You can’t beat Barbados for good weather and idyllic beaches. Here are some great ways to treat yourself to some interesting cultural and culinary experiences while soaking up the sun on this charming Caribbean island.
Eccentric millionaire and legendary horticulturalist Anthony Hunte has created his very own garden of Eden filled with tropical plant species. Spend an hour exploring this verdant rainforest and learn about Barbados’ flora and fauna from the man himself.
St. Nicholas Abbey
This Jacobean-style distillery still produces some of the best rum on the island. Take a tour of the Grand House for an authentic picture of 18th-century plantation life and try some of the five, 10 and 12 year batches while exploring the gorgeous grounds.
Admire the rugged Northern coastline at Little Bay and marvel at one of nature’s most beautiful feats. Naturally occurring holes in the coral create huge spouts of seawater, reminding locals of whales coming to the surface and earning them the nickname ‘blowholes’.
Spa at Port Ferdinand
Stop by the Sandbox Tree Spa for a treatment overlooking a stunning tropical ravine. The luxury marina resort and residence is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail and will soon be joined by Nikki Beach club.
Apes Hill Polo Club
Learn how to play polo with the team at Apes Hill and their adorable polo ponies. No matter if you’ve never ridden before, the horses are so well trained they practically play for you! More advanced riders can test their skills during a chukka (seven-minute round) or even play a full match.
Cherry Tree Hill
Drive to the top of Cherry Tree Hill for some of the best views on the island. The viewpoint, not far from St. Nicholas Abbey, looks over the rugged east coast where local surfers hang out and try to conquer the choppy Atlantic waters at Bathsheba.
Lone Star, Cin Cin and Atlantis Hotel
Rub shoulders with Bajan glitterati and enjoy some of the finest food in Barbados at glamorous beachside restaurants such as Lone Star, Cin Cin and Atlantis Hotel Restaurant. Great seafood and even better views combine for an unforgettable experience, especially during sunset. Be sure to try the mahi mahi and flying fish.
There are over 1,000 of these iconic chattel bars scattered across Barbados, where Bajans go to drink, smoke and play dominoes. John Moore is the oldest rum shop on the island and well worth a visit to experience a true picture of life in the Caribbean.
Catamaran cruise and turtles
Take to the turquoise waters and explore the idyllic coastline from your very own luxury catamaran. Snorkel through sunken shipwrecks and swim with turtles, manta rays and the occasional tarpon (which can grow to over two metres in length).
Sample some of the best local cuisine in Barbados and soak up the atmosphere around Oistins Bay. Treat yourself to grilled seafood from Pat’s Place, Uncle George’s or Legendary Hot Fish Cakes and watch the locals strut their stuff around the sound systems which spring up after dark.
Nidhe Israel Synagogue
Bridgetown is home to one of the oldest synagogues and mikvahs in the Western Hemisphere, restored in the 1980s and now joined by a museum dedicated to Caribbean Judaism. The pastel pink synagogue looks beautiful bathed in early evening sun and no visit to the island would be complete without seeing this cultural treasure.
For more information about Barbados head to visitbarbados.org. You can now fly direct to Barbados from London Heathrow twice weekly until April 2018. Virgin Atlantic also offers a year-round, twice weekly direct service from Manchester to Barbados. Prices start from £1535.14 return.