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 colorful houses, long stretches of sandy beaches and phenomenally beautiful crystal waters.
The beautiful and chic island attracts the likes of Uma Thurman, Harrison Ford and Robert de Niro and Diane von Furstenberg has a house on the island. Besides its natural splendor, it has average temperatures in the 70s and 80s with a refreshing ocean breeze.
On its harbor side of the island is Dunmore Town. It was founded in the eighteenth century and named after the governor of the Bahamas from 1786 to 1798, John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, who had a summer residence on the island. The pretty town is lined with pastel colored clapboard cottages with picket fences and gardens full of colorful bougainvillea, oleander, and hibiscus. On the Atlantic side runs a gorgeous beach which s frequently labeled the best beach of the Bahamas. It extends the entire length of the island. Its pale pink sand against the turquoise ocean is absolutely sublime.
Life on the island is laidback and peaceful, which stands to reason as there are no cars for rent—only golf carts. Despite being a small island, there are number of great restaurants, ranging from upscale options like the Rock House and The Dunmore to more funky ones like Brian’s BBQ.
If you’re not having a picnic lunch on a deserted island, feast on the lobster quesadillas at Sip Sip or the best fresh conch salad at Queen Conch, a tiny shack on Bay Street. Alternatively, take the short boat trip across the southern inlet to Ocean Talley, a restaurant located in a lighthouse on Eleuthera. For drinks accompanying beautiful sunsets, 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: Arthur’s for breakfast) and several very colorful bars with music and dancing. There are also a number of watersport activities available on the island including diving, snorkeling, bone and deep sea fishing, picnic cruises, biking, riding on the beach, and kitesurfing.
You can have both a leisurely and luxurious holiday in the Caribbean by staying at one of the fabulous villas of our local Harbour Island experts.