Blissful sunshine, stunning coral beaches, vibrant nightlife and wonderful people are among the delights that make Barbados a dream come true for anyone yearning for an unforgettable holiday experience.
There’s so much to see and do on this mesmerising Caribbean island that your only dilemma may be trying to fit it all in – Barbados is a kaleidoscope of fun and entertainment, rich history and culture, stunning beauty and divine relaxation.
You’ll be wowed by the island’s crystal-clear waters, tranquil bays and coves, gastronomic delights, 5-star luxury resorts and charming coastal towns.
We've decided to turn the spotlight on this amazing destination to reveal why it makes a great choice for couples, families and groups of friends who crave the holiday of a lifetime.
What is the weather like in Barbados and when is the best time to visit?
Summer is the best season to see Barbados in all its glory. The island is generally sunny and warm all-year round, with an average daytime high of 30°C and more than 3,000 hours of annual sunshine.
The dry season runs from January to June, with the prevailing northeast trade winds having a pleasant cooling effect. Evenings are slightly cooler.
The wet season in Barbados spans July to November and rainfall normally consists of brief showers.
How long is the flight from the UK to Barbados?
Direct flights from the UK to Barbados take an average 8 hours 30 minutes. You can fly to the island from most major airports including Manchester, London Gatwick and London Heathrow. Barbados time is five hours behind British Summer Time (BST).
What language is spoken in Barbados?
The official language in Barbados is English and most residents speak Bajan, an English-based creole which is heavily influenced by West Africa. The island was a British colony until internal autonomy was granted in 1961, followed by full independence in 1966. The island's architecture and a number of areas and street names bear stamps of British influence.
What are the most popular holiday resorts in Barbados?
The diverse nature of the island means there's somewhere that ticks the boxes for all visitors - from the rugged north coast with its huge waves, secluded coves and breathtaking views to the livelier modern south coast with its exciting nightlife, luxurious all-inclusive hotels and powdery white sands.
Bridgetown, the island’s bustling capital, offers an eclectic mix of traditional Bajan culture and the modern world. Historic buildings and landmarks, duty free shopping, culinary delights and stirring nightlife are among the attractions you’ll come across. Carlisle Bay is a captivating crescent-shaped bay in Bridgetown with its fabulous marine park, natural harbour and enchanting shipwrecks.
Christ Church - one of the island’s largest parishes - is home to incredible beaches, plenty of water sports action, the picturesque coastal village of Hastings and the famous entertainment strip, St Lawrence Gap.
St James, dubbed the ‘platinum coast’ is one of the island’s most awe-inspiring regions with its spellbinding landscapes and incredible beaches. The main resort Holetown - where the first English settlers to the island landed in 1627 - is home to designer shopping, up-market hotels, exciting night spots and a scenic boardwalk.
Speightstown is a 400-year-old sea port in the north of the island where you’ll be impressed by the colonial-era architecture, pristine white sands, turquoise waters and excellent restaurants.
What are the top attractions in Barbados?
Barbados is brimming with activities and attractions which will help make any holiday a phenomenal success.
A must-see natural wonder is Harrison’s Cave Eco Adventure Park where a tram will take your family through a fascinating underground network of caverns where you’ll pass waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites along the way. Animal Flower Cave, the island's only accessible sea cave, is also well worth a visit.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve, which is set in a beautiful mahogany forest, provides a great day out, with green monkeys, caimans, armadillos, pelicans and flamingos among the attractions.
Exciting adventures for families include swimming with the turtles and Shipwreck Tour in Carlisle Bay and an underwater experience at the Atlantis Submarines attraction in Bridgetown.
Other key attractions and activities on the island include Oistins Bay Gardens, Mount Gay Rum Visitor Centre, Andromeda Botanic Gardens, the 16th century St. Nicholas Abbey, Atlantis Submarines and Island Safari.
Bajans love their festivals so if there’s one going on during your stay, definitely try to check it out. The main ones include Barbados Crop-Over Festival, the Holetown Festival and Barbados Reggae Festival.
