If you’re looking for an idyllic Caribbean island getaway for your 2017 holiday, Barbados is the place for you. A mix of golden beaches, cultural attractions, lush green forests, and street parties that bring both local residents and visitors together, Barbados is an island paradise waiting to welcome you. The island’s beaches are a playground for surfers, snorkelers, swimmers and divers - depending on which coast you visit. While the various towns, cities and villages give culture vultures plenty of architecture, history and heritage to devour.
Visiting the towns of Oistins and Speightstown allow you to really immerse yourself in Bajan culture. Whether you’re partying with the residents at a weekly fish fry or discovering village life from years gone by in a local museum. Vibrant markets, flavourful Bajan architecture and rustic fishing shacks tucked away in coastal towns are must-see sights on a tour of the island. Take a coastal sightseeing trip and see if you’re lucky enough to spot migrating whales passing by, or simply relax in one of the many superb hotels dotted along the shores of Barbados.
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With a huge range of attractions and scenic spots to enjoy, a holiday to Barbados can be filled with fun, adventure and picture-perfect views. Future pilots and intrigued visitors will want to head straight for the Barbados Concorde Experience. A retired Concorde jet is waiting to be explored in a Christ Church air hangar. See the legendary aircraft and learn how it won the hearts of frequent fliers around the world. Delve below ground at Harrison’s Cave where the ancient natural structures will take your breath away.
For nature of a different kind, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve lets you wander through the woodland and see the animals up close. With very few cages, mainly reserved for the snakes you’ll be pleased to earn, this animal attraction is a great way to see some native species in their natural environment. Rustic fishing villages, a vibrant capital city and unspoilt towns are great places to explore as you immerse yourself in island life. When you’re done exploring, the miles and miles of soft sand beaches are waiting to welcome you. If you’re looking for lush green acres rather than sand-filled shores, the botanical gardens, flower forests and the stunning flowers at Orchid World are perfect for anyone with green fingers.
Wine and Dine
One of the many delights of a Barbados holiday is the food. Put simply, Bajan cuisine is a medley of flavours conjured up in simple dishes. Fresh island ingredients, especially seafood, go into a menu of African, Indian, Creole and Irish influenced recipes. A visit to Barbados isn’t complete without experiencing a Friday or Saturday night at Oistins Fish Fry. An island institution, Oistins sees sizzling barbecues serving up lobster, swordfish and marlin late into the night. A favourite with locals and visitors alike, it’s a chance to really experience Bajan life to the fullest.
To sample one of the most popular island exports take a trip to the Mount Gay Distillery. Barbados didn’t earn its rum-drenched reputation lightly. The distillery tours reveal the process behind creating this world-famous rum, along with a fair few samples to wet your whistle.
Holidaying on Barbados gives families the chance to laze on the beach to their hearts content. Miles of sandy shoreline and warm waters are the perfect location to lounge away those hassles of everyday life. A stroll along Accra Beach during August and September could even turn up some unexpected treasure for inquisitive explorers.
Sea grapes are found on plants lining the sands, waiting to be foraged. These exotic fruits are purple when ripe and are fun for visitors of all ages to try and find. With water-sports such as windsurfing, paddle-boarding, diving and surfing to try, active families can find plenty to keep busy on the shore. With the attractions such as the Barbados Concorde Experience and Barbados Wildlife Reserve on hand to entertain the whole family, you won’t have to look too far to find something to do on your Barbados holiday.
Action and Adventure
As well as some well-earned relaxation in the sun, visitors to Barbados can head out on a series of adventures to keep everyone from adrenaline junkies to more laid-back explorers happy. Head underground to Harrison’s Cave to wander among the stunning stalagmites and stalactites. Dive into the deep waters to see some of the many shipwrecks on the coast. Now home to a rich and diverse range of marine life, these eerie stricken vessels are a must for scuba fans.
Try out one of the newer water-sports while here too, fly-boarding. Two water jets are strapped to your feet as you power high above the waves, where you can try out some aerial acrobatics or simply zoom across the sea. Book a trip on a 4x4 island safari to reach some of the more remote spots, hire a boat to find hidden spots along the coast or surf the ‘soup bowl’. The intense waves are recommended for experienced surfers only, but provide a great spectator sport when the swells really test the surfer’s abilities.
Life's a Beach
A tropical island holiday on Barbados gives visitors a wide range of beaches to choose from. With each compass point on the island offering something different, there’s a beach scene to suit everyone looking for their idyllic spot in the sands. The rugged north coast has some small coves tucked away amongst the dramatic and craggy coastline. Hit up the south coast for a lively water-sports scene, flawless beaches and beautiful coral reefs.
Surfers will want to head east where the challenging swells and waves are more than a match for experienced boarders. The calmer shores on the west of Barbados are ideal for families looking to enjoy a day at the beach. Paddle, snorkel or swim in the cool waters or spend a lazy day relaxing on a catamaran. Whether you head north, west, south or east there’s a beach with everything you need waiting to welcome you.
The island’s laid-back daytime ambience is swapped for a lively, bustling mix of bass thumping nightclubs, glitzy cocktail bars and street parties. Don’t worry if this all seems a little too lively as there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy a calmer night out too. To dance the balmy nights away, head to the St Lawrence Gap on the south coast, bars and clubs here are all gathered in one place, making it easy to join in the fun.
For an evening full of fun and local flavour, Oistins is the place to be. Fridays and Saturdays see the party hit the streets. Fried fish, food stalls and plenty of Bajan rum are on hand to help the night go with a swing. For a suave and sophisticated evening in The Gap head to Café Sol. Think Mexican al fresco dining, a non-rowdy crowd and some excellent cocktails served up alongside margaritas and sangria.
One of the most romantic spots in the Caribbean, a holiday to Barbados is perfect for honeymooners, celebrating those special anniversaries or just catching up on some all-important quality time. From the more modern luxuries such as a glitzy movie and cocktail nights in the island’s celebrated cinema, the Limegrove, to rustic picnics in Hunte’s Gardens, couples can find a way to leave their worries behind and truly enjoy this paradise island.
Harrison’s Cave offers an underground world of beauty to discover. Rock formations formed over thousands of years have transformed the cave into a magical fairytale setting for an afternoon away from the bustling beaches. A moonlit stroll along the Barbados Boardwalk before heading for cocktails and an intimate dinner is the perfect way to spend a laid-back evening together.
A Caribbean holiday normally means lazy beach days in the sun - and there are plenty of those to enjoy alongside some time uncovering some Barbados heritage. Bridgetown, the island’s capital and a UNESCO Heritage site, is steeped in culture and history. Join a walking tour to take in the highlights or explore them at your leisure later. With plenty of duty-free shopping and a lively atmosphere, there’s much more to see while you’re in the city.
For a green and serene landscape to contrast the city’s streets, Hunte’s Gardens in the lush hills of St. Joseph’s are a must for keen gardeners. Tucked away in the centre of Barbados' rain forest, the gardens are a magical and enchanting escape. For a historical day out with an emphasis on sporting history, head to the Garrison Savannah racetrack, racing takes place from January to April here, but the track side is also home to George Washington House. This site was used by the president in the 1750s, and its barracks and forts were once occupied by British soldiers. Away from the tourist resorts, Barbados has some well-preserved rustic towns to discover too. Speightstown is an old-world delight with a rambling sprawl of fishing shacks and shoreside market traders. The town’s museum walks you through the area’s history, giving a real insight into island life.