Caribbean Contentment: Holidaying in Barbados

When it comes to truly getting away from it all, is there any other destination quite as well suited for escape as Barbados? Home to crystal clear waters, pure white sands, and sunsets that blaze high in the sky, the island is quite possibly the closest thing to genuine paradise that exists on this planet. With everyone wanting in on the action, however, it can be tough to find a vacation that avoids the tourist traps. It all comes down to the details. Doing your homework before you take the trip can make all the difference for your Bajan holiday, and if you know where to look, you can make the most of your slice of paradise.

While your first port of call might be the beach, there is a great deal to be seen inland on the island. Lush vegetation runs rife as you step away from the shore, offering up plenty of opportunity to do a little adventuring. Although you might feel up to braving the wilds alone, organizations like Hike Barbados will show you some of the most stunning sights within some of the least accessible areas. Whether you choose to hike in the morning, afternoon, or evening, you’re guaranteed to stumble across a view quite unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Boasting blazing sunrises and colorful skies, Barbados makes getting up before the crack of dawn more than worth it. While you might like to usher in the day from your local beach, there’s a lot to be said for taking a drive to Farley Hill National Park, which features the ruins of a plantation house that overlooks the Atlantic ocean. Sitting within its grounds as the sun comes up is worth doing at least once during your stay in paradise. Wild birds rule the skies, giving you incredible sights to behold.

Of course, you can’t travel to Barbados without giving the beach run a go. Choosing a favorite beach is a task close to impossible, so instead, consider taking in a smorgasbord of sandy spots in order to get a taste of the local scene. Paradise Beach is, as its name suggests, one of the most stunning spots on the island, giving way to the calm waters of the Caribbean. With relatively few people about, the beach is the perfect place to really unwind. If, however, you prefer to kick things up a gear or two, try heading to Paynes Beach. A hotspot for jet skiing, sailing, and waterskiing, the beach draws those with a taste for adventure. With many local organizations offering lessons and trials, there is plenty of choice to be had. 

All of that fresh seafood has to go somewhere, and in Barbados, there is a huge amount of local fare on offer. If you’re all about simple, unpretentious flavor, try your luck at the Sand Dunes Bar and Restaurant. With a daily-changing menu, you’re guaranteed a plate that is as fresh as they come and doubly delicious. Looking for something a little more luxurious? Head to the Animal Flower Cave. As well as boasting sumptuous local dishes, this restaurant has one of the best views on the entire island, with an ideal vantage point on the cliffs of North Point. Order up and enjoy the landscape. 

Want to toast your new favorite holiday spot? Rum runs copiously on the island of Barbados! The Bay Tavern is one of the best spots to do a little tasting, offering up a fine selection of local rums. With locals pouring in from every corner of the island to partake in an afternoon drink, you know that you’re in for a truly authentic experience. Choose your poison and raise a glass to the island.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.