We love Barbados and are absolutely sure you will as well. This wonderful Caribbean island has so much more to offer than sea, sand and sun. From world-class dining to a multitude of local sports and games, there is never a dull moment. With a plethora of exciting activities and an island rich in cultural events year-round, we are sure you will fall in love with Barbados too!
Barbados is surrounded by over 70 miles of beautiful palm-fringed, white sand beaches. The sea offers just about every shade of blue and is truly a delight to behold, even when simply driving around the island. All Barbados beaches are open to the public giving locals and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful seasides in the Caribbean. The Crane beach in St. Phillip has consistently been recognized as one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
The East Coast Beaches of Barbados on the Atlantic Ocean offer not only the biggest waves, but also the most dangerous currents. Swimming at these beaches is not recommended but they are very popular for surfing. Bathsheba is the home of the famous Soup Bowl and is a hot spot for experienced local and foreign surfers alike. With prime conditions year-round, surfing is one of the most popular sports in Barbados. The Atlantic coastline is stunningly beautiful and simply awe-inspiring to watch.
The South Coast Beaches of Barbados are characterized by small to medium waves, good dive sites and excellent wind and kite surfing conditions. The South Coast of Barbados is laden with stretches of white sand bays. The sea is usually calm and good for swimming. There are many shallow-water reefs, which are ideal for snorkeling. One of the best windsurfing spots is in Silver Sands and Silver Rock where many international windsurfing events are held.
Northern Barbados may have less sand but the coast makes up for this drawback with spectacular weathered cliffs and pounding Atlantic swells in numerous little bays. The majority of the coast tends to be rockier but offers beautiful ridges with magnificent views of the ocean. Swimming is quite safe within the sheltered bays like River Bay, Maycocks Bay, Cove Bay and Morgan Lewis beaches. They are all great locations for gorgeous photos.
The West Coast Beaches of Barbados are known for calm, clear waters and soft white sandy beaches making them ideal for swimming, snorkeling or relaxing with a rum punch. The West Coast gently nudges the tranquil Caribbean Sea in all its turquoise glory and is perfect for water sports like skiing and wakeboarding, it also boasts most of the island's popular scuba diving areas.
Some specific points to note about our Beaches:
Flags on Beach Denote Dangerous Currents
+YELLOW FLAG: means proceed with caution
+RED FLAG: is a strong warning that you should stay out of the sea
It is always advisable to stay within your depth when swimming. There is quite a bit of activity along the coast lines with boats and other water crafts so when snorkeling or diving please display a brightly coloured buoy or float to indicate your location.
More prevalent on the West Coast, but also found in small quantities elsewhere, these poisonous trees (usually marked with a red painted ring around the trunk) are to be handled with care. They bear small yellow-green "apples" and any contact with the leaves, branches or fruits will cause severe blistering. The fruit should NOT be eaten at anytime and take care not to shelter under these trees when it's raining as the water dripping from the leaves will produce the same unpleasant effect.
Barbados is surrounded by extensive coral reefs and sea urchins (commonly referred to locally as cobblers) are abundant in the rocks and crevices that are close to shore. The long black spines will break easily and embed in your feet if stepped on. It is advised that if you are snorkeling or walking on any of the shallow reefs you wear reef shoes for protection against these animals and other small fish.
Go on a culinary adventure through the numerous dining options available in Barbados. From our national dish of Flying Fish and Cou Cou or the ever popular local Saturday delight of Pudding and Souse all the way across the palate to mouth-watering Sushi, Barbados will please the most discerning food connoisseur. Dining choices are available for every taste and every budget.
You can choose from numerous fine-dining restaurants offering international dishes to relaxed, casual spots offering tasty local cuisine. Some of the most delicious food can be attained from local roadside vendors operating from the back of their vans, stalls or tents. Our Concierge department has a comprehensive list of all of the finest dining spots on the island and would be happy to make all your reservations for you. For every taste and budget, Barbados has something to offer.
