Montserrat is a tiny state in the Caribbean Sea. The total area of the island is only 102 m2. The country is the oversea territory of the United Kingdom. The capital city de juro is Plymouth. However, after the last volcanic eruption, the capital Brades became a capital city de facto.
Due to the oceanic coolness, the climate on the island is rather comfortable. We recommend you against coming to the island in the wet season which lasts from September to November.
The majority of the population are the migrants from the African countries. The locals are the Christians. The official language is English.
A comfortable climate and excellent beaches offer anything and everything for a good beach vacation, diving and snorkeling. Partly, the island is closed for the tourists as it was destroyed by the volcanic eruption. However, the underwater world is almost beyond the imagination.
The lovers of country holidays will not be disappointed. On the island, there are many hiking trails and you will enjoy a tropical nature around you in this piece of paradise. The tourists can rent surfboards, boats and equipment for fishing and underwater fishing.
Montserrat is known for its beaches with black and gray volcanic sand. There is only one ‘traditional’ beach on the island and this is a Rendezvous Beach. The beach is all covered with light sand and against the rest coastline it is a true wonder.
A travel to Montserrat is a bit wearisome as there are not direct flights from CIS countries. The tourists have to take transit flights.
Both for the Europeans and the citizens of CIS countries, it will be convenient to take a transit flight with a stop in London. We would recommend this variant.
Alternatively, the tourists can fly to Montserrat through a neighboring island Antigua. There is also a ferry route between the islands. The ferry is available only during a high season.
The tourists from some European countries can travel to Montserrat visa-free.
The citizens of CIS countries must obtain a visa to get to the island. They can submit the documents to the British visa center. The tourists are given a multiple entry visa for a year.
When submitting an application, a tourist must pay a consular fee.
The tourists can export and import any amount of currency without restrictions but all the money must be declared.
The following goods can be brought in duty-free:
- alcohol and cigarettes;
- perfume (up to 168 ml);
- gifts (the total cost of which must not exceed 500 Eastern Caribbean Dollars).
The tourists are not allowed to bring in non-canned foods.
It is prohibited to export:
- objects of art and cultural heritage;
- rare species of flora and fauna;
- corals and things made of corals.
The locals use only fresh products to prepare national dishes. Warm climate allows growing vegetables and fruits all the year round and the sea provides people with fish and seafood. Potatoes, rice and lettuce are served as a side dish. Instead of bread, you will be offered maize or barley flour flatbread. The locals cook the meat over the charcoal and serve it with hot and savory sauces.
The tourists should try salt cod, pies stuffed with marinated shrimps and fish pies with bean paste.
Do not leave Montserrat without trying ginger beer, fruit wines and local Montserrat Rum Punch.
Everyone will be delighted by juicy and sweet tropical fruits (paw paw, Indian cherry, passionfruit and mango), fresh juices and lemonades which quench your thirst on hot days.
The main specialty on the island is Mountain Chicken. This dish has nothing to do with the chicken, it is prepared from frog legs. For this dish, the locals use a special edible frog which can be found only on the islands Montserrat and Haiti.
The national currency in Montserrat is Eastern Caribbean Dollar. In circulation are:
- 1 cent and 1 dollar coins;
- 5 and 100 dollars bank notes.
The tourists will not be confused as the national currency pegged to the US dollar and the exchange rate never changed since 1976.
On the territory of the island, the tourists can pay both with Eastern Caribbean and US dollars. The prices are published in two currencies.
One can exchange the currency in the majority of banks. The tourists can pay with credit cards. However, in Montserrat cash is preferred over cards.
The tourists can cash traveler’s checks at banks.
Details of interest
The holiday in Montserrat is a true feast. All the year round, the tourists can participate in various cultural events.
January is traditional New Year celebrations and the first stage of the International Fishing Competition.
March is a colorful celebration of St. Patric’s Day which is celebrated only in Ireland and Montserrat. The celebrations last the whole week and include the costume parades, demonstrations, acts of worship and exhibitions.
On the island, the festival of kites and pumpkin festival are annually held. The main character of the pumpkin festival is a crookneck. People do not only eat it but also use for making musical instruments, tableware and crafts.
The year ends with a Christmas Festival with its carnivals, trade fairs, sports competitions and music events.
Sightseeing in Montserrat
Montserrat appeared due to the Soufrière volcano which is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the Caribbean. It is strictly prohibited by the local authorities to visit the places near it.
Volcanic eruptions prevent the island from becoming a popular resort. However, on the island, there is a truly unique sight which has nothing to do with the nature of the island and with its culture. This is the Montserrat Philatelic Bureau. It collects and issues unusual stamps and other things associated with the post. The Bureau regularly holds the exhibitions demonstrating the best stamps and selling souvenirs.
Souvenirs in Montserrat
Except unique stamps, a good gift from the island is, of course, rum, souvenirs with clover and crafts which anyone can buy during the festivals in Plymouth and Brades.