It’s not all rum fun and sun on Barbados although there is plenty of that to go around. This island in the easternmost Caribbean just northeast of Venezuelahas a long association with the UK as its love of cricket attests. Its name however comes from Portuguese: ‘los Barbados’ means the bearded ones and refers to the island’s fig trees with their hanging roots.
Luxury spas duty free shopping surfboarding boat cruises Bajan cuisine watersports botanic gardens all-night parties and historic plantation houses are all here waiting to be enjoyed. First though you are going to have to leave that pink sand beach gentle breeze and idyllic tropical views to go out and find them!
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Barbados
Bridgetown – The capital of Barbados is where most cruise ships dock and as a result is filled with wonderful duty free shopping stores and designer boutiques. It’s also a fascinating place to explore the islands history and culture: the UNESCO World Heritage site at its centre contains craft shops galleries and museums.
Central Eastern Barbados – This is where the rugged Atlantic coast sends breakers crashing to the shore that offer an irresistible temptation to surfboarders. The quieter beaches on the east also appeal to those incurable romantics who want to get away from it all and find themselves or discover more about each other.
Western Barbados – Over on the west it’s a different story. Here the calm Caribbean Sea has encouraged resorts to develop and life in the lap of luxury to be served up by the spoonful. Spas fine dining watersports and simply relaxing on the beach are the order of the day.
Southern Barbados – The party starts here and it rarely stops! St. Lawrence Gap is a very lively area that is full of bars restaurants and nightclubs. It’s also packed to the rafters with those who want to dance the night away.
Things to See in Barbados
Pink sand beaches fringed with palms a cooling breeze and azure waters harbouring plenty of marine life including sea turtles that you can swim with may be the main sights of Barbados but if you explore a little further there is plenty more to see. Cricket at Kensington Oval museums galleries and even a day with the Bajan elite at the racecourse in Bridgetown are all easily accessible. On trips into the interior of the island you can admire the Botanical Garden or enjoy the views you zip line through the canopies. Tours of Mount Gay Rum Distillery will show you how that fiery rum is made and trips to Harrison's Cave will bring stalactites stalagmites waterfalls and the mysteries of the underground into the path of your torch.
Things to Do in Barbados
Get wet as you enjoy scuba diving kitesurfing windsurfing surf boarding or just splash about playing racket sports or volleyball in the shallow waters. Wildlife reserves can be found in the interior and civilised shopping trips and dining can be enjoyed in Bridgetown. Depending on your mood there are relaxed sunset cruises or all-night part spots to experience and every evening is a gastronomic surprise. Make sure you visit the Friday night fish fry at Oistins to sample Bajan cuisine such as breaded flying fish in a spicy sauce pepperpot stew or cutters (sandwiches made with salt bread).