Union Island

Union Island is the largest island in the southern part of St. Vincent’s Grenadines. With its dramatically mountainous outline, Union stands out from afar. Clifton, the main harbor, is protected by a reef which shows off its brilliant kaleidoscopic colors and patterns as you sail in.

A pleasant anchorage is just behind Newlands Reef, but if you prefer to be nearer the action, anchor anywhere off the town.

Union has always been a very genuine Grenadine Island, the commercial center of the southern Grenadines with an excellent harbor and, until recently, it had the largest airport.

In the last decade it seems like a whole new place. Everyone you meet is cheerful and genuinely happy to talk to visitors. The town is clean and picturesque with several new, locally run stores catering to visitors. A couple of bars provide perfect street-side viewing points for watching the world go by. The market, with many colorful stalls, has been rearranged round a pleasant green square.

The change has been happening slowly over some years, but now it has all come together to make it so pleasant that it has become a favorite for many of us. The pace is leisurely but you have over half a dozen good restaurants, the provisioning is very good for the Grenadines with a really wide choice of fresh produce. Basic services like docking, water, laundry and internet connections are readily available.

Clifton, the main anchorage, has always been spectacular, open to the east and protected by a barrier reef. The waters colors are brilliant green and turquoise and the water very clear. Union also has two other excellent anchorages. Chatham Bay in on the lee side of the island is a magnificent bay with a long beautiful beach backed by steep hills. It feels wild and far away, but this will not last too long as roads have been build on the hill tops and houses are likely to be built. The anchorage off Frigate Island is on Union’s south coast and fairly remote, though well within dinghy range of Ashton, Union’s other main settlement. Ashton is a pleasant local town with lots of rum shops, small supermarkets, and a couple of restaurants whose prices are excellent. While here visit all you can, but especially Sparrows Beach Club (free bus) and Happy Island.

Union has become a major kite surfing center and you can usually watch a great display of kites in action out on the reef.

An attempt was made to construct a marina in Frigate Bay with lots of walls being built. The company went bankrupt and work stopped, but the remains provide a pleasant footpath from Frigate Island all the way into Union.