Windward Islands Overview

The Windward Islands are the southern islands of the West Indian Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. These islands are called Windward because they are more windward to arriving Caribbean cruise ships than the Leeward Islands in the North of the Lesser Antilles. Windward means upwind from a given reference point and leeward means down wind from a given reference point.

The Windward Islands are Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Grenadines and Grenada. Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago are sometimes put in this group as they are more windward than other Caribbean islands and are located in close proximity to the established Windward Islands. Barbados and Tobago were originally part of the grouping officially but Barbados returned to being an island country in 1885 and Tobago joined with Trinidad in 1889. Dominica joined the grouping in 1940 having previously been considered one of the Leeward Islands.