Glorious sand-swept beaches, stunning landscapes and a culture to dive head first into – these are just some of the things that stand out on holidays to Barbados. Looking to fulfil your desert island fantasies? Whether you’re seeking a family getaway, romantic island retreat or a lively adventure with a group of friends, this stunning part of the world is bound to impress. From lazing on white sands with a cocktail or two, to putting on your snorkelling mask for a journey underwater, you’ll find plenty of things to do. Indulge your senses with the bustling nightlife Barbados holidays are famed for, or immerse yourself in the laid-back Caribbean culture of this vibrant island.
Top Hotels in Barbados
Discovery Bay by Rex Resorts
Hilton Barbados Resort
Pirate's Inn Hotel
Infinity On The Beach
Time Out Hotel
Accra Beach Hotel and Spa
At a Glance
- Language: English
- Time Zone: GMT +-4
- Average flight time: 8h 55m
When to go
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Island life has never been as enjoyable as it is in Barbados. Attractions include The Boatyard, a superb waterfront location at Carlisle Bay which offers sunbeds, dive platforms, a rope swing and even an ocean trampoline. this is a place that’s perfect for a whole day of fun.
If you feel the need for a little shade, pay a visit to the Flower Forest, an area of spectacular beauty which brings a little tranquillity for every visitor. Harrison’s Cave, which is in the island’s interior, is truly spectacular, so make sure you take a look.
Of course, the best bit about holidays in Barbados is surrendering to its year-round sunshine – perfect for those seeking an escape from the unpredictable British weather! The Caribbean boasts a fantastic amount to see and do, so if you fancy some all-inclusive luxury, you can hop over to the Dominican Republic to appreciate its stunning scenery - ideal for families and couples looking for all inclusive extravagance or those looking for an affordable escape full of activity. If you don’t fancy spending all your time relaxing by the sea, however, there are some great activities and entertainment opportunities to delve into, including those available with some all inclusive Barbados resorts.
The Soup Bowl, situated on the east coast, is the best place for keen scuba-divers and surfers, with the chance to catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that inhabit the area. Dive into the waters and you’ll discover striking coral reefs and abandoned ship wrecks, creating a unique experience for your Barbados holiday.
Wine and Dine
If you like your meals to be accompanied by stunning views of the ocean, Champers in Christ Church is a must-visit. The food is almost as sensational as the panoramas which are waiting to greet you. For something a little quirkier, try Surfer’s Café in Oistins, where the food, but not the location, is straightforward. Sampling the local seafood is one of the finest things to do in Barbados, so if you’re in Bridgetown, be sure to order one of the specialities at Cuz’s Fish Shack. For something a little different, the Sahara Arabic Grill, also in Bridgetown, is worth a visit. This part of the world also boasts some of the best cuisine across the globe, with world-class restaurants and rustic beach bars showcasing a medley of flavours and delicious dishes. Influenced by the food and traditions of England, Portugal, Spain and West Africa, you’ll find fusion food like no other. Sample traditionally cooked Pepperpot, a hearty spicy pork dish popular with the locals or try Bajan Candied Sweet Potatoes for an authentic taste of the island – delicious!
There are a number of things to do in Barbados that will appeal to all the family. One of the most impressive locations to head for is Welchman Hall Gully Tropical Forest, a beautiful place that gives adults and children alike a chance to discover more about the flora and fauna of this truly beautiful island. Many resorts in Barbados have children’s crèches included with qualified child care and entertainment to give you a bit of a break.
Therapy Charters offer boat tours that include swimming with turtles which children will just love, the company are set up to accommodate children so you can be sure everything will be taken care of. For a slightly pricier but unforgettable experience, take a trip in a real submarine with Atlantis Adventure and witness underwater spectacles. Or take a thrilling ride on the Jolly Roger where children can dress as pirates and experience a pirate adventure on a real boat.
Action and Adventure
A journey on the Atlantis Submarine is perhaps the most impressive of all attractions in this breathtaking island. Barbados is beautiful from all angles, and is particularly iconic from beneath the waves. Everywhere you go in Barbados, you will see a number of highly exciting water-sports which are waiting to be enjoyed. Scuba-diving is perhaps the most enjoyable of all, if only because the local waters are crystal clear and simply perfect for diving. There are even some shipwrecks here which provide the perfect environment for undersea discovery.
