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Holidays in Barbados – Essential Tips

The Caribbean is a fantastic place to spend holidays and Barbados is one of the best destinations. It’s home to some beautiful beaches, rich history, and lush tropical greenery. If you’re thinking about holidays in Barbados then this post will give you an idea of what it has to offer.

Barbados Beaches

The beaches are one of the main attractions in Barbados. There’s a wide variety to choose from, each with its unique features. The most popular ones are located on the west coast (facing the Caribbean Sea) where you’ll find white sand and crystal clear waters. If you’re looking for something more secluded then head to the east or south coasts which offer wilder waters and photogenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Paynes Bay is a well known beach on the west coast. At one end are the Tamarind and Treasure Beach hotels and at the other is No.1 Sandy Lane, a collection of top-end apartments owned or rented by those with deep pockets. If you’re in the area during the winter months you might see some well-known faces emerging from the security gate in the high wall that surrounds it.

The beaches to the south catch more of the winds so the waters tend to be rougher, although Carlisle Bay on the southern side of Bridgetown, the island’s capital, is a large oasis of relative calm.

Barbados Climate

The island’s climate is tropical all year round so you can enjoy holidays in Barbados at any time of the year. It never gets too cold or hot, but it does rain a lot during July-November which means that December to April are generally better months for holidays here. It’s also worth noting that the island has two rainy seasons, one in May and another in October but even then you can experience good weather only interrupted by the occasional downpour.

Hurricanes are not unknown in Barbados but the majority of them pass further northward. Barbados is much further down the Caribbean than most of the other islands.

Holidays in barbados - clear waters of the caribbean
There are several shades of blue in each view of the Caribbean Sea

Things to do in Barbados

This Caribbean destination offers holidays for everyone because it caters to all types of travelers. You can spend days on end relaxing at a beach resort or exploring the local sights with family and friends. Or if you’re looking for something more adventurous, there’s plenty of opportunity for that too. Barbados is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna that you can discover on hikes or nature walks.

The main towns on the island are the capital, Bridgetown, Holetown, and Speightstown. They’re all worth a visit but don’t forget to pop back to the airport at some point to see the Concorde Experience. Barbadians are proud to provide a home for one of the few Concordes open to visitors.

Water Sports in Barbados

It’s also got loads of water sports to try out, including snorkeling, SCUBA diving, waterboarding/body-surfing on the waves, surfing lessons and board rentals. If you’re not into getting wet then there are some great options for land activities too like horse riding or mountain biking.

And if you feel like taking a break from the beach or exploring for a change, check out Holetown which is full of boutique shops and restaurants.

No visit to Holetown is complete without a visit to Limegrove. It’s a beautiful shopping center with high-end brands, art galleries, and some great restaurants. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs to take back home, this is the place to go.

The holidays in Barbados offer some great family activities too so it’s perfect as a destination for kids as well as adults. There are many different day tours to choose from including visits to the caves, rainforest hikes, and boat cruises along the coast.

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Sunset. Did you see the green flash?

Holidays in Barbados: Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, there’s a range of hotels to suit all budgets. The most luxurious resorts can be found on the west coast where you’ll find amenities like spas, golf courses, and tennis courts.

If you’re looking for something more affordable then check out some of the other properties located on the south or east coasts. Holiday accommodation in Barbados ranges from low-priced self-catering apartments that are inland to very luxurious and expensive hotel and the villas on the Sandy Lane estate.

Driving in Barbados

The best way to get around the island is by renting a car. This gives you the freedom to explore all corners of Barbados at your own pace. You will of course need to provide your driving license to be issued with a temporary Barbadian license for the duration of your stay. It’s advisable also to check the details of your holiday insurance and the additional insurance offered by the hiring company.

Off the main highways the roads in Barbados can be bumpy and pot-holed, so make sure you know who to call if you get a puncture when out driving. Many car hire companies will provide a satnav if your mobile phone is not up to the job of navigating.

Driving at night in Barbados can be a little tricky as many roads are unlit. Pedestrians and cyclists (with no lights) often walk/ride in the road at night so caution is essential.

Flights To Barbados

When it comes to holidays in Barbados for UK travelers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer flights from London Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester.

Flights to the Caribbean take around 8.5 hours and usually depart late in the morning so you’ll arrive at Grantley Adams International Airport when it’s about 15:30-16:00 hrs local time. Return flights to the UK usually leave in the late afternoon and arrive in the UK in the early morning at about 06:00hrs.

Numerous US and Canadian airlines provide flights from their respective city airports in North America and Canada.

The island is serviced by LIAT which offers regional flights from Barbados to other islands in the Caribbean. These flights are frequent and provide essential links for the Caribbean community, tourists, and business travelers.

More than 1 flights every day, from 8h 45m

London, United KingdomBridgetown, Barbados
Time and stopsAirlineFlight numberScheduleFind tickets
11:45 → 15:30
Direct
255
M T W T F S S
Select dates
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Fishcakes!

Holidays in Barbados: Sailing

The best holidays in Barbados are likely to include sailing. Sailors can enjoy the relatively calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and the more challenging conditions in the Atlantic Ocean around this island nation. Other islands are within easy reach for experienced skippers. All in all, it makes for memorable yachting holidays that are every bit as good as those dreams the brochures portray.

If you don’t want to go far then a leisurely cruise up and down the west coast can be very enjoyable. There are several catamarans offering day or sunset cruies and snorkeling trips during which you’re almost guarateed to meet the turtles and see many other examples of the tropical marine life.

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Restaurants in Barbados

When it comes to finding the best restaurants in Barbados, there’s something to suit all tastes – whether you’re looking for fine dining or the more casual approach to holidays in Barbados.

From laidback beach bars serving Caribbean food to fine-dining restaurants offering the best of international cuisine, there’s plenty on offer for holidays in Barbados when it comes to eating out.

The island nation is known for its fresh seafood and this can be sampled at various places, from beachfront shacks to upmarket restaurants. For example, you could drop into the Roti Den near Payne’s Bay for a very affordable roti with a variety of fillings, or book a table at one of the many restaurants up and down the south and east coasts.

One of the more recent additions to the menu is the Lion Fish. Local fishermen have been encouraged to catch this to reduce the population as it’s proving to be damaging to the local ecology throughout the Caribbean region. Chefs have been persuaded to put it on their menus to develop a taste for it among locals and tourists.

Not all the restaurants survived the pandemic of 2020/2021. Some familiar names have closed their doors including The Cliff and Cin-Cin. However, Lone Star is still going strong, as are many more old and new.

Holidays in Barbados: Final Thoughts

So there you have it: some great reasons why holidays in Barbados should be at the top of your list. With year-round sunshine and a wide range of activities, holidays on this Caribbean island are bound to make you feel like you’re on holiday.

Overall, holidays in Barbados are a fantastic way to experience the Caribbean. With its stunning beaches, diverse landscape, and welcoming culture, it’s no wonder that this island is one of the most popular destinations in the region. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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