What are the beaches like in Barbados?
Barbados is blessed with more than 80 glorious beaches, along 70 miles of palm-fringed shoreline – these range from golden expanses which are ideal for families to idyllic sandy coves where couples can enjoy romantic strolls.
Crane Beach will take your breath away with its natural beauty – 80-foot cliffs, beautiful sands, coconut trees and crashing Atlantic waves make this one of the Caribbean’s most alluring beaches.
Mullin’s Beach near Speightstown is a popular choice with families with golden sands, inviting waters and the chance to take to a glass-bottomed boat to gaze in awe at the marine life below you.
Accra Beach has child-friendly calm and shallow waters, Bathsheba Beach is a magnet for surfers and Batts Rock Beach is great for snorkelling.
If you want something which is truly peaceful and quiet, Bottom Bay Beach doesn’t disappoint, while Shark Hole Beach is a hidden gem with its coral reef and unique rocky scenery.
You’ll discover water sports galore at the beaches in Barbados, as well as a myriad of other activities including horseback riding, catamaran trips, pedalos, banana boat rides, fishing and the chance to dive and snorkel on the bewitching coral reels.
Is the transport system good for exploring Barbados?
The island’s large government-owned buses, painted blue with striped yellow sides, are the most economical form of public transport for getting around the main rural and urban areas of Barbados.
Privately-owned minibuses (yellow with blue stripes) are also widely available and there’s no shortage of taxis for hire. There’s also the option to hire a car, motorbike or bicycle to get around.
What is the nightlife like in Barbados?
Barbados really explodes into life when the sun goes down, with opportunities galore to have a fabulous time.
From pulsating nightclubs where you can dance the night away to lively beach bars and pubs where you’ll enjoy cocktails, live music and a party atmosphere, this enthralling island really hits the nightlife bullseye.
St Lawrence Gap is synonymous with nightlife and entertainment – it’s a round-the-clock area in Christ Church which is teeming with nightclubs, music venues and beach bars featuring local Calypso and Reggae bands.
The renowned 1st and 2nd Street in Holetown are hives of activity after dark, with an abundance of fine-dining restaurants and dusk till dawn entertainment.
Popular night spots on the island include Harbour Nights in Carlisle Bay, the Cove Club in St Lawrence Gap and the Red Door Lounge in Holetown.
Is Barbados good for shopping?
There’s plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy when staying in Barbados, with everything from local craft and souvenir stores to large shopping malls and high-end fashion boutiques.
You’ll also discover a huge range of duty-free merchandise including jewellery, watches, clothing, designer goods and electronics.
Many of the island’s malls - which include The Sheraton Centre in Christ Church and Lime Grove Lifestyle Centre in St. James – have a range of other superb amenities including cafes, bars, cinemas, spas and galleries.
A trip to one of the colourful outdoor markets in Barbados provides a truly local shopping experience and the chance to barter for a few bargains.
What is the traditional food and drink in Barbados?
You’ll find an abundance of great places to eat in Barbados when you venture outside your hotel, including beachfront restaurants and cafes offering an extensive range of local and international fare.
Street food is big business in this Caribbean escape and you’ll find a myriad of stalls and vans selling a varied choice of delicious local delicacies including jerk chicken, pig tails, fish cakes and macaroni pie. Family-friendly pubs and bars in Barbados also serve scrumptious food.
Freshly-caught fish, grass-fed meats, refreshing tropic fruits and juices, and West Indian curries and rotis are among the other tasty delights you’ll come across during your holiday.
A hugely popular dining event in Barbados is Oistins’ Fish Fry - an exciting evening of dancing, music and eating on the beach where swordfish, tuna, marlin and lobster are among the seafood delicacies grilled in front of you to your liking.
Mauby is a popular thirst-quenching drink in Barbados which is made from the bark of the Mauby tree, boiled with orange peel, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. The island is believed to be the birthplace of rum and flavoursome rum punch is one tipple that’s definitely worth sampling.