GMT -4 hours
A sophisticated Caribbean paradise boasting some of the world’s finest resorts
This small coral island is big on personality, culture and unadulterated Caribbean indulgence. With a unique atmosphere ‘Little England’ lends itself perfectly to that beach holiday you have always dreamed of. Retreat to any one of the island’s most luxurious and iconic hotels set on dreamy white sand beaches or recharge at an all inclusive resort where the only thing you need to worry about is what to do with your time. With regular flights from the UK this is one of the Caribbean's most accessible islands, making it the perfect 'fly and flop' destination.
Best time to visit
Between December and June.
Enjoying a culture that blends an array of national influences, the remarkable island of Barbados has long been a favourite destination for those who seek the finer things in life. Sample the laid back way of life, mingle with the affable locals and enjoy the Barbadian rhythm of life.
Barbados sits in the Lesser Antilles and is the most eastern of all the Caribbean islands. Defined by crashing Atlantic waves on its east and lapped by the calmer azure waters of the Caribbean Sea to the west it is a land of contrasts and perhaps this is one of the many reasons why people keep coming returning time and time again.
The chic west coast attracts royals, dignitaries, icons of the silver screen stars and the world’s leading sports stars to its upscale resorts such as The Fairmont Royal Pavillion. Lavish private mansions line the palm fringed shoreline of the ‘Platinum Coast’ while world-renowned resorts, such as the exclusive Sandy Lane offer unparalleled service to those of a discerning nature. On your luxury Kuoni holiday days can be spent lounging by calm, crystal clear waters and they will only interrupted by that most arduous of decisions – where to dine? By candlelight on the beach? In the courtyard of a glamorous plantation house? Or your hotel’s oceanside, fine dining restaurant? The choice is yours.
The parish of Christchurch is home to the lively south coast, offering an experience that differs significantly from the tranquillity of the western shore, a perfect destination for group or family holidays. The restaurants, bars, rum shacks and nightclubs of St Lawrence Gap and Oistins, and its famous 'Fish Friday', are the perfect remedy for those who seek to do more than simply lounge on the beach and all inclusive holidays are a breeze at properties such as the great value Casuarina Beach Resort. Thrill seekers and watersports enthusiasts also flock to the south coast, and in particular Long Beach, Silver Rock and Silver Sands which claim to be the island’s premium wind and kite surfing spots.
Along the ruggedly beautiful east coast small fleets of fishing boats brave the large swells that roll in straight off the vast Atlantic, while daring surfers ride the rolling waves. A drive along the dramatic coastal road, with stops at the coral boulder studded beach of Bathsheba and the surfing mecca of the ‘Soup Bowl enroute, is a highlight of any trip to Barbados.
The captivating Bajan culture was born from a blend of West African, British and Indian roots. A game of cricket and afternoon tea can be enjoyed before an evening of calypso music and dancing. In the nation’s capital Bridgetown, Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian buildings sit side-by-side with vibrant wooden chattel houses. Barbados, known as the birthplace of rum, also boasts the oldest rum producer in the world – Mount Gay Rum – which has been producing this exotic spirit since 1704. A rum cocktail is the perfect accompaniment to your picture-perfect beach escape.
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Barbados offered a true flavour of the Caribbean from the moment we stepped off the aircraft. You can’t help but relax into the slow way of life, and will find that you’re permanently grinning.
This may be down to the odd rum punch cocktail or just the glorious sunshine, but the locals are always happy and smiling and it’s very infectious. Take a catamaran around the island, windsurf on the east coast, enjoy a romantic sunset, devour a sumptuous seafood supper or hire a Mini Moke and be totally independent, recording all your wonderful memories with fantastic photo opportunities everywhere.