Frenchman’s Cove is located in the north-eastern Parish of Portland, not far from its capital, Port Antonio. Portland is every northerner’s vision of a tropical paradise. Here the Blue Mountains run down to the sea, catching the clouds which bring just enough rainfall to keep this end of the island luxuriant with lush, glorious growth and creating a series of beautiful little coves sheltered from the open sea. With fishing and farming still the predominant industries in this area, the people of Portland are known for the hardy independence and warm hospitality that is the hallmark of traditional Jamaica. No need to be separated behind hotel walls here. Meeting the people – whether it is your server in the restaurant, the clerks in the shops, or the locals walking along the road – is one of the delights of this area, and one that will bring you back, year after year.
Settled successively by Taino Indians, Spanish, and British, the town was largely developed in the late nineteenth century as a result of the development of the banana trade. With banana boats plying between Jamaica and the United States, visitors began arriving in Port Antonio, launching the beginnings of Jamaica’s tourist trade. Initially, large Victorian hotels were constructed high on the Titchfield Peninsula that separates Port Antonio’s lovely twin harbours. Eventually the rich and famous discovered the delights of the area, with Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn establishing himself on nearby Navy Island and other celebrities building villas along the coastline. Today Port Antonio serves as the market town for the surrounding area as well as boasting a fine new marina servicing the international yachting crowd.