Read our pocket guide to Barbados
Barbados: A pocket guide
The most easterly of the iconic Caribbean island chain, Barbados is famed for its stunning coastlines, year-round warm weather, and abundance of island charm. Memorable experiences abound from calming beaches and feisty surf spots to the finest dining options mere steps away from homemade sidewalk fare. Natural wonders border towns reflecting the country’s rich history. Popular sports thrive including championship golf, exhilarating watersports, action packed polo and the lovely game of cricket. Pleasant towns offer shopping and are enjoyable to explore. Health and wellness experiences entice. But above all else Barbados seduces with its rich, colourful culture and local people known for their warm, welcoming charm.
The Gorgeous West Coast
This 21-mile long, 14-mile wide island offers over 70 miles of vastly varying coastline. The west coast of Barbados has earned itself a reverence of opulence. Considered the lap of island luxury, the Platinum Coast, as it is also known, is a marriage of chic comforts, lavish luxury, refined relaxation and sophisticated tastes. The finest of fine dining happens here, as decadent, worldly treats are served. Familiar brands of an international bearing are also present on this coast thanks to the high-end Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. Serene powdery beaches such as the well known Sandy Lane, Gibbes Bay and Mullins Beach delight along the shoreline. Away from the coast, immaculate rolling golf greens, pristine polo grounds and million-dollar homes complete the landscape of this beautiful coast. Luxury is truly its religion.
The Historical North
Steeped in history, the north is home to aged treasures that offer several windows to the past. Here resides St. Nicholas Abbey, one of the last three remaining Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere, as well as Morgan Lewis Windmill, the only operating windmill on the island. Visit Speightstown, a relaxed seaside town where tobacco and cotton carry a historic significance, and the beautiful Animal Flower Cave & Restaurant, a true natural wonder positioned on the dramatic cliffs of the island’s north coast.
The South’s Beautiful Beaches & Sites
The south is best known for having something for everyone. From Bridgetown and the historic Garrison Savannah, and all the way just short of teetering east, the south is characterized by bustling people, lively spots, restaurants, contrasting shores and an underlying thrill waiting to be sought. Its natural allure comes in the form of its varied beaches. Its vivaciousness lies in St. Lawrence Gap, whose reputation lists lively bars, restaurants, clubs and even surf spots. And finally, its adventures are dotted across the full breadth of its scope, taking thrill seekers across different terrains, from tarmac to sand to waves. Everyone is sure to find an activity or a favourite spot to pass the time.
The Laidback & Rustic East
Barbados’ east represents a surprising change from the typical postcard image of the island. With a generally rugged, hilly terrain, it is the epitome of rural Barbados – its infrastructure is rustic and scattered, and its people unfazed by the bustle of life. This coast is a beautiful contrast from the renowned west coast, swapping powdery white sands and glassy waters for tide pools, rocky coastlines and deep blue waters that churn out a never-ending stream of swells and crashing waves. Be sure to stop at the many vantage points for a panoramic view of the coast – a soft introduction to truly appreciating Barbados off the beaten path!
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