For a small island, Bermuda has an outstanding variety of beaches, all with their own distinct personality. With its pink-hued sand (the result of crushed shells, coral and calcium carbonate) and clear, turquoise sea, nature has outdone itself here. Beaches are rarely crowded and often deserted, especially if you go for an early morning beach walk with the kids – an awesome way to start the day. Many are hotspots for incredible snorkelling, and the perfect place for novices to learn. Kids can wander out in safe, shallow water with their mask and snorkel, with no need to get on a boat. Reefs teeming with marine life are right there, making it easy for parents to guide younger children and for teens to enjoy some independence while snorkelling.
Tobacco Bay Beach
This stretch of beach off South Road in Southampton Parish is Bermuda’s most celebrated for its crescent of pink sand. It’s renowned for being fun, exciting and safe, with boogieboarding, beach volleyball, sandcastlebuilding and snorkelling. The nearby Beach Cafe offers snacks, rentals and changing facilities. There’s even an enclosed part of the beach called Port Royal Cove that keeps the waves out for little ones.
Horseshoe Bay Beach
Hidden caves and tuckedaway coves surround Horseshoe Bay, perfect for teens to explore. The beach plays host to many fun events throughout the year, including Good Friday Kitefest, The Bermuda Sand Sculpture Competition, LIV Bermuda and Beachfest, the island’s biggest beach bash. All you need to do is catch the number 7 bus, and you’re there.
This picturesque beach off the Southampton Parish is great for snorkellers, as the reef is so close to shore and offers shelter from the waves, though there can be a current. Families can rent snorkelling equipment and buy chips and soda. Watch out for beautiful Bermuda Longtails nesting in the cliff face in April – the first sign of summer.
If you like your beaches intimate and perfectly formed, Jobson’s Cove is it. This tiny sheltered cove is surrounded by steep, jagged rocks. Located off South Road in Warwick Parish, it’s perfect for younger children to paddle and play.
Warwick Long Bay
Half a mile long and utterly beguiling, this family-friendly stretch of sand off South Road in Warwick Parish is set against a backdrop of scrubland and coastal grasses. Just offshore, a jagged coral island pokes its head above the water, making it a great spot for snorkelling. While there’s no café or rentals, there are public toilets.
On Bermuda’s North Shore Road, near Admiralty House Park in Pembroke Parish, these two secluded little beaches form an exquisite lagoon-like setting with safe swimming year round.
Tobacco Bay Beach
This lively sweep of beach on the north-eastern tip of the island, off Coot Pond Road in St George’s, is a family favourite. Named when the survivors of the Sea Venture discovered tobacco growing here, it’s
celebrated for its unusual limestone formations off the shoreline, a haven for parrotfish and sergeant majors and a great place to snorkel. Rentals are available by the beach along with a snack bar. Fort St Catherine & Museum is nearby.
One of the closest beaches to the city of Hamilton, this pale pink sand beach stretches for almost a mile and has a gentle curve – like an elbow. With protective coral reef surrounding it and calm shores, it’s perfect for swimming, snorkelling and paddleboarding.
Daniel’s Head Beach Park
At the western end of the island, in Sandys Parish, the water is always calm and shallow, making it a top spot for snorkellers in search of angelfish, sergeant majors and wrasse.
At the eastern end of the island, in St David’s, these two spacious sandy beaches are ideal for families and parties. The 36-acre public park features nature trails, play areas and views of some outer islands reserved for wildlife.
Located in St George’s parish, this tiny beach is fascinating for children for its glass treasures. Your kids may know them as angel’s tears, and they’ll find them in abundance here, in shades of green, brown and occasionally blue. Nearby is Alexandra Battery Park with its historic cannons and barracks.
If you want to feel like you’ve discovered a hidden beach, head to the extremity of Sandys Parish, to Parson’s Bay, off the beaten track, but well worth it for its sheltered beach and calm, shallow water.
West Whale Bay Beach
This castaway beach off Whale Bay Road, Southampton Parish, is backed by a large grassy area, which makes it an ideal spot to enjoy an ocean sunset. Locals come to shore fish, and in April, you may spot humpback whales migrating north to summer feeding grounds.
Shelly Bay Beach
This north-shore beach in Hamilton Parish is tree-lined, giving shelter from the sun, with shallow water, even at high tide, making it perfect for kids. And there’s a playground behind.
John Smith’s Bay
Along the easterly end of the South Shore Road in Smith’s Parish, this long, flat beach has Bermuda’s signature pale pink sand. During summer, a lifeguard patrols the shore, there are soft drinks and snacks on sale, plus toilets and changing facilities, making it a good choice for families.
By Jane Anderson, Family Traveller Editor