Holidays in Barbados serve up the Caribbean with a twist. Expect sweet-but-spicy cuisine, free-flowing rum, and a British-style love for cricket
Beaches are Barbados’ forte. Because it’s an island formed mostly by coral, all 92 kilometres of its shores are iced with sugary-white sand. In the north-west, the sand is so fine that it’s earned the title of the platinum coast. Underneath the sparkly emerald waters, you’ve got reefs filled with kaleidoscopic fish, rays and turtles, making it a snorkeler’s paradise.
Bridgetown is the island’s quirky capital. There, Caribbean and British influences blend to create a unique mix. Explore the old British army barracks at the Garrison Consortium, followed by a live calypso band. Or tour a rum distillery, before watching a cricket match on the green.
With a Cruise & Stay holiday, you can stay in five different destinations on Barbados’ west coast. St James nabs the top spot for beaches. St Lawrence, meanwhile, is famous for its lively reggae bars and restaurants and is just a hop away from Bridgetown. You’ve also got the beachfront resorts of Maxwell, Hastings and Rockley, which are all about lazy days on the sand while still being within easy reach of the capital.
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On Barbados’ beach-spangled south coast, Maxwell reaps the rewards of being compact. All that separates this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cluster of hotels and condos from the Caribbean Sea is a shimmering swathe of white sand. If you’ve come to recharge your batteries, there are few better places for it. And if you’re looking to paint the town red, St Lawrence Gap is in walking distance.
Stretched along Barbados’ west coast, St James is one of the island’s most beautiful tourist regions. It’s a fun, lively area with a mix of laid-back glamour and Caribbean sunshine. The main spot is Holetown, which boasts designer shopping, glossy restaurants and vibrant nightlife. And the action there revolves around the town’s stunning beach.
St Lawrence is the biggest personality on Barbados’ beach-fringed south coast. It gets its swagger from St Lawrence Gap, a parade of rum shacks, Bajan restaurants, and reggae-fuelled dancehalls where the island comes to party. But for those who prefer to relax, St Lawrence’s tropical beaches are exactly what you’d want from this sun-kissed Caribbean retreat.
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Go underground at Harrison’s Cave
This gigantic limestone cave system, right in the centre of the island, is packed full of gaping caverns, icy underground…
Sip rum shots at the Mount Gay Visitor Centre
Rum is Barbados’ national drink, and it’s almost criminal to leave the island without sampling some. And a great place to…
Peer into the past at Sunbury Plantation House
This grand old plantation house, 20 minutes from St Lawrence, has been completely restored, so it looks just like it didback…
Explore Barbados’ underwater world
The waters around Barbados are chock-full of coral reefs and wrecks, making them prime scuba diving territory. The best of…
Relax on Crane Beach
This virgin-white stretch of sand on the south-west corner of Barbados, 25 minutes from Maxwell Beach, has the enviable title…
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