girlfriend Jeanette. Here Zickie and I enjoyed a delicious meal in a sweetly decorated purple-and-turquoise setting, with only one other couple sitting nearby. It gets hopping on Wednesday night for its drum circle, but the vibe felt very calm that Monday afternoon.
(Sundowners on Carriacou. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
Why seek out these somewhat hard-to-reach beaches and beach bars? Simply put, I go to the islands for escape. Being based in south Florida, Zickie and I have plenty of opportunity to experience noise, traffic, crowded restaurants, and beaches thronged with people. Don’t get me wrong: we love where we live, and have nothing, and I do mean nada, to complain about. Yet an "island runaway" for us doesn’t mean loud sound systems blaring on the beach and us having to jostle with other tourists to locate a lounge chair.
(No jostling for a spot here. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
Finding a spot that feels like you’ve washed up on an undiscovered tropical isle makes us very happy. Learning that your discovery isn’t actually undiscovered, but offers a few laid-back hangouts where you can sip on a Carib or eat freshly grilled fish? Even better, in my opinion. If you’re an independent type who doesn’t need a lot of hotel entertainments…the effort to reach Carriacou's Tyrrel Bay beach may be so worth it. In terms of the authentic Caribbean, it’s hard to imagine anyplace better.
Cheers, fellow Island Runaways!