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On one side of the island, surfers ride towering Atlantic waves which come crashing into shore. On the other, snorkelers bathe in warm, calm waters, captivated by the colourful, marine world just beneath them. The seas around Barbados may be contrasting, but the tiny island between them is a harmonious one, with endless sunny days and beautiful views putting a smile on everyone’s face. It has superb historical culture as well, with plantation homes, rum distilleries and churches to explore.

Things to see

Bridgetown, the lively capital of Barbados is pure joy to experience, with a rainbow of pastel-hued houses and bursts of bright bougainvillea. Little shops spill their wares from doorways and windowsills: handicrafts, antiques fresh produce abound. Nearby, the Garrison Savannah is the island’s most famous racecourse. Enjoy the race from a shady picnic spot, where you can try local fish delicacies. Of course, Barbados is really all about the beaches. Accra Beach is close to Bridgetown, and offers a breezy stretch of ocean which is a hit with kite-surfers. Further up the coast, you’ll find perfect surfing conditions with huge swells and breaks. Along the south coast, the waters are calmer and full of marine life. At St Lawrence Bay, the coral reef not only provides a superb snorkelling spot, but also acts as a protective barrier, creating shallow waters close to the shore which children can paddle happily in.

Hotels in Barbados

Barbados has a wide range of hotels, from luxury resorts to self-catering apartments, but they all offer a relaxing beach atmosphere. The luxury hotels provide a dream escape – think cocktails served to your poolside cabana after a spa treatment, or sunbathing on a private beach. Rooms come with private balconies and chic decor, where you can enjoy 24-hour room service. If you don’t want to break the budget, there are numerous discount hotels in Barbados available. Self-catering apartments provide space for families, with large living areas and fully-equipped kitchens. Independent guesthouses, meanwhile, offer a romantic retreat, with rustic furnishings and sea views.

Where to stay

If you want to soak up the sun on the island’s best beaches or fill your holiday with watersports, then stay in the Christ Church area along the south coast. Here, you’ll find a range of luxury, all-inclusive resorts and self-catering apartments. For a Barbados-style city break, stay in one of the hotels in Bridgetown, where you’ll have the culture of the capital close at hand, while still enjoying beautiful sea views and beaches. For a more secluded getaway, try one of the hotels in St James district, further up the coast, or a guesthouse in the forested inland region.

How to get to Barbados

The island of Barbados is served by the Grantley Adams International Airport, which is well-connected, with direct flights from the UK, as well as the USA and Canada. Resort hotels all over the island offer complimentary airport shuttles. There are also local buses, mini-vans and taxis at the terminal to take you to your destination. Car hire is available too. Bridgetown is located about 8 miles from the airport, and the south coast is very close by, but it doesn’t take long to get anywhere in Barbados. If you arrive on a cruise ship, you’ll dock centrally in Bridgetown Harbour.

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