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GETTING THERE: Transatlantic Wings (0171 602 4021) has flights to Antigua from Gatwick with Caledonian Airways. Prices start from pounds 330 and go up to pounds 540 depending on travel dates. From Antigua return flights with Liat cost $144 (pounds 95) to St Martin and $68 (pounds 45) to Montserrat. Other companies that arrange holidays and flights to the area include Caribbean Gold (0181 741 8491) and Caribtours (0171 581 3517). Harlequin Worldwide (01708 852 780) organises tailor-made luxury holidays to 59 Caribbean islands. Prices, including flights, start at pounds 880 for a week in Montserrat or pounds 1,200 for a week in a deluxe garden room in St Martin. Harlequin can also arrange bookings at Isles Bay Plantation.

GETTING AROUND: Various Liat Air Passes are available through Transatlantic Wings (0171 602 4021). For $199 (pounds 130) the Liat Explorer, valid for 21 days, offers three stopovers from a selection of 23 islands (including St Martin and Montserrat). The pass must be purchased outside the Caribbean and in conjunction with a ticket for travel to the Caribbean. Carib Express (0171 730 2214) operates a limited service between islands and also offers a Caribbean pass. The minimum of two island hops costs $98 (pounds 65) and the maximum eight costs $392 (pounds 260). All Caribbean airports have a charter company on call. Montserrat Airways (001 809 491 6494) offers sightseeing tours, day trips and shopping excursions.

MONTSERRAT HOUSES: To buy or build, contact Isles Bay Plantation (0171 482 1418), 12 Stucley Place, London NW1 8NS.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Montserrat Tourist Office (0171 242 3131), Suite 433, 52-54 High Holborn, London WC1V 6RB. French Government Tourist Office (0171 629 2869), 178 Piccadilly, London W1V 0AL. Caribbean Tourism Organisation (0171 233 8382), Vigilant House, 120 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1JZ.

FURTHER READING: The Weather Prophet: A Caribbean Journey by Lucretia Stewart (Vintage) will published in paperback in March.