Positano enjoy handmade pasta and pizzas crafted by our team of talented chefs. Blended with hip music to further add to the restaurant's casual vibe.
Paynes Bay, St. James / Tel: 432-2731 / Website: Positano Restaurant
Bajan Blue this informal restaurant offers all-day dining and a mélange of European, Caribbean and Asian-influenced cuisine.
Sandy Lane Hotel, St. James / Tel: 444-2000 / Website: Bajan Blue
L’Acajou specializes in refined, modern, classical and contemporary renditions on European cuisine with an emphasis on French and Mediterranean.
Sandy Lane Hotel, St. James / Tel: 444-2000 / Website: L’Acajou
Cala Roca exquisitely prepared dishes that are full of flavour and served with fantastic views of the West coast of Barbados.
Prospect, St. James / Tel: 271-1258 / Website: Cala Roca Lounge
Fusion authentically sophisticated cuisine, the menu is comprehensive and alluring, whilst being approachable for every palate.
Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, St. James / Tel: 629-0599 / Website: Fusion Rooftop
The Mews boasts a variety of quaint eating areas such as balconies, courtyards, private dining rooms, corridors and shall we say nooks and crannies.
2nd Street, Holetown, St. James / Tel: 432-1122 / Website: The Mews
Fisherman's Pub we offer tasty and affordable authentic Bajan dishes (cafeteria style) in a relaxed and casual setting.
Speightstown, St. Peter / Tel: 422-2703 / Website: Fisherman's Pub
Lone Star Restaurant elegant and relaxed beachside atmosphere and eclectic menu.
Mount Standfast, St. James / Tel: 629-0599 / Website: Lone Star Restaurant
Zaccios choose between dining on the calm waters of the West Coast or the rugged beauty of the East Coast.
Holetown or Bathsheba / Tel: 432-0134 / Website: Zaccios Restaurant
Sea Shed spend your days lounging by turquoise waters and slip easily into nights dining under the starry Caribbean sky.
Mullins, St. Peter / Tel: 572-5111 / Website: Sea Shed
Local and Co. dishes up approachable food with transparency in dining.
Speightstown, St. Peter / Tel: 421-3276 / Website: Local & Co.
The Cliff indulge in a luxurious fine dining experience on the water’s edge.
Paynes Bay, St. James / Tel: 432-0797 / Website: The Cliff
Champers vibrant set in a chic, laid-back Caribbean atmosphere. Champers sits amidst breathtaking views of the water’s edge.
Skeetes Hill, Christ Church / Tel: 434-3463 / Website: Champers
Primo Bar and Bistro offers rustic sophistication with stunning views overlooking the picturesque St. Lawrence Bay.
St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church / Tel: 537-7777 / Website: Primo Bar and Bistro
Cocktail Kitchen pair great food with our tantalising signature and classic cocktails.
St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church / Tel: 622-3017 / Website: Cocktail Kitchen
Cafe Luna is a delightful restaurant on a rooftop terrace and the menu draws from all over the world with tropical fusion.
Enterprise Beach Road, Christ Church / Tel: 420-4689 / Website: Cafe Luna
Bubba’s Sports Bar enjoy all sports action live via 2 satellite dishes on three 10ft screens and 22 additional TVs.
Rockley, Christ Church / Tel: 435-8731 / Website: Bubba’s Sports Bar and Restaurant
Steak House options that offer a wonderful variety to suit every taste, the restaurant is also ideal for groups.
St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church / Tel: 434-3463 / Website: Steak House Grill & St. Lawrence Pizza Hut
Just Grillin' is a very casual restaurant offering good-tasting grilled food at a reasonable price.
Sunset Crest or Quayside / Tel: 432-5410 / Website: Just Grillin'
Lobster Alive has fresh Grenadine lobster (kept alive in a seawater tank) and has a selection of seafood dishes served by the seaside.
Bay Street, St. Michael / Tel: 435-0305 / Website: Lobster Alive
Mama Mia Deli serving up fresh Italian food since 2003.
