The most southerly of the islands belonging to St Vincent, Union Island is 40 miles from St Vincent and only three miles long by one mile wide. It has two settlements, Clifton and Ashton. The tourist office (T4588350, daily 0900-1600) is on your left as you come off the ferry. Seventy-five per cent of the population live in Ashton, but 95% of the action takes place in Clifton. Union is distinguished by some dramatic peaks. Mount Olympus (637 ft) is in the northwest, while Mount Parnassus (920 ft) and Mount Taboi (1,002 ft) stand side by side in the centre-west and in the centre-east are the jagged Pinnacles (925 ft). The landscape around Ashton is more rugged and mountainous than around Clifton. Parnassus, or ‘Big Hill’, is a good hike. Take the upper level road in Ashton. In front of a clearing are some steps leading to a path. After two or three minutes, fork to the left. The path winds round the hill to the top, from where the views are as fine as you would imagine. North of the airport is Fort Hill (450 ft), where the site of a 17th-century French fort gives a panoramic view of dozens of islands. A walk around the interior of the island (about two hours Clifton-Ashton-Richmond Bay-Clifton) is worth the effort, with fine views of the sea, half a dozen neighbouring islands, pelicans and Union itself.
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