To discover some of Barbados’s colonial history, pay a visit to St Nicholas Abbey, a fascinating Jacobean style former sugar cane plantation house built in the mid-17th century with a rum distillery and steam mill. There’s also Sunbury Plantation, one of the island’s most popular museums, with its collection of horse drawn carriages. Plant lovers will enjoy the Flower Forest’s 53 acres of tropical flora and trees and the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, set on the hillside overlooking the Atlantic with its rare species of succulents, palms and bearded fig trees. Folkestone’s Marine Park near Holetown is well worth a visit. If you’re an experienced diver you can visit the amazing artificial reef just off the coast created by sinking the fire-damaged ship, Stavronikita. Snorkellers can still explore the inshore reef and there’s a visitors centre with plenty of information on the area’s marine life. For magnificent views of rolling waves crashing onto the rocky shore, visit the dramatic east coast beach at Bathsheba. Known as the ‘Soup Bowl’, the venue holds regular local and international surfing competitions and it’s a great place to take a picnic and watch the experts.
Barbados holidays are ideal for those seeking an active vacation. From kayaking, fishing and horseback rides to playing a round of golf or game of tennis – sports enthusiasts are well catered for. Those preferring to watch can take in a cricket match, horse race or surfing competition in the famous Bathsheba ‘Soupbowl.’ The island also has an enchanting cave formation with waterfalls and emerald pools; wildlife reserves, and marine tours which are a hit with everyone. Diving holidays in Barbados are popular along the pretty reef, alongside fishing trips, sailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities throughout the island, with crafts, paintings and prints by Bajan artists some of the favourite buys. Bridgetown is undoubtedly the main shopping location, with department stores, boutiques and market stalls selling all manner of goods, both local and imported. Look out for locally-produced rum, handcrafted pottery and batik products. As a popular cruise destination, the capital also has a large number of duty free outlets, with high-end watches and jewellery – in particular gold, emeralds and diamonds – among the most desirable itemd. At Oistins market, pick up fresh flying fish to grill at your private holiday villa, along with a bottle of the island’s famous hot pepper sauce!
Whichever location you choose for your villa holiday, you’ll want to sample some of Barbados’s magnificent beaches for yourself and there are certainly plenty to choose from. The western Platinum coast has a gorgeous silvery shoreline lapped by gentle Caribbean waves and each resort has access to the nearest beaches, many offering watersports, parasols and sun loungers. Snorkelling in the clear turquoise waters here is a great way to view the shoals of tropical fish inhabiting the island’s coral reef. You can even swim with turtles offshore at the beautiful Paynes Bay. For those who enjoy a little more surf, the pink-hued Crane Beach on the southeast coast is simply breathtaking, backed by limestone cliffs and swaying palm trees and great for bodyboarding. Along the dramatic east coast, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean are wild, wonderful and ideal for surfing and it’s a great idea to take a trip over there during your stay for a very different beach experience.
Average monthly temperature and rainfall for the Barbados holiday season°C