Hastings, Christ Church / Tel: 434-3354 / Website: Mama Mia Italian Deli & Pizzeria
Cosmos a chic restaurant with amazing food, cocktails and ambiance.
Upper Collymore Rock, Christ Church / Tel: 537-9258 / Website: Cosmo Club
Naniki is known for the magnificent views and Caribbean cuisine; nestled in the lush countryside on a nature resort.
Surinam, St. Joseph / Tel: 433-1300 / Website: Naniki
The Atlantis serving a famous Bajan buffet lunch. It is also open for breakfast and dinner.
Tent Bay, St. Joseph / Tel: 433-9445 / Website: The Atlantis Historic Inn
Zen perched on a cliff overlooking Crane Beach. The restaurant offers traditional Tatami rooms, an exquisite sushi bar and booths for private dining.
The Crane, St. Philip / Tel: 423-6220 / Website: Zen
Round House serves continental Caribbean cuisine beginning and ending with simple, fresh, local delicious food.
Bathsheba, St. Joseph / Tel: 433-9678 / Website: Round House
The nightlife activities in Barbados are endless! Choose from trendy or traditional restaurants, electrifying nightclubs, casual bars, relaxed rum shops… and much much more! On the South Coast you’ll find the entertainment hub of St. Lawrence Gap - a mile long strip of entertainment delights alive with energy. On the West Coast you’ll find the popular 1st and 2nd Streets in Holetown known for delicious cuisine, exciting bars and vibrant nightclubs. Being small has its benefits; you can easily move from one coast to the next experiencing as many nightspots as desired. Have a glance through some of our favourites...
Oistins Fish Fry
It's a dressed down affair featuring lots of delicious Barbados fish and seafood. Enjoy grilled or fried marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, flying fish, swordfish, all prepared right in front of you! Look closely and you may even find the occasional spiny lobster. Sweet Caribbean music infuses the air while locals play dominoes or talk about hot issues. It's an atmosphere of excitement and a must-see in Barbados.
Party in an open-air beachfront nightclub to pulsating Caribbean and international music. Harbour Lights is located on the beautiful Carlisle Bay Beach just a few minutes from Bridgetown. Their popular Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show is great fun for all ages. It features traditional local entertainment such as stiltmen, fire eaters, acrobatic green monkeys, shaggy bears and a tuk band.
Friendly atmosphere, affordable drinks and great music, this is Mojo's. The cocktail bar's motto is "Music for the People, Food for the Soul" and it hasn't disappointed yet. Throw on your jeans and sandals and dance the night away!
John Moore's Bar
It's the rum shop you definitely want to experience. You'll find a high-spirited group of Barbadians relaxing in a casual setting enjoying a rum punch or beer. Set along the waterfront in Weston, St. James you'll enjoy cool, ocean breezes to the background of great laughter and merriment. Delicious local food is also on sale.
Enjoy the live entertainment on Friday nights! The Mews is located in 2nd street in Holetown. The restaurant offers international and European dishes in a casual setting with private dining areas and lovely balconies. It's often the first choice of many to kick off an enjoyable Friday night.
A fun and exciting bar on the West Coast! West Bar is located within the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown. Friday nights feature DJ music, drink specials and guest mixologists. Mingle with friends or make some new ones!
If you are looking for the ultimate way to absorb Barbados culture look no further than a traditional rum shop. Barbados has over 1500 rum shops which make up a key part of the culture dating back over 300 years ago. It is said that they originated by the men needing a "liming" spot while the ladies attended church services - that's why there is a rum shop within close walking distance to many an Island church! Persons from varying social, ethnic and economic backgrounds all head to the rum shop to enjoy a good time and a few laughs with friends. The shops are easy to spot, colourfully decorated advertising popular brands of rum, beer, vodka, stoutes, etc.
