|English: Windward Islands
French: Îles du Vent
|Location||Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean|
|Area||2,099 km2 (810.4 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,467 m (4,813 ft)|
|Highest point||La Grande Soufrière,
|Largest city||St. George's|
|Density||227 /km2 (588 /sq mi)|
The Windward Islands are the southern, generally larger islands of the Lesser Antilles, within the West Indies. They lie south of the Leeward Islands, between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W in one definition.
Name and geography
The Windward Islands are called such because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving in the New World than the Leeward Islands, given that the prevailing trade winds in the West Indies blow east to west. The trans-Atlantic currents and winds that provided the fastest route across the ocean brought these ships to the rough dividing line between the Windward and Leeward islands. Vessels in the Atlantic slave trade departing from the African Gold Coast and Gulf of Guinea would first encounter the southeasternmost islands of the Lesser Antilles in their west-northwesterly heading to final destinations in the Caribbean and North and Central America. The chain of islands form a part of the easternmost boundary of the Caribbean Sea.
- Dominica (sometimes grouped with the Leeward Islands)
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago do not consider themselves part of the Windward Islands. In addition, Barbados sits at 59 degrees (outside of 60–62 west definition), and Tobago at 11.9 degrees north (therefore south of the 12–16 degrees north area).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2013)|
In languages other than English (i.e., Dutch, French, German and Spanish), and also in the local English of some islands, "windward" and "leeward" refer to different groups of islands. In those lects, the arc from the Virgins to Grenada is designated as 'windward islands', while those off the Venezuelan coast are called 'leeward'. In both cases, the east/southeasternmost group are called windward, while the westernmost are called leeward. The group of islands along the Venezuelan coast is called the Leeward Antilles in English.
|Language||Windward Islands||Leeward Islands|
- "Windward Islands". Encyclopaedia Britannica. "[A] line of West Indian islands constituting the southern arc of the Lesser Antilles, at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W. They include, from north to south, the English-speaking island of Dominica; the French département of Martinique; the English-speaking islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and Grenada; and, between Saint Vincent and Grenada, the chain of small islands known as the Grenadines. Though near the general area, Trinidad and Tobago (at the south end of the group) and Barbados (just east) are usually not considered part of the Windward Islands."
- Chapter 4 - The Windward Islands and Barbados - U.S. Library of Congress
- "Windward Islands". Footprint Travel Guides. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press