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March 26, 2009


Brades, Montserrat – March 26, 2009 – The island of Montserrat continues to flourish with growth and development despite ongoing activity from the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Considered a haven for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers, the destination boasts unspoiled natural surroundings that include lush green mountains, secluded dark-sand beaches and world-class nature trails. With fierce resilience and strong determination, the destination has retained the unique charm and mystique of an old world Caribbean paradise. In an effort to debunk preconceived notions about this one-of-a-kind destination, below are the truths behind the myths that surround the island.

Fiction – Montserrat is a mountain in Spain.
Fact – Montserrat is an island located in the Eastern Caribbean approximately 25 miles southwest of Antigua. The island of Montserrat was named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world in 1493. He named the island after the Blessed Virgin of the Monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain.

Fiction – The island is uninhabited because of the eruptions of the Soufriere Hills Volcano and the destruction of former capital city, Plymouth.
Fact – While a vast number of the 12,000 residents fled Montserrat after the volcanic eruptions in the late 1990's, many have returned to aid in the rebuilding process. With approximately 5,000 residents, Montserrat has welcomed new commercial sites and a cultural performing arts center over the past three years. New infrastructure has been completed in the northern part of the island in the areas of Brades and Little Bay, the site of the new capital city.  

Fiction – The airport was destroyed by the volcanic eruption and now there is no way to get to Montserrat.
Fact – In 2005, the island was made more accessible with the opening of the John A. Osborne Airport. Through the renewed partnership with regional carrier Winair and seasonal operations of commuter ferry service, travelers can again see why this Caribbean gem is considered a nature-lover's paradise.

Fiction – There is nothing to do in Montserrat.
FactMontserrat is home to the Soufriere Hills Volcano and enthusiasts can learn all about the island's famous resident at The Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Additionally, visitors can dive and explore areas covering more than 13 miles of coastline with the island's two dive facilities, Green Monkey Dive Shop and Scuba Montserrat. The destination's diverse landscape also allows travelers to explore curvy slopes and mountainous vistas on the many hiking trails with guided tours available through the Montserrat National Trust and the Montserrat Tourist Board. Scenic equestrian adventures are also available through Zekie's Horseback Riding Tours (664.496.2765).  

Fiction – Only Ireland celebrates St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday.
Fact – The island of Montserrat is the only country outside of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday. The celebrations stem from the planned slave uprising that occurred on the island during St. Patrick's Day in 1768. It was also a haven for indentured Irish Catholic servants in the British West Indies and the influence of their culture is still felt today. The harp and female figure on the flag and official seal of Montserrat are derived from the Irish heraldy.

Fiction – There are a limited amount of accommodations on Montserrat.
FactMontserrat features one full service hotel and a wide range of affordable accommodations from guest houses to luxury villas that start as low as $700 per week.

Montserrat, a lush green and mountainous island of approximately 39 square miles, lies in the Eastern Caribbean chain of islands. Known fondly as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, this pear shaped island is a traveler's paradise for nature lovers, divers, adventurers, family and villa vacationers, and honeymooners.  This British overseas territory boasts the spectacular Soufriere Hills Volcano, a modern day Pompeii in the form of its buried former capital city Plymouth, alongside lush, green mountains, world class nature trails, deserted dark sand beaches, untouched reefs and a quiet friendly charm reminiscent of the way the Caribbean used to be. For more information on Montserrat and its breathtaking scenery and unspoiled, unpolluted coral and volcanic vistas, visit


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