Local rum shop patrons are welcoming and friendly and are always willing to engage visitors in a lively conversation. You'll quickly recognize that these tiny shops are a hub of social interaction for Bajans and tourists alike - a great spot where you can discuss wide range of topics from sports and politics to local gossip and major world events. You'll be surprised just how much you can learn about Barbados history and current events just from hanging out in the rum shops. Bajans are often very well-informed and provide wonderful and entertaining conversation. Order a drink or a delicious local dish and join in the conversation!
What's Happening In Barbados
In Barbados there is always something to fill your day; provide some morning exercise or a little afternoon entertainment. Throughout the year some of the weekly activities include:
- Harbour Lights Beach Extravaganza and Dinner Show on Monday and Wednesday evening
- Oistins Fish Fry every Friday evening
- Horse Racing is scheduled every other Saturday at the Garrison Savannah
- Brighton's Farmers Market every Saturday morning
- Join the Hash House Harriers on Saturday afternoons
- Holders Hill Organic Farmer's Market every Sunday morning
You can enliven your vacation by watching or participating in a number of fun sporting activities in Barbados. With year-round temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius/ 86 degrees Farenheit Barbados is the perfect destination for any sports enthusiast. Cricket is very popular on the island and followed by many locals who often organize friendly matches between one another. Barbadians are avid sportsfolk and participate in a variety of activities such as surfing, water polo, athletics, horseracing, football and of course cricket, to name a few.
The first love of Barbados! Cricket is the national sport of the island with many locals and visitors alike attending world-class matches at the newly renovated Kensington Oval. Barbados has produced several cricketing greats such as Sir Garfield Sobers, the three W's, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, David Allen, and the late Keith Boyce. There’s always an opportunity to enjoy a great game of cricket in Barbados whether it's an international match, a local first-division match or a friendly game on the beach or village playing field. To reserve tickets at Kensington Oval for matches visit: http://cricketwestindies.org/.
GolfBarbados boasts a number of world-class golf courses and facilities. Several tournaments are hosted throughout the year and attract participants from Europe, North America and several other countries. In December 2006 Barbados hosted the World Golf Championships World Cup at the Sandy Lane luxury resort.
This is a "members only" golf club that allows limited tee off times for non-members. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Royal Westmoreland is one of the world's most exciting resort courses. Tel: 419-7242
At Sandy Lane there are three courses to choose from - The Old Nine, the Country Club Course and the private Green Monkey Course. The Country Club and Green Monkey Courses were both designed by Tom Fazio. Tel: 444-4080
Barbados Golf Club
This championship golf course is the work of experienced golf course designer Ron Kirby. Tel: 538-4653
Apes Hill Club
This is a private club reserved for property owners and their guests - but our Concierge can get you a tee time! Space is limited so reserve early. Take special note of the view from holes 6 and 15... spectacular! The course was designed by the team at Landmark Land Company and boasts some of the most challenging fairways and greens in the world.
HikingYou can enjoy the natural beauty of Barbados with a hike through gullies, cane fields and coastal villages. Hosted by the Barbados National Trust, hikes are scheduled each Sunday morning and afternoon beginning at different locations around the island. Each hike lasts 3 hours and varies in intensity based experience. Interesting facts about Barbados are often provided on the hike. Hikes are free but the Barbados National Trust accepts donations to preserve the built and natural environment. Tel: 436 9033 or 426 2421 The Hike Calendar can be found at this link -https://barbados.org/hike.htm. Don't forget to wear appropriate footwear, a sun hat, and bring a bottle of water and a snack for along the way!
