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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)



Barbados Holidays

Barbados holidays have long been synonymous with images of a platinum coastline, palm dotted sands and gallons of rum punch. This is what you might expect when you visit here, but there is so much more to experience beneath the surface of the Caribbean scenes we all dream about.

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The Caribbean's blonde beauty

Barbados is home to 92 kilometres of golden coastline. Beach after beach offers palmed shade, rows of sun-loungers and crystal-clear water that's ideal for kids and adults alike. The western coast is a firm favourite, with the beaches of St James and St Peter having earned Barbados the nickname of the platinum coast.

It's not just the west of Barbados that has all the fun, however. The eastern side of the island is a little more lively, making the beaches less reliable for swimming but perhaps a more attractive option for watersports enthusiasts and picnickers. The Soup Bowl at Bathsheba is a surfers paradise, with huge Atlantic waves crashing into the sands, while the East Coast Road's scenic ocean is a great spot to find a bite to eat.

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Where to stay in Barbados

BridgetownView on Map

Bridgetown is the capital city of Barbados, and as such it benefits from a vibrant commercial centre and restaurant culture. It also has a handful of beaches, each of which has its own unique stretch of white sand and clear blue water. Visit a rum distillery or shop at its markets.

Christ ChurchView on Map

Christ Church is a parish on the southernmost tip of Barbados. Golfers, surfers, sunbathers and those who simply want to enjoy a fantastic meal can all unwind here. Beaches range from the isolated to the hectic, and you can party in St Lawrence or relax in quieter villages.

HastingsView on Map

Tucked between the capital Bridgetown and its lively neighbour St Lawrence, Hastings boasts white-sand beaches and azure ocean dotted with palm trees. You can escape the crowds or dive into the hustle and bustle. Walk the coastal boardwalk, visit a UNESCO garrison or head to St Lawrence for nightlife.

HoletownView on Map

Holetown is Barbados' original town, but that doesn't mean it's old school. Packed with shopping opportunities at a sweet retail village, snorkelling excursions and one crazy gorgeous beach, it's a one-stop shop for holidays in the endlessly-warm Caribbean sun. There's international dining and plenty of rum here.

St JamesView on Map

The social elite love to hobnob in St James, but that doesn't mean it's beyond reach for the average holidaymaker. Specialised resorts make the sunny skies and golden beaches of this town in west Barbados easily available to couples and families looking for a pristine paradise.

St LawrenceView on Map

For a mix of some of the best beaches in Barbados and definitely its biggest nightlife scene, stay in St Lawrence, commonly referred to as The Gap. Hotels and villas stand shoulder to shoulder with luxury resort complexes across this resort on the south coast of Barbados.

St PeterView on Map

From historic Speightstown to some of the most beautiful wildlife resorts on Barbados, the parish of St Peter is a destination for those who prefer to take their holidays at a gentle pace. The beaches are luscious, the landscape is stunning and there are many upscale resorts on this Platinum Coast.

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A quiet getaway

It's not all tourism on the west and high-octane activities on the east, as you'll find plenty of Barbados All Inclusive holiday deals to the kind of peaceful resorts needed for a true escape. Harrismith beach on the south-east coast, between Bottom Bay and Sam Lords Castle, is a genuine hidden treasure that is protected from the winds by coved rocks.

Maxwell Beach is another haven for isolation, but by night it can be a bit of a firecracker. Ideal for those who are looking for a quiet retreat by day with a vibrant party atmosphere by night, this is the place to go if you're keen to sample the best of both worlds in Barbados.

Eat and drink, dance and sing

Barbados is home to some of the most magnificent dishes you'll find anywhere in the Caribbean. Bajan cuisine is a mixture of African, Indian, and British influences, meaning you'll find all sorts of dishes to suit a broad range of tastes. The restaurants in Barbados are similarly varied, with fusion, international and local delicacies on offer at any one time.

As for drinking, let's just say it's easier to order a rum punch in Barbados than a tea or coffee. With that sort of stimulation, you're going to need some real opportunities to let loose. St Lawrence leads the way for Barbados' nightlife, but the capital of Bridgetown certainly holds its own in the party scene.

Festivities are common in Barbados, and there are some which really ought not be missed. For example, the tiny fishing village of Oistins throws a street party every Friday evening, complete with live music, dancing and of course, open air grills with slabs of swordfish smoking away.

The quirky capital

Bridgetown isn't just a nightlife hotspot, it's also home to a more artistic side of Barbados. The colonial British rule goes head-to-head with the Caribbean culture here, and the result is live reggae set to the backdrop of cricket games and a statue of Nelson.

The Bridgetown Gallery exhibits local painters' scenes of bustling markets and beautiful coastal landscapes. Meanwhile, market traders can be found gathered in the last weekend of the season at the biggest street fair of the Crop Over Festival. If you choose to experience All Inclusive Barbados holidays at this time, it's the ideal place to get all the local souvenirs and handicrafts.

Enjoy the landscape

There are plenty of ways to soak in the verdant surroundings of Barbados, from horseback riding and long treks to games of gold on the rolling courses. You have eight championship courses to choose from in Barbados, including holes designed by the infamous Tom Fazio and Ron Kirby. For any avid golfers, a tour of Barbados is not just a possibility, it's a necessity.

You can also explore the truly remarkable floral offerings of the Andromeda Botanical Gardens, which have over 600 varieties of tropical plant in a space of just six acres. Located in the town of Bathsheba, you'll find more beautiful nature here than you can shake a camera at.