Read our pocket guide to Harbour Island
Harbour Island: A pocket guide
Of the 700 islands and cays of the Bahamas, Harbour Island is a tiny jewel. The three-mile-long and a quarter-mile wide island lies two miles off the north coast of Eleuthera. This picture perfect island features colourful houses, long stretches of sandy beaches and phenomenally beautiful crystal clear waters. Chic and alluring, Harbour Island attracts the likes of Uma Thurman, Harrison Ford and Robert de Niro, and Diane von Furstenberg herself has a house on the island. Besides its natural splendour, it has average temperatures of 20-30 degrees Celsius or 70-80 Fahrenheit, with a refreshing ocean breeze.
Colourful Dunmore Town & Stunning Beaches
On the harbour side of the island is Dunmore Town. It was founded in the eighteenth century and named after the 1786-1798 governor of the Bahamas, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, who had a summer residence on the island. The pretty town is lined with pastel-coloured clapboard cottages, white picket fences, and gorgeous gardens bursting with bougainvillaea, oleander, and hibiscus. A gorgeous beach runs along the Atlantic side, which is frequently referred to as the best beach in the Bahamas. It extends the entire length of the island, and the contrast of pale pink sand against the turquoise ocean is absolutely sublime.
Life on Harbour Island is laid back and peaceful, which stands to reason as there are no cars for rent—only golf carts. Despite being a small island, there is a number of great restaurants, ranging from upscale options like the Rock House and The Dunmore to funkier low-key hangouts like Brian’s BBQ.
Great Restaurants & Watersport Haven
Alternate picnic lunches on deserted islands with feasting on lobster quesadillas at Sip Sip or the best fresh conch salad at Queen Conch, a tiny shack on Bay Street. For another foodie treat, take the short boat trip across the southern inlet to Ocean Talley, a restaurant located in a lighthouse on Eleuthera. For drinks with beautiful sunsets to accompany, there’s Acquapazza, found near the ruins of an allegedly haunted plantation house.
The island also features charming shops, liquor and grocery stores, delis, art galleries, bakeries (highly recommended: breakfast at Arthur’s), and several bars with music and dancing, colourful in appearance and atmosphere! There are also a number of watersport activities available on the island, including diving, snorkelling, bone and deep sea fishing, picnic cruises, biking, kitesurfing, and horse riding on the beach.
You can have both a leisurely and luxurious holiday on Harbour Island when you stay at one of the incredible vacation homes available through UltraVilla expert Pamela Murdock, and gain access to her superior concierge services.
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