HorseracingYou can enjoy horse racing all year long (exception being the month of October) at Barbados' historic Garrison Savannah. Race days are exciting for all members of the family and feature lots of vendors selling treats for the kids. The main event of the racing season is the Sandy Lane Gold Cup which attracts participants from all across the Caribbean and international world. For a full racing schedule check online: http://www.barbadosturfclub.org/race-day/#racingcsdrop
PoloPolo is played to a high level in Barbados. Several first-class matches between Barbados and visiting teams are held throughout the year. The British Calvary brought the sport to the island in the 19th century and the Barbados Polo Club was formed in 1884. There are several polo fields in Barbados, several of which feature luxury property developments around the field. The season is typically early December until late May but match days may change due to inclement weather, so it is best to call the Barbados Polo Club hotline to confirm match dates and times: Tel: 230-1308
Motor SportMotor Sport in Barbados is hugely popular and while there are many types to choose from as a spectator, The Sol Barbados Rally is the biggest international motor sport event in the Caribbean. It began as a one-day rally for 30 or so local competitors and evolved into a major celebration attracting as many as 90 crews from around the region and international world. In 2009 the list of entrants included nine World Rally Cars as well as past and present champions from Britain, Jamaica and Trinidad. Hundreds of enthusiastic fans come to the island to not only view the exciting races but to enjoy the nightlife, dining, beaches and other fun activities on the island. Find out more at: Website: http://www.rallybarbados.net/
Places of Worship
Barbados may be a small island but there are over 100 religious sects and numerous churches throughout the country. Going to church is still a major event for many Barbadians who can be seen heading to their places of worship in striking outfits. Churches vary in style from stately Anglican buildings with stained glass windows and pipe organs to tiny wooden structures or even tents! In some more vibrant, energetic settings you can hear clapping and tambourines ringing through the atmosphere. Some of the religions represented in Barbados include Buddhist, Bahai, Hindu, Methodist, Moravian, Islamic, Pentecostal, Mormon, Evangelical and Jewish and more, however Anglican is the main denomination.
St. James Parish Church
Folkestone, St. James
Sunday Services 7:15am, 9:00am
5th Sunday in the month 8:00am only
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
The Garden, St. James
Saturday Service: 8:00am, 5:00pm
Sunday Service: 8:00am, 10:30am
Synagogue (oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere):
Nidhe Israel Synagogue
Synagogue Lane, Bridgetown
Shabbat Service: December to April every Friday 7:30pm
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Prayer Times: Prays 5 times a day are offered
For a tour, it is recommended to phone ahead to schedule. Note: No photographs please and modest dress is required.
St. Lawrence Church
St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church
Sunday Services: 7:30am, 9:30am, (Sunday School) 7:30am
Tuesday Services: 7:00am
Wednesday Services: 7:30pm
Thursday Services (2nd & 4th): 7:00pm
Hastings, Christ Church
Sunday Services: 7:00am, 8:45pm
Wednesday Services: 6:30am, 9:30am
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Bay Street, St. Michael
Saturday Services: 7:00am, 6:00pm
Sunday Services: 7:00am, 11:00am, 6:00pm
St. Dominic's Church
Maxwell, Christ Church
Saturday Services: 7:00am, 6:30pm
Sunday Services: 7:00am, 10:30am, 6:30pm
The People's Cathedral
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Sunday Services: 7:30am, 10:15am, and 6:00pm
Sharon Moravian Church
Sharon, St. Thomas
Sunday Services: 9:30am
James Street Methodist Church
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Sunday Services: 9:00am, 5:00pm
Contact the below for information on the Barbados Kadampa Sangha.
Tel. 435-3894 / Website. Tara Buddhist Centre
Shaare Tzedek Synagogue
Rockley New Road, Christ Church
Friday Services: 7:30pm
Barbados Public Holidays
Bear in mind that most shops and Government offices are closed on Public Holidays. Restaurants and attractions are usually open but it's best to check first. Below is a list of how the locals like to spend these days. There are often events happening on these days around the island, but if there is nothing special planned, there is always the beach! On public holidays locals like to get together with family and friends and spend the day at the beach as they typically don't get to do that on a regular basis.
- Jan 1st - New Year's Day
- Jan 21st - Errol Barrow Day. Considered to be the "Father Of Independence" the late Sir Errol Walton Barrow was the first Prime Minister of Barbados. One of the island's national hero's, he was an avid sailor and on this day as we celebrate his birthday we also have the annual Round Barbados Yacht Race. http://www.barbadossailingweek.com/
- Apr 28th - National Heroes' Day was designed to recognize the contribution of all of Barbados' national heroes:
- + Errol Barrow (1920-1987) was the Father of Barbados' Independence
- + Sir Grantley Adams (1898-1971) was the only Prime Minister of the now defunct West Indies Federation.
