Montserrat

9

Beaches

Overview of Island

Montserrat is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The pear-shaped island, part of the Lesser Antilles chain, is known as the “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean,” in part because of its formerly large population of people who originated from Ireland and the resemblance of its cliffs and shorelines to Ireland. It is 11 miles (18km) long and 7 miles (11 km) wide, with a narrow coastal plain. Its few beaches have mainly gray or brown sand because of their volcanic origins, with one white sand beach at Rendezvous Bay in the north. 


Capital: Plymouth & Brades                   

Language: English 

Population: 5,900


Prior to the island being called "Montserrat", it was called "Alliouaguana" meaning 'land of the prickly bush' coined by the Tainos c.500BCE.  These Indians lived in village settlements and left their mark in the form of artifacts some of which can be found in the National Museum.  In 1493 Christopher Columbus claimed the Island  for Spain and in typical Columbus style renamed it  "Santa Maria de Montserrat" after a monastery in Spain.  It was later colonized by the British in 1632 and remains a British Overseas Territory up to today. The first settlers were mainly Irish Catholic indentured servants  and many of the residents still practice some Irish traditions. They left their mark via the emblem of the Irish Shamrock and Erin (female figure with a harp and a cross) featured on the coat of arms on the Montserrat flag.  During that time Africans were brought in as slaves and together they worked the sugar plantations as well as produced sea-island cotton and limes. 


Montserrat is one of 14 UK Overseas Territories  governed by a locally elected Premier and Parliament. The UK Government works with Montserrat’s Government to strengthen the island’s economic planning, emergency management, and security. As well, a British governor is appointed who lives on the island, and functions as an advisor on these matters. However, Montserrat still has her own passport and national song.


Move forward hundred of years from colonization, in 1995 the once dormant Soufriere Hills Volcano exploded for the first time in 400 years.  Plymouth was devastated and much of it remains buried beneath thick layers of ash and mud.  Between 1995 and 2000, two-thirds of the island's population was forced to flee, primarily to the United Kingdom, leaving fewer than 1,200 people on the island in 1997 (rising to nearly 5,000 by 2016). More than half of the population has since migrated to North America and the UK. 


Montserrat's  residents today  are a milieu of immigrants nicknamed 'Stratians' (since the eruptions)  who came from Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana, Haiti and the DR all of which make for an interesting blend of cultures and languages that promote a certain warmth to the increasing number of tourists visiting since the opening of their new airport into their relocated capital called New Town.  


Today the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) monitors all the volcanos' activities and chronicles the history of the volcano and life in Montserrat before and after the subsequent eruptions.  Access to the volcano site and surroundings, The Buried City is not allowed except 'with a certified guide, under strict monitoring and constant radio contact with the MVO'.  For more information click https://mountainaglow.com/







https://www.britannica.com/place/Montserrat-island-West-Indies

Highlights

Things to do

Where to stay

Gingerbread Hill

Here is a place where you can just kick back and savour the total peace and quiet that help to make Montserrat one of the most special and unique places on the planet.

Crows Nest Villa

Crows Nest Villa is Montserrat's idyllic and untouched Caribbean retreat.

FAQs

How To Get There?
By air from Antigua ( one of the Caribbean international hubs) with a regional airline such as 'Fly Montserrat" to take you the 20 mins to Montserrat's John A. Osborne Airport. If sailing: the ferry from Antigua is 90 mins away having taken a short ride from the Antigua's VC Bird International Airport to the Montserrat Ferry terminal. The cost is EC$300/US$111. return and if travelling same day (within 24 hours) departure tax is exempted. By Yacht: Yachtsmen and other mariners visiting the island can anchor off Port Little Bay. To disembark, proceed to the Little Bay wharf and enter the terminal for Customs. Advanced clearance can be made on the regional pre-arrival notification system by going to www.sailclear.com. Alternatively, enter your information in the Sail Clear computer terminal at the entrance of the Montserrat Port.
CUISINE KNOWN FOR
National dish is Goat Water, a delicious stew authentically made from the meat of the male (ram) goat. It bears resemblance to the Irish stew and can be served with a variety of foods, such as bread, and rice Other local featured dishes include Duckana, cassava bread and saltfish muffins or bakes, and souse made from pickled pig trotters cooked in a clear broth, usually a Saturday treat.
What is our terrain like?
The island’s rugged volcanic landscape is molded by three mountainous areas—the Silver Hills, the Centre Hills, and the Soufrière Hills—which are in turn cut by narrow valleys and gorges known locally as ghauts. One-fifth of the Island is forested.
What is the climate like?
The average temperature year round is 27 degree C./81 degree F. tempered by northeast trade winds. The peak hurricane season is from early August to end of October, however the Island lies at the edge of the hurricane belt which minimizes its risk The coolest time of the year is from December to April when temperature can go as low as 17 degree/63 degree F.
What Are The Entry Requirements?
A valid passport (6 months) for entry. A return airline ticket and/or proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. Completed Immigration/Customs Declaration Card (Provided by airline or ferry staff) Also an eVisa from some countries completed online - see https://www.immigration.ms/tourists/guide
What Are The Marriage Requirements?
When applying for a Marriage License: - One of the parties must reside on Montserrat for three (3) working days prior to submitting the completed Marriage License application form to the Office of the Deputy Governor (Consular Division), along with the required documents: - Original Birth Certificate of each party. - A valid passport for each party. - If one or both parties has/have never been married, he/she/they must provide a Certificate of Non-marriage which is obtained from the Registrar’s Office in the city where the parties live. - If one or both parties is/ are divorced, he/she/they must provide an original or a notarized copy of the Decree Nisi or Decree Absolute. - If one or both parties has/have been widowed, he/she/they must provide an original or notarized copy of the relevant Death Certificate. - If one or both parties is/are under the age of 18, he/she/ they must provide a written consent from the parents. The written consent must be notarized by the Notary Public. Please note , a family member cannot sign the application form certifying that they know you. When the Marriage license has been signed by the Governor, the parties will be notified by telephone. NB. During this 3-day waiting period, the parties can take the opportunity to speak with the Registrar or Minister of Religion to arrange the time and place of the wedding ceremony. These details must be noted on the marriage application form. Please note the Registrar will inform you of the fees for officiating at the wedding during working hours and outside working hours Other fees include: - $500.00 in Montserrat stamps (fee stipulated by law). http://www.visitmontserrat.com/getting-married/
What Are The Healthcare Options?
The Glendon Hospital in Montserrat offers all medical and surgical services, with a focus to shift from Secondary care (Hospital treatment) to one of Primary Care (community and preventative) approach.
Other Useful Facts
Business Hours: the only places open after 7pm are restaurants, pubs and night clubs. Banking: there is one bank in Montserrat, the national bank called Bank of Montserrat. Not all businesses accept credit or debit cards. Currencies that can be exchanged at the bank include Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar and the Barbados Dollar. EC Dollar is the currency of the Island. Electricity: most villas and guest houses carry both 110V and 220V outlets.