Barbados is known for its stunning beaches that stretch for miles with white sand that is powdery and crystal clear waters however, it also has an impressive cultural history.
Of course, we all know about the sun and sand that make Barbados an ideal winter getaway. There’s a lot more to explore and experience there, including its delicious cuisine or the well-known Mount Gay rum. The island is vast and varied enough to be worth exploring with a rental car or in an organized tour.
Sugarcane first came to Barbados in 1640. The plant quickly gained popularity among plantation owners. At the beginning of the 1800s, Barbados became one of the top sugar producers around the globe. This industry brought huge prosperity to the island and led to the development of magnificent mansions as well as the creation of a distinctive Barbadian culture.
Tourism, however, is the primary source of revenue, yet isn’t enough to take over the island. The island’s inhabitants are very tolerant, even laid-back and their interactions are always an uplifting atmosphere. There are a variety of accommodations here, but those that really draw attention are luxurious boutique hotels with their gourmet cuisine. Here are some suggestions for how to spend your time after having enjoyed enough sun.
The port was once the most prosperous in the Caribbean The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown is small enough to explore by walking. Begin your exploration near the Careenage which is a natural harbour with a finger of water which reaches the city’s center. A monument marks the spot that the first slaves brought in. In the opposite direction are those of the Victorian Parliament Buildings, magnificent Neo-Gothic structures, which serve as the government of the country.
Just a short stroll from this A short walk from here is National Heroes Square, formerly named Trafalgar Square. This historical plaza is dedicated to Barbados the nation’s heroes, however the sculpture of Lord Nelson is now in the Museum. In close proximity there is Cheapside Market, a former center for the purchase or selling of slaves. Today, it is crowded with stalls offering fresh food, spices and local arts and crafts.
The main road runs along Broad Street lined by colourful colonial-style buildings. Do not miss the historic Jewish Synagogue that is among the oldest synagogues of the Americas. It was constructed in the middle of the 17th century and next to the museum, it describes the story of the Jewish Settlement on the island.
Mount Gay Rum
The north of the city lies north of the city is Mount Gay Rum Factory, however, the distillery is situated elsewhere. It’s among the longest-running Rum producers around the globe and was established with the help of the famous Sir John Gay. The 45-minute tour begins with a short documentary that goes through all the stages of production. The tour concludes with a supervised tasting of various vintages and blends of Rum.
Contrasting with the long sandy beaches, is The Scotland District, a hilly area in northern parts of the island. The first people who settled in this area were Scots attracted by the rugged hills and the mild climate that brought them back to their home. There are small towns with colourful wooden shacks painted with bright colors. Wild Mount Hillaby at 340m can be described as the top point on the island. It also gives an excellent idea of what the landscape looked like prior to when it was cleared.
Oistins Fish Fry
Oistins Fish Fry
For a true taste of Barbados and the chance to get to know the Barbadosians, Oistins Fish Fry is the Friday night party. It’s held at Oistins Bay Gardens, which is awash with bars, food stalls and stages for music. You can order anything you want in the kitchens set up for you and then grab a drink or a glass of beer and enjoy the music. It’s usually loud and an exciting mix of calypso, reggae and soca.
Food is the primary attraction, mostly of the sea, including lobster, fish, shrimp and crab. After having eaten, hop dancing and play with the locals. The best part is that it’s to be completely secure with no indication of trouble. There are many families with small children. Then, you can go to the oldies stage where couples show off their dance moves to the fullest.
Visit in October to attend this year’s Barbados Food and Rum Festival and then get stuck in.
One thing that’s an absolute must is a cruise on a catamaran in the afternoon or at sunset. The cruise takes you along Barbados with its calm waters until you reach a shallow shipwreck area. You can take your snorkel and dive into these wrecks while swimming alongside the fish and even spotting sea turtles. After that, the boat will take you to a quiet beach where you can take a swim on the beach that is deserted and walk along the clean Sand. After that, you can enjoy a delicious meal buffet served on the board.
Go: Virgin Atlantic is the only airline to fly directly from London Gatwick to Barbados directly from London Gatwick.
Stay: Cobblers Cove is a boutique owned by a family hotel located on the island’s west coast. Prices start at $420 (currently around. PS307) per night for a room on a B&B basis.
INFO: Visit Barbados has tourist information.
Tours: Mount Gay Rum Tour is available throughout the day.
Cool Runnings organizes Catamaran snorkelling excursions.
Eat : Local & Co is great to get fresh, local fish.
Tapas Restaurant serves small plates,
Oistins Fish Fry – try ‘Pat’s Place’
Champers Restaurant has exquisite food.
La Cabane grills fish and meat in the ocean.