- + Bussa (unknown-1816) for leading Barbados' slave revolt in April 1816
- + Sarah Ann Gill (1795-1866) who stood up against the planters who tried to oust the Methodist missionaries from Barbados
- + Samuel Jackson Prescod (1806-1871) was a renowned politician, humanitarian and journalist
- + Sir Frank Walcott (1916-1999) was an international figure in trade unionism
- + Charles Duncan O'Neal (1879-1936) a medical doctor of the privileged class who dedicated his working life to serving the poor
- + Clement Osbourne Payne (1904-1941) a pioneer in the Caribbean trade union movement and an outspoken critic of politics
- + Sir Hugh Springer (1913-1994) Barbados' third native Governor-General he worked in a variety of political capacities
- + Sir Garfield Sobers (1936-present) an outstanding sportsman and a legend in the game of cricket
- + Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty (1988-present) singer, actress, media icon, fashion mogul, entrepreneur, trailblazer and international superstar
- May 1st - May Day or Labour Day
- June 10th - Whit Monday
- Aug 1st - Kadooment Day. The origins of the festival day can be traced back to the 1780's, a time when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest - the Crop Over celebration.
- Aug 2nd - Emancipation Day. This holiday commemorates The Slavery Abolition Act which ended slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834.
- Nov 30th - Independence Day
- Dec 25th - Christmas Day
- Dec 26th - Boxing Day
Where To Stay In Barbados
Private vacation villas
Villas are a popular choice when booking a Barbados vacation. As stand-alone properties, they offer luxury your way with various room rental options available (e.g. book one room in a five-bedroom villa). Compared to hotels, they offer privacy and the ability to personalise your vacation from 5 star needs to casual barefoot retreats. If the villa is your destination and you need all of the creature comforts, our villa portfolio includes holiday homes with cinemas, spas, fitness centres and tennis courts. If you prefer a simple, laid back vacation villa close to beaches and entertainment, the South and West Coast have varied options. Choose from beachfront, country estates or 5-star properties in luxury gated communities in secure locations. Where to stay in Barbados? Recommendations from Blue Sky Luxury
5-star villas with full staffing options
Kiko - 5 stars, beachfront, butler, chef, spa, salon, pool
Onyx - contemporary, beachfront, pool, entertainment centre with bar and tv and staffing
Footprints - ultra-modern, beachfront, lounge deck, two pools, two separate luxury mini villas with individual pools
Greensleeves - beachfront, 4 acres of expansive private gardens, swimming pool, sun deck, tennis court
Condominiums & Townhouses
On the South Coast of Barbados, popular beachfront apartments like 'Sapphire Beach' are great for family retreats, birthday celebrations and remote work options. Sapphire Beach Condominiums feature coded entry, onsite parking, two pools and a fitness centre. Terraces is another modern apartment building in the ever-popular Dover area. Both are within walking distance to St. Lawrence Gap. 'The Gap' is home to various restaurants, lounges and bars. A bit further down the coast is Leith Court, another beachfront apartment complex. Leith Court's "guitar-shaped" pool is a bit quirky but unique! Worthing Square Food Garden is literally across the street and offers many dining options. Choose from Jamaican, Asian, Barbadian, Trinidadian Arabic and many more! The West Coast is home to those seeking a luxury experience.
Only the finest luxury vacation villas
Prestigious gated communities such as Sandy Lane Estate, Royal Westmoreland and Sugar Hill Estate offer a bespoke mix of luxury beachfront villas and apartments and townhouses. Premier services are offered at these residences and private flights, catamarans and car hires can be arranged through Concierge Can. Golf and tennis enthusiasts choose only the best Barbados vacation rentals.