Easter time in the islands | Round trip

Five regional travel influencers (Cindy Allman, Samantha Gittens, Shea Powell, Stephen Bennett, and Francesca Murray) share their favourite things about Easter time across the Caribbean — as told to Shelly-Ann Inniss

  • Photo courtesy St Lucia Tourism Authority
  • Photo courtesy Cindy Allman
  • Fresh fish is offloaded at the jetty and enjoyed at the Oistins Fish Fry just a stone’s throw away. Photo by Jon Arnold Images Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
  • Photo by Jon Arnold Images Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
  • Photo courtesy Samantha Gittens
  • Spiced bun-and-cheese. Photo by Image Professionals GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo
  • Photo by donaomanoff/Stockimo/Alamy Stock Photo
  • Photo courtesy Shea Powell
  • Mt Irvine Bay is a popular spot for surfing in Tobago for both beginners and skilled surfers. Photo by Chris Anderson
  • Photo courtesy Guy Kawasaki/Pexels
  • Photo courtesy Stephen Bennett
  • Crabs are the main ingredient in a Martinican traditional Easter dish called matoutou. Photo by Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock.com
  • Photo courtesy Francesca Murray

Heads high

St Lucia

My first visit to St Lucia was at Easter, and I remember being blown away by the beauty. To be on the beach and see the Pitons in the background seemed so surreal. Also, as someone who loves the outdoors, I climbed to the top of one of the Pitons, then spent the rest of the day on Sugar Beach with lunch at Jade Mountain.

One of my favourite things to see during Easter is kite-flying, and while there, I saw quite a few kites being flown. It was wonderful to know that this tradition is still practised across the Caribbean.

I love any version of accras or fish cakes (saltfish fritters), and we had plenty of those to eat. If you are driving through the island, you will definitely spot people on the way to church wearing Easter hats — that was very beautiful to see. St Lucia is the gift that keeps on giving and remains one of my favourite destinations.

Cindy Allman (@bookofcinz) is a book blogger, reviewer, book club host, and content creator who has travelled to dozens of countries (and counting!)


Fishand chocolate!

Barbados & Grenada

I’m usually at home in Barbados for Easter, and recently I had a really lovely staycation on the east coast. It was super relaxing and refreshing.

The place where I stayed offered a nice variety of dishes at their restaurant — like plantain French toast, lobster benedict, and crispy fish sliders — from their seafood and plant-based menu.

Fish is the first choice for most Bajans at Easter, so I also visited the Oistins Fish Festival — a great local Easter tradition where you can enjoy local cuisine like fish cakes and grilled fish; arts and crafts from vendors; fun competitions and great entertainment.

After the Easter celebrations, I visited Grenada and enjoyed their annual Chocolate Festival. I learned so much about their top-quality chocolate and rich spices. I never knew there were so many amazing ways they can be used!

Samantha Gittens (@oraclesam) is a digital creator from Barbados with a passion for exploring new places, trying new foods and products while creating engaging, exciting content


To the countryside


The Easter holiday season is all about family and church in Jamaica. This is also the time of the year that we can consume a lot of spiced bun-and-cheese along with fish.

Most Jamaicans (myself included) would roam the countryside of Jamaica — Clarendon in particular for me — to enjoy family time. This is something I enjoy thoroughly. The hills of Clarendon are cooler in temperature at this time, so I often look forward to seeing everyone and eating some of the best fried fish for Easter.

Church is a staple during this season — from Holy Thursday right back to Palm Sunday. Catch me there on Easter Sunday. Growing up with my grandparents, attending church on this day is a must.

Easter Monday is a major holiday in Jamaica, where locals flock to the beaches. My family and I make this an annual ritual. I keep it very traditional during the Easter season! I’ll take church, the country life, family time, bun-and-cheese and fish anytime!

Shea Powell (@TheWorldUpCloser) is a travel adventurer and digital content creator who runs theworldupcloser.com. She has travelled to over 45 countries so far


Surf’s up?


Anytime is a good time to visit Tobago for me. This was especially true during the many years that my dad, a born and bred Trini from San Fernando, lived there in retirement. I visited often, experiencing Tobago’s charms at various points of the year.

My favourite time to be in Tobago, though, is definitely Easter. The island really comes alive as droves of people from the island and from neighbouring Trinidad enjoy the beachy vibes and uniquely Tobagonian Easter festivals. The highlight is undoubtedly the goat races in Buccoo, or more to the point: the post-race fete.

Aside from liming with my dad and enjoying an ice-cold beer and a big bowl of crab-and-dumpling from Miss Trimm’s, my favourite memories must be of surfing. Actually, I should say trying to surf.

Most people don’t think of Tobago as a surfing hotspot. An Easter weekend visit to Mt Irvine Beach will make you think differently. A nice break off the north shore of the beach made for some steady waves during my visit. I took a lesson that didn’t really end well, but it definitely has me anxious to get back for another try (and more crab-and-dumpling) soon.

Stephen Bennett and his brother Patrick are committed to sharing authentic aspects of Caribbean life and culture via UncommonCaribbean.com and @UncommonCarib. They’ve visited more than 50 destinations, with Steve continuing to fail at surfing …


Stark raving crab


Accessible via direct flights from either Dominica or St Lucia (and, very soon, with direct connectivity on Caribbean Airlines), Martinique is a must-visit. And Easter in Martinique is such a joyous time.

I didn’t expect to exchange Easter egg hunts and chocolate bunnies for eating crab — loads of it. Eating crabs — also known as matoutou — on Easter Monday is to Martinique what eating turkey is to American Thanksgiving.

I was determined to get my hands dirty to prepare this delicacy. The smell of citrus filled the air as over 100 crabs doused with water and oranges waited in a tub in my friend’s back yard. Before I knew it, the smell of oranges was replaced by the aroma of peppers, bay leaves, and garlic as the sauce began to boil.

My self-control was tested when we left the crabs in the giant pot to marinate. We joined over 30 members of my friend’s family for lunch, but I’m not sure who was more anxious for us to arrive.

I’ve experienced Easter in many different parts of the world, but I’ll never forget my first Easter in Martinique.

Francesca Murray (@onegrloneworld) is an award-winning journalist specialising in beauty, travel and lifestyle advice; the editor-in-chief of One Girl One World; and one of the pioneers of the Black travel movement

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