Barbados holidays provide a very British experience while capturing the essential Caribbean character that travellers seek. Although the island is small, it offers 11 parishes that differ dramatically from each other. Visitors can enjoy small villages, major resorts, hilly landscape, vast sugar plantations, serene waters and turquoise coves that provide romantic beaches and tropical hideaways. The island offers sea, sun and sand but also affords rich history, architecture, upmarket dining and shopping, adventure and family-oriented fun.
Barbados is among the most developed of the Caribbean islands, and visitors can find places to stay for any budget or taste. Surfing conditions on the Atlantic coast satisfy the most adventuresome travellers, and tourists enjoy the island's calypso rhythms, British culture, high literacy rate, coral reefs, swimming, sailing, snorkelling and trekking through the tropical rain forests.
Featured Barbados Hotels
Barbados Cuisine Has Strong British Influences
Barbados cuisine skilfully blends Caribbean, African and European culinary influences in a tantalizing fusion of old, new and sustainable sourcing. The island's rich bounty of seafood includes salmon, lobster, shrimp, crab, cod, red snapper, king-fish, tuna and shark. Exotic yet strangely familiar, Barbados cuisine draws most heavily from British cooking traditions that were adapted by slaves on the sugar plantations. Visitors find black and white puddings, souse meat and English and Scottish comfort foods made in new and interesting ways. Starches in Barbados include breadfruit, cassava, rice, yams, sweet potatoes, green bananas and eddo. African spices and salt cod are popular imports, and pork dishes include roast crowns of pork, stewed pork chops and barbecued pork dishes of incredible complexity.
Restaurants in Barbados have received the only Zagat's rating in the Caribbean, and the impressive selection of top culinary destinations rival those of the world's largest metropolises. The island's national food is flying fish and cou cou, a dish made from cornmeal and chopped okra. Visitors can choose from top gourmet fusions, upmarket restaurants, local eateries, European cuisines and foods and eateries for every appetite.
Barbados Thing to See and Do
Although Barbados is small, visitors enjoy some of the most cosmopolitan and rewarding pursuits for active travellers and leisure holidays. Visitors gather by the thousands to enjoy Bathsheba Beach and the Soup Bowl waves that attract serious surfers. Shoppers enjoy duty-free shopping, unique bargains and hand-crafted goods from local artisans. Golf courses, historic homes, cultural attractions, lively festivals and many year-round sporting events ensure that Barbados holidays are always fulfilling. Key attractions of the tropical island include:
- Crane Beach
Named one of the 10 best beaches by "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," Crane Beach is protected by a coral reef and features waters that progress gently from shallow to deep. A glass elevator makes the beach easily accessible for disabled travellers, and 24-hour security ensures safe excursions throughout the day.
- Harrison's Cave
Located in the centre of Barbados, Harrison's Cave offers spectacular waterfalls and pools, stalactites and stalagmites, crystal blue waters and dramatic accent lighting that create unforgettable sights and sounds. Trams take visitors deep below the surface to explore tunnels, cascading pools and an underground wonderland of extraordinary beauty.
- Barbados Wildlife Reserve
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve allows visitors to stroll freely among animals in their natural habitat. The walk-through zoo has lots of monkeys, parrots, peacocks, flamingoes, pelicans, caimans, macaws, cockatoos and reptiles such snakes, iguanas, tortoises and turtles.
- Barbados Museum
The Barbados Museum chronicles the lives of the Amerindians, who were the island's first settlers. The Shilstone Memorial Library offers rare books and maps for researchers and students of history.
- Orchid World
Orchid World offers travellers a peaceful way to commune with nature that seems like strolling through paradise. Self-guided tours allow visitors to stroll along paths that pass a coral grotto, waterfall and five orchid houses displaying more than 20,000 orchids.
- Bathsheba and Scotland District
Famous with surfers from around the world, the "soup bowl" challenges the most accomplished athletes. Other visitors can enjoy stunning scenes for art and photography that feature steep roads, dramatic cliffs against azure waters and breathtaking panoramas.
Best Time to Visit Barbados
Hurricanes rarely touch Barbados, and temperatures stay between 21- and 29-degrees Celsius year-round. Any time of year is perfect for Barbados holidays, and hurricane season for other Caribbean destinations only means greater choices of lively festivals and discounted prices in Barbados. Peak season runs from December to April when people from cold climates in the northern hemisphere seek respite from winter. Visitors can save up to 50% by booking all-inclusive Barbados hotels and resorts during the summer and early fall months.
Holidays to Barbados offer year-round attractions, unsurpassed weather and minuscule odds of experiencing a hurricane. One of the Caribbean's most diverse destinations, Barbados extends friendly, sophisticated activities and entertainment with international flair. Visitors can choose from a wealth of active and passive pursuits while staying in family-oriented hotels, luxury resorts or cosy guest houses.