Barbados

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Barbados


Brimming with island charm, Barbados is a jewel in the Caribbean’s crown. Consistent warm weather and palm-fringed beaches ensure this tiny pocket of paradise remains a tropical treat all year round. Did somebody say winter sun?

Above all, villas in Barbados go big on rest and relaxation. The west coast in particular serves up an enviable roster of family-friendly resorts fronted by sugar-white bays and crystalline waters ideal for turtle-spotting. After you’ve dried off, sample the delights of a rum shack plonked right on the beach!

For the culture vultures among you, cities like Bridgetown and Oistins thrum with local heritage and vibrant architecture. When the sun goes down, hotfoot it to St Lawrence Gap, where party animals boogie along to live music every night of the week. 

Think Barbados and you’re likely to imagine brilliant white beaches, flanked by sparkling ocean on one side and lush forest on the other. The reality, in fact, may be even better. Barbados is home to a storybook selection of bays, with many villas close to the beach.

Worthing Beach tops the list for swimming, while the enchantingly-named Shark Hole Beach is a pretty getaway tucked out of sight on the southeastern tip. Scuba divers love the marine life and shipwrecks by Carlisle Bay.

From family-friendly sands to romantic sunset spots, this dinky island nation goes big on beach life. The west coast of Barbados features the calmest waters, whereas the more rugged east coast is favoured for its natural beauty and water sport-friendly waves.

No two days need be the same on a villa holiday in Barbados. The city of Bridgetown is the cultural epicentre of the island. Boasting UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the streets teem with candy-coloured colonial houses, craft markets and the excellent Barbados Museum.

Beyond the capital, discover the island’s sweet side on a sugar plantation tour at St Nicholas Abbey, enjoy a jet ski ride around the coast, or soak up Barbados’ best panorama at Highland viewing point. 

The ultimate treat for animal-lovers is a catamaran cruise to snorkel alongside sea turtles. Most excursions include lunch and, if you’re lucky, a rum punch or two! Prefer dry land? Meet the monkeys at Barbados Wildlife Reserve or lose yourself in a riot of colourful flowers at Andromeda Botanic Gardens.

It’s not just the air conditioning that makes shopping in Barbados a joy. Bargains abound at the duty-free malls and stores on Bridgetown’s bustling Broad Street. Stock up on designer bags, jewellery and clothing – just remember to take your passport and travel documents for those duty-free discounts. 

If you’re after a little more luxury, Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown features some of the world’s finest fashion and beauty brands, plus a mouthwatering choice of high-end eateries. 

For a more authentic shopping experience, make your way to the markets. Admire the kaleidoscopic assortment of fruit and veg at Cheapside Public Market, shop alongside the locals at Oistins Fish Market, or pick up a souvenir to last a lifetime at Earthworks Pottery.

Dining out in Barbados is a delight. Fish dishes feature highly in every corner of the island, with flying fish a real speciality. Try yours fried, stuffed into a sandwich and laced with hot sauce. This unbeatable beach snack is known as a ‘cutter’.

Holetown and St Lawrence Gap are your go-tos for international restaurants, while Bridgetown takes the trophy for more traditional Bajan fare like baked macaroni pie or sweet steamed ‘conkies’. As you might expect, rum is a mainstay. However, tropical fruit juices offer a refreshing alternative.

Finally, if you prefer to eat at your holiday home in Barbados, local supermarkets offer all the fresh produce you could want. Why not pick up some rum-soaked Black Cake to take back with you?

Young travellers will be in their element in Barbados’ family-friendly villas. Enticing swimming pools, wrap-around verandas, exceptional sea views and jungle-esque gardens beg to be explored. You may find it tricky to tempt them away! Further perks like local play parks are just the icing on the cake. 

When you’re ready to venture beyond your villa rental, St Lawrence is well-suited for families. Casual cafes line the seafront and Little Bay’s knee-deep waters mean you can paddle right out to the reef at low tide. 

One of Barbados’ greatest geological wonders, Harrison’s Cave, is superb for children - don’t miss the tram tour! – while above ground, you can discover the hidden corners of this spectacular island and venture high into the hills on a 4x4 jeep safari.

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