Looking for idyllic in the Caribbean? Barbados is all that. It’s a coral island, ringed by coral reefs and trimmed with over 80 beaches. No fewer than four species of sea turtles choose to nest here: it actually has the second largest Hawksbill breeding population in the region, plus two protected marine reserves. And then there’s the tropical landscape which tends from lush to Eden-like anywhere you care to look.
But idyllic in Barbados isn’t a passive experience. The island has an unmistakeable spirit of adventure. Its rich heritage is evidently alive and well. And if you go a day without hearing at least one enthralling tale of the past, consider yourself deprived.
Bajan people like to throw a party, celebrate at the drop of a hat and have some of the most colourful festivals in the world as a result. And if you’re up for new experiences, even the most relentlessly active couldn’t squeeze all Barbados has going on into a single holiday. Which is probably why it’s one of the most popular Caribbean islands for family holidays and why you’ll almost certainly meet people who holidayed here as children and come back again, year after year, with their own kids.
Clearly Barbados is a once bitten, forever smitten type of place. But does it deserve a place on your holiday wish list?
At the risk of roaming into cliché territory, there really is something for everyone here. Teens find the laid back West Indian vibe, great food, surfing and star-spotting potential almost irresistible. Endless eco-experiences appeal to woke kids, and a proven commitment to the environment is one of the island’s many soothing qualities: it recently became the first in the Caribbean to ban all single-use plastics. Plus the easy balance of lazy, beachy days and extreme fun means effortless family harmony, all holiday long.
But don’t take our word for it. Take a look at what the experts have to say about all-round amazing Barbados.
Gorgeous beaches are a bit of a Caribbean signature and Barbados beaches are as famously wide ranging as they are lovely. Out of 80-plus round the island, you’ll find quite a few of the lounge-around, powdery white sand variety – especially on the ‘platinum’ west coast. But there are also beaches for surfing or turtle-watching, plenty where water sports rule the waves, heaps given to fantastic BBQs and cute restaurants and just as many peaceful paddling coves as celebrity lined shores.
All-round brilliant Barbados beaches