Best time to visit: January, February, March, April, May
Average high: 29˚C
Average low: 24˚C
Price of meals: 3/5
Holiday type: Adventure / Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
Barbados is so famous for its white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water, and colonial architecture that even holidaymakers yet to visit the Caribbean know its name. But don’t be fooled into think Barbados is only suitable for relaxation and cocktails; there is much more to see and do on this 170-square mile pocket of paradise lovingly referred to by locals as “Bimshire”.
Miami Beach, Rockley Beach, Conset Bay, the award-winning Dover Beach…with 60 beaches across 70 miles of jaw-dropping coast, it’s easy to feel a sense of space even in during high season. Everyone has their favourite spot depending on whether you want to sunbathe, sip a drink under the shade of a tree, or engage in water sports. Carlisle Bay is a particular favourite of tourists for its calm water, so it is perfect for swimming and snorkelling with sea turtles. Pebbles Beach is another alternative for swimming, although the waves are stronger, making it popular with surfers.
If you don’t fancy scuba diving or snorkelling, consider a Catamaran cruise where you can ride out on the waves and watch sea-life swimming around you as you sip a drink under the sun. Or stay on land and check out the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where you can spy green monkeys, macaws, iguanas, caiman, Patagonian maras, and turtles.
Barbados has a fascinating history and the best way to explore this side of the island is in its towns and museums. After learning about some of its interesting but sadder periods, cheer yourself up by enjoying Barbadians’ best exports: Mount Gay Rum and its joyful people. Time your visit with one of the many annual festivals throughout the year, or head to Oistin’s Friday Night Fish Fry to share a platter with the island residents.
This paradise island caters for all tourists, including partygoers. You might want to dance until sunrise on a beach or hire a boat with friends, but there are clubs, too, and Harbour Lights in Bridgetown is a fun and friendly place to listen to live music.
While the dry season in Barbados runs from the end of December to early June, don’t let that put you off visiting at any other time of year. Rainfall is relatively low, even in the wet season, and mid-afternoon showers usually come in quick bursts, over as quickly as they begin, leaving behind the same bright blue skies and sunshine. Hurricane season is officially September and October, but the island is outside of the Atlantic hurricane belt, so this usually only amounts to high winds. Temperature is consistently in the mid to high-twenties throughout the year, and water temperature is a consistent 26-28˚C.
Barbados has been synonymous with paradise, Caribbean-style holidays since the ‘70s. While this means it has largely perfected the art of a relaxing beach holiday of delicious food and pampering, meals aren’t as cheap as some of the other Caribbean islands. On average, food prices are comparable to those of mainland Europe. A dinner for one is typically £10, while a mid-range three-course meal for two will cost £50-60. Alcohol can vary depending on the institution, from £1.50 to £4 per bottle of beer, as can coffee, which is usually around £2.75. Water is 90p per bottle, give or take.
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