In the classic Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman film, Casablanca, everyone sooner or later winds up at Rick's bar, but on the Caribbean island of Grenada, it seems like everybody eventually winds up at Grande Anse beach. In fact, some visitors barely ever leave this curving crescent of shorefront -- choosing to spend most of their "Spice Island" time at a Grande Anse resort such as Coyaba. Why, you may ask, is this beach so popular? This is certainly one reason:
(In Grenada Grande Anse is one of the most popular beaches. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
No, your eyes don't deceive you and this photo has not been doctored or manipulated: that ocean color is 100% real. So is the beige sand that seems to melt away blissfully under your feet. And "Grande Anse" (which means big cove in French) certainly lives up to its name. You can walk, walk, and walk as you soak in the scenery and the warm waves lap at your toes.
(Here I am enjoying the surf on Grande Anse beach. Photo by Island Runaways/Z.A.)
Another reason folks flock to this particular playa? You can find some easy places to grab a Carib beer or a bite of lunch, with an unforgettable backdrop of aquamarine sea. Umbrellas is an especially hopping joint, and they serve just about every kind of tropical cocktail ever invented, along with burgers and other casual beach fare.
(Umbrellas is one of Grande Anse's busy beach bars. Photo by Island Runaways/Z.A.)
You can venture further south, by the budget hotel, Flamboyant, where the Owl serves drinks and West Indian cuisine. Here you can sit literally in the sand, if that's your wish.
(The Owl, mellow during the day, more rowdy by night. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
Grande Anse is a bustling beach. There's stuff going on, people milling around, kids laughing, locals "liming" on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It's not a quiet refuge, but that's part of the scene. (Travelers seeking serenity can always stay elsewhere on the Spice Island, such as Le Phare Bleu or La Sagesse, and make an afternoon trip to Grande Anse. This is exactly what we did, in fact!)
(You can see why Grande Anse is the one of the most popular of Spice Island beaches.)
You'll find Grande Anse just south of the country's charming capital city, St. George's. One easy adventure is to start off the morning in St. George's and tour the historic Georgian-era waterfront, then hop in your car and head south to Grande Anse for a swim before lunch. We found free, public parking beside Umbrellas, about 3 steps from the sand. If you get to Grande Anse, be sure to walk the length of it at least once. Not necessarily for exercise (although we did see some brave joggers out in the noon-time sun), but to appreciate how the light looks on the ocean from different angles.
(The vistas you dream about when you run an island travel blog. Photo by Laura Albritton.)
One of our favorite parts of travel is discovering the off-the-beaten track places in the world. But there's something to be said for plunging in and experiencing the best-loved, well-known attractions, too. Grenada has other beautiful beaches, but Grande Anse remains one of the island's most famous spots. Now we Island Runaways know why. It's simply an easy place to soak in the spectacular beauty of the Caribbean.