There are a number of surf schools in Barbados if you want to try your hand at learning, or if you are already a surfer this is an excellent place to catch some waves. Or you can go sailing with schools available to get you set up for a day on the ocean. If you want a tour of the island, Island Safari Barbados takes you by 4x4 on an informative and adventurous trip.
Life's a Beach
Everybody likes to spend a little time on the ocean waves, and Barbados gives the whole family a chance to spend a few hours of fun on the sea. A day of the purest pleasure can be enjoyed on a Jammin’ Catamaran Cruise, which features meals, drinks, lively interplay with crew members and several water-sports.
Staying with the maritime theme, the Jolly Roger pirate ship will appeal to children of all ages, especially those who decide to make a splash when walking the plank.
The proliferation of superb Barbados attractions can mean the visitor needs to seek out a little relaxation every once in a while. Thankfully, there are several spa venues on the island which are ready and waiting to help you to de-stress. The Sugar Cane Spa in St. Peter is one of the best, and features a range of soothing treatments for all.
With so many things to do in Barbados, relaxing on the superb beaches is an absolute must. There are a number of wonderful seaside locations to tempt the visitor, all of which give you a golden opportunity to unwind in style. They include Crane Beach in the south-west, Miami in the south and the spectacular Batts Rock Beach in the west. Sipping a rum punch at a beachside bar is a must-try experience in Barbados. Watch the world go by in style at Copacabana on the outskirts of Bridgetown or perhaps at Weisers on the Bay at Brandon’s Beach. With its vision of azure-waters and white sands fuelling the fantasies of many, it’s no surprise that Barbados attracts over half a million holidaymakers each year. There is beautiful architecture, mouth-watering cuisine and great shopping opportunities to be found in the capital city of Bridgetown, or alternatively you can choose to relax on the spectacular beaches and in the family-friendly atmosphere of Christchurch.
Bag yourself beachside accommodation for a short walk to the sea – the ideal option for those looking to spend their holidays to Barbados topping up their tan and refilling their drinks sprawled out on a sun-lounger, or you can take a short jaunt to Jamaica for its impressive landscapes and laid-back vibe.
The nightlife on the island has something to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. Romantic evening cruises are perfect for those occasions when all you want is a relaxing meal and some spectacular scenery. As the sun goes down, there is no finer way to see the real beauty of this idyllic holiday island. Live music provides the background to many great Barbados evenings, so be sure to settle in to a comfortable seat with a cold drink and get ready for some superb tunes. Bay Street in Bridgetown is home to a number of venues, many of which specialise in pulsating reggae and iconic calypso. Good times are always on the menu here. You will also find a great selection of dinner shows to give your evening meals an entertaining twist. Venues include Lobster Alive and Harbour Lights, both of which are in the St. Michael area of Bridgetown.
Couple holidays to Barbados will include many outdoor activities, as well as romantic candlelit dinners. Make use of the perfect weather and have a picnic on the beach, while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. The setting in Barbados is conducive to romance whatever you choose to do and for that reason many people go for honeymoons or even to get married.
More adventurous couples could go on a catamaran cruise, which includes cocktails and a buffet lunch. You'll have the option to snorkel with sea turtles and above ship wrecks, providing the two of you with an unforgettable experience.
Meander through the magnificent botanical gardens found on Barbados, which hosts a huge number of fauna from across the world and a wealth of information about the wonders within.
Barbados's culture has been largely shaped by the islands turbulent history, and the numerous peoples who lived and settled here. Many customs and traditions are derived from West Africa, as most of the population is of African origin; however, since it was part of the British Empire for over 300 years, the British influence here is very strong and English is the national language.
Tuk bands are commonly encountered; a collection of local musicians playing a bass drum, kettle drum and a pennywhistle. Usually dressed in colourful clothes, and sometimes even traditional costumes, the band plays songs with an infectious rhythm which makes it impossible not to get up and dance!
The Barbados Landship is a huge part of local culture, and its origins trace back to the 19th century. A Landship is a theatrical group performing dances that reflect ships sailing through rough seas, and the activities which take place on board these ships.
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