Want Winter Warmth? Try Barbados

By on January 1, 2012

By Sharon Hurley Hall –

Looking for a great winter holiday destination? Consider Barbados. Despite the images we see of celebrities on the beach at Sandy Lane, Barbados is not just for the rich and famous. Many people from around the world maintain second homes here, and it’s a favorite winter getaway even for those with a smaller budget than the average celebrity. It’s also a favored stop on the Caribbean cruise trail (departures from ports including Miami and Puerto Rico) and if you’re on a cruise, it’s a great time to explore the island and see if you would like to come back. Here’s a quick Barbados island tour you can take if you have just one day in port.

See the City

When you come off the cruise ship you’re practically in the capital of Bridgetown already so you might as well start your one-day tour there. If you’re used to London or New York, you will find it tiny. There’s not much to see on the main shopping streets of Broad Street (more expensive shops) with duty free electronics and jewelry) and Swan Street (cheap and cheerful) but you might want to pick up a souvenir or a T-shirt.

The most interesting parts of Bridgetown are at the top of Broad Street where you can see the statue of Lord Nelson (which predates the one in London), the parliament building (Barbados has the second oldest continuous parliament in the Americas) and National Heroes Square which is a nice place to sit and enjoy a cool drink. While you’re there you can pick up a taxi or tour bus to take you on the rest of your tour.

Going Green

Your next move is to head inland. The centre of the island is lush and green and if you’re looking for eco-friendly Barbados, then you’re in the right place. Check out Harrison’s Cave for a chance to see what the inside of this coral and limestone island looks like. The attraction is small but interesting, with displays about its environmentally conscious values and a 20 minute, slightly damp tram ride into the caves. More active travelers might want to try zip lining across the gullies in St. Thomas, though you may have to pre-book.

Wet and Wild

Next, go east to the wilder side of the island, where the Atlantic Ocean bashes the rocks. If time is short, skip North Point and head to the East Coast Road. Along the way you might see surfers at the Soup Bowl, home to an annual international competition, or stop for a picnic at Barclays Park. From there, cross the road to walk along the small sand dunes and feel the sea spray in your face. Drive to the Scotland District in St. Andrew (so called because that’s where the Scots who settled the island once lived) to see Mt. Hillaby, the highest point in the island. It’s only 340 meters high, though, so you might be better off skipping it and heading to Farley Hill National Park for a panoramic view of this part of the island. While you’re there, cross the road to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to see the local green monkey.

Go West

From there, head back to the west coast road to take in Speightstown (a quaint fishing village), Holetown, (where the original British settlers first landed) and Sandy Lane. Since all beaches are public in Barbados, you can look for the beach access trail and enjoy the same beach as the celebs – for nothing! But if you want a tip, there are also great beaches on the south coast of the island, including Enterprise Beach, Oistins, Worthing and more.

Fresh Fish

If you are able to overnight, then take in the Oistins Fish Fry on the south coast of the island. Barbados is famous for flying fish but also has plenty of dorado, marlin and, less frequently, swordfish and tuna available. It’s freshly caught that day and you won’t taste any better fish anywhere in the world. Wash it down with a bottle of the local Banks beer or a delicious rum punch (rum originated in Barbados) and the atmosphere from music tracks or live music and you have the best weekend atmosphere you could hope for. Best nights for the Fish Fry are Thursday to Sunday with Friday being the biggest night.

Don’t think that if you’ve done all this you have seen the whole island. This is just a taste, leaving plenty of other great experiences including the chance to walk out to a reef, do some snorkeling or enjoy a cup of coffee at an open air coffee shop. With this whistle-stop tour you will have taste for the best of Barbados and who knows? You may well join the ranks of people who visit it year after year after year.

 

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers at Get Paid To Write Online to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the ‘fine wine’ theory of aging – getting older also means getting better! Find Sharon on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been writing professionally for almost 25 years, and she does it because she loves it. She is a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and is fascinated by learning new things. Since 2005, Sharon has mentored other writers at “Get Paid To Write Online” to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Sharon subscribes to the 'fine wine' theory of aging - getting older also means getting better! Connect with Sharon on her website.

2 Comments

  1. Stephen

    January 2, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Sounds just like I should be there now. I’ll scrap the usual guide book and use your mini guide.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      January 3, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Happy to help, Stephen.

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Want Winter Warmth? Try Barbados