Barbados is a beautiful island with long white sand beaches, a different style of sea every few kilometres and stunning weather: temperatures sit at roughly 27˚C all year round.
The food’s wonderful, the islanders are warm and welcoming and some of the world’s best hotels are happy to call this little slice of perfection home. If there’s anything that Barbados doesn’t do beautifully, its millions of ardent admirers haven’t heard.
Barbados is mid-haul and flights from UK to Bridgetown all year round take just under 9 hours.
Average temperatures of 27˚C year round with cooling trade winds.
June to November is officially ‘rainy season’ and low-season for holiday costs – London has more rain in July and August than Barbados.
The island’s spectacular Crop-Over Festival runs from late June to the start of August each year.
Only 33km long by 14km wide and far less hilly than most Caribbean islands, Barbados is good for cycling and buses charge a flat fee of $2 for all journeys.
Barbados Garrison in Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
English afternoon tea and cricket are as much part of life on Barbados as Calypso and Caribbean cooking.
The west ‘Platinum’ coast is where calm seas are sheltered by coral reefs and most of Barbados’ exclusive hotels are built, including celebrity haunt, Sandy Lane. A little further south, luxurious family resorts have a more relaxed atmosphere and many are so turtle focused they have special beach lighting during winter hatching season. The south coast also has the advantage of being less than 20 minutes from the airport and closer to Bridgetown for a wide range of kids activities.
Bridgetown’s bright and energetic in the best island-capital tradition. Its mix of elegant colonial architecture, grand public buildings and ice-cream Caribbean colours is dazzling on a sunny day and there’s an endless supply of those in Barbados. Go for shopping on Broad Street and Swan Street, catch a Bajan Bus here for a drive round the cool, green plantation lands, hire a bike and explore the south coast or join a city walking tour and have the chattiest, friendliest guide on earth give you the insider’s lowdown on Bridgetown.
Speightstown’s one of the island’s oldest towns and second only to Bridgetown in size. Characterful and charming, filled with historic colonial buildings and intriguing history it’s the place to visit for great seafood, street parties and parades during Crop-Over and pretty specialist shops and local arts and crafts galleries.
The island’s first settlement and still one of the most authentic for a glimpse of life in Barbados when boats sailed here for trade not tourism. Visit the Chattel Village to see 18th century ‘mobile homes’ as sweet, little stores. Eat at least once on First Street for Caribbean cooking at its finest and spend a few hours on the broad, sun-drenched Holetown Boardwalk – a great view of the original Barbados harbour.
The most historic building on the island and a World Heritage site, Barbados Garrison has excellent guided tours and does after-dark tunnel visits – fun for teens. Barbados Garrison
Kids over 12 can take a fast kart turn round the circuit at the legendary Barbados Bushy Park racetrack. Karting Experience
A tour on a colourful, open sided Bajan bus is a great fun way to see a bit of beautiful Barbados and indulge in a little piece of history too. Bajan Bus Tour
Once you’ve visited a few plantation houses, it’s a breath of fresh air to see where the honest toil went on back in the day. Nicely laid out little museum too. Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill
A revived version of the 18th century end of the sugar harvest celebration and basically one of the biggest, sunniest, brightest and most exciting carnivals in Barbados. Usually the first week in August. Crop Over Festival
Antigua’s a small island but dense with interesting places to visit, hiring a car is the best way to get about. Cycling is very common too and there are several bike hire shops in St. John’s. The catamaran ferry runs to Barbuda every day and walking on the island is the only way to go.