Montserrat Travel Guide

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Blackburne airport with runway blocked  by volcanic material

Blackburne airport with runway blocked by volcanic material


A small volcanic island, originally settled by Irish immigrants fleeing persecution, Montserrat is off the beaten Caribbean track. Its size is tiny (39 square miles). It has beautiful beaches, hills, forests, rivers and waterfalls. It's known as the 'Emerald Isle of the Caribbean' and is the only west indian island that has St.Patrick's day as a national holiday. Hiking, nature watching and climbing are favourite ways to spend the day on the island. It is a British Overseas Territory.

A big volcano eruption which started in 1998 has disrupted life on the island in a dramatic way. The capital Plymouth is covered by ash and pyroclastic flows and completely devastated. Access to more than half of the island is prohibited. The latest major explosion occurred in July 2004 when the island was again covered by ashes. The activity of the volcano is monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. Further information about the volcano can be found on

Because of the eruption the population has dropped from about 11,000 to 4,500. However, life in the northern part of Montserrat is again flourishing. No casualties have occurred outside the closed zone. The old airport was destroyed by the eruptions but there is a new airport with regular flights from Antigua. Small numbers of tourists have again found their way to the Emerald Isle.


October 15, 2006 change by ingvar

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