Barbados- Caribbean island full of fun, relaxation and friendly, warm and funny people. Pictured with sandy white beaches, turquoise clear sea, palm trees on every corner and relaxed culture of living.What more could one want, when on holiday? Not to mention rum punch parties, local tasty dish called flying fish and amazing Hawksbill turtles. Perfection!
Barbados has lots of different types of vacation to offer- from resort relaxation holidays with good cuisine and rum punch parties, which is mainly concentrated on the west coast of island to adrenaline surfing activities on the more wavy east side with famous surfing school located in the town Bathscheba.
Before I visited Caribbean I always thought, that I would need lots of money to experience such paradise. But actually it is not so – while one the west side there are higher rated hotel resorts, the south part offers medium rated hotels at quite affordable prices. In my case I found a very affordable deal on the Internet right before new year with generous 60% discount on regular price for a very nice smaller hotel called Time out hotel with gorgeous rich breakfast and friendly staff. And it was all happening in the main season in January, when the weather is perfect and island is not yet very crowded.
My main activity on this perfect vacation was enjoying and exploring different beaches around the island. And it definitely has a lot of stunning beaches to offer.
My top three of the most stunning beaches on Barbados are deserted Bottom Bay, magnificent Crane beach and popular Sandy beach. Others beaches that I also enjoyed were Dover beach, Miami beach and Accra beach.
Dover beach near St. Lawrence Gap
Dover beach is located in front of the hotel I stayed in and it is simple, quiet and beautiful beach with deck chairs and lovely atmosphere. It is quite long and spacious, therefore very suitable for a good morning walk or jog. Also sea here is perfect for swimming, because it’s not to calm or too wavy.Try to find James – a guy who rents deck chairs and gives information about trips. Why? Because he makes best rum punch and fruit cocktails ever!
Paradise Bottom Bay
I definitely felt most impressed with beauty and wilderness of Bottom Bay. It is definitely postcard-like beach with soft sand and the sea is colored with all kind of shades of blue. It is not so easily accessible, but the effort is worth it, once you get to see, how beautiful it is. After getting off the bus, there’s a 15 minutes walk to get to it and what happens next is stunning. I was absolutely amazed by the view. Minute later I was running up and down the beach, taking pictures, laughing and carrying coconut in hand to pose in front of camera and throwing myself into waves with a huge smile on my face. At the time that I was there, waves were pretty rough, so I wouldn’t recommend swimming there, but maybe it depends on the day and wind. Big plus of that beach is also that there were almost no people and at certain point we were the only people there. Bottom Bay is the most heavenly looking beach I have seen in my life and if you plan to visit Barbados it is a must-see!
Swimming with turtles on Sandy beach
One of the stand-outs of this vacations was definitely swimming with the turtles. I didn’t even imagine, I will experience that and it was definitely a magical experience to be so close to them.One sunny day when we visited Oistins, we went to the pier just behind the fish market and saw a few big turtles swimming near boats, where the fisherman were cutting and cleaning fish. I was impressed by their beauty and gentle behavior. After Internet research I figured out I can see them on Sandy beach. Be careful how you pick the time though – perfect time to get the chance to swim with them is when the tide is low, because at that time they can’t actually swim away on the open sea. Also when the tide is low you can swim far away to the sea and then get to walk on elevated sand caused by tides. It is really beautiful and calming.
Beside the turtles, Sandy beach is a very popular beach among locals and tourists. Once a week a daytime party with music and rum punch is happening and it is real fun. Numerous people gather around, they dance and drink, laugh and party. Sandy beach is like many beaches on Barbados very beautiful with amazing sunsets and atmosphere.
Combining Miami beach and Oistins fish market
Miami beach is very pleasant, homely beach near Oistins. It is a perfect combination to enjoy this quiet beach during the day and then just head on grilled swordfish, tuna steak or fried flying fish to Oistins in the evening. Miami beach is very popular with locals, who jog there, play badminton or just enjoy as a family. I would say it was nice to experience it, as I could get the feeling how some of Bajan’s spent their free time. And big plus of this beach is, it has public facilities, lifeguard and food truck called Mr. Delicious with nice local food , which you can eat on near-by benches in the shadow of the trees. It is a family friendly, calm and beautiful beach to visit.
As I mentioned only a walking distance away from Miami beach you can come to Oistins, which is actually a fishing village with modern fish market very popular among locals and tourist. It is delicious and cheap! Don’t expect it to be fancy, but it will serve you tasty fried and grilled fish, sweet potato, fish cakes and Bajan’s atmosphere. So called Oistins Fish Fry happens every Friday and Saturday with live music and D.J.’s late into the night.
Crane beach – listed as one of top ten beaches of the world
Crane beach is stunning beach with powerful waves, deck chairs and popular honeymoon hotel up on the hill. It definitely offers a must-see stunning view. All you need to do is take a walk up on the cliff on the right end of the beach and then you can see whole beach shining in it’s glory. It’s absolutely amazing. It was such a relaxing time just watching the waves and feeling the breeze on my face. Main reason for recommending this beach is it’s peaceful and meditative nature.
Bathscheba – surfers paradise
This beach is completely different then most of the beaches on the island. It’s located on the west side, where the rough and colder Atlantic ocean shows it’s wild forceful beauty. A walk among the beach awards you with a breath-taking scenery from inshore coral reefs to shallow inshore pools, where you can peacefully chill and relax on a hot sunny day.There is even a nice small beach-front park, where Bajans like to have picnics. After sightseeing and admiring rock formations and big waves of foam coming towards coastline, we stopped at local rum pub, where Bajans were playing cards, talking and drinking rum punch or their local beer Banks. But there is one warning to have in mind- because of strong rip tides and undertows people usually don’t swim here. Of course I did notice a few surfers riding big foamy waves, because this is a famous and popular surfer’s spot.
Exploring the island with public transport
Me and my friend actually visited all of the beaches with local transport. Local transport on Barbados is very cheap, it costs only 1 U.S. dollar per one direction no matter how long the route.There are two types of buses, one is public big bus and second are private mini vans. Both are safe and fun to use. Passengers on these buses are mainly Bajans (locals) and few tourists which can’t afford quite expensive taxis or rent-a-cars.In case you are to use bus transport, it is important to always say the driver, where do you want to go or see, so he stops the bus near that location.But I assure you, it’s fun and interesting way to travel with a lots of options of sightseeing the sea view, the countryside and observing Bajan’s culture.
I really enjoyed my holidays on Barbados. I’m mostly impressed with lively waters of south and south-east beaches, which I would say are top beaches on the island. Accra beach, Sandy beach, Dover beach, Miami beach, Crane beach, Bottom bay and Bathscheba are a must see when you visit Barbados. I also visited Mulliny bay and Sandy Lane beach on west coast and Boatyard in Bridgetown.
Thank you for reading my travel blog about Barbados. My name is Hana and I live in Slovenia. In case you have any questions for me regarding Barbados, I would be happy to help you. You can leave a comment or question in form below.
Till then C’est la vie.