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Exquisite Barbados Holidays
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Most Caribbean isles are jewels, but Barbados stands out as a special treasure in the tropical arc of the Lesser Antilles. Its location to the east of the island chain sets it apart as a unique destination ringed with pure white sands and kissed by crystal blue surf. Surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, this remarkable paradise covers more than 167 square miles with a lush landscape that sweeps down from the heights of Mount Hillaby on its northern shore to the southern expanse of verdant St. Georges Valley.
Building sand castles and beachcombing always beckon on the warm breeze, but you’ll discover a relaxing world of luxurious comfort along the island’s upscale western coast. From splendid resorts in stylish St. James to five-star dining in vibrant Bridgetown, the cosmopolitan atmosphere is an intoxicating mix of casual style and cultured tastes. If you prefer exploring less-traveled terrain, Barbados’ eastern shoreline offers a breathtaking vista of crashing Atlantic waves and endless, azure skies.
The island’s most spectacular views are best photographed from the pinnacle of Hackleton's Cliff. Soaring more than 1,000 feet, this dramatic formation offers a panorama of pristine sands and deep blue waters. You’ll discover seahorses and brilliantly hued fish swimming among the remains of historic shipwrecks when you scuba dive into the depths of Carlisle Bay. Pink flamingos and languid iguanas entertain at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, and graceful hibiscus compete with beautiful bougainvillea for your attention at the Andromeda Botanical Gardens.
When it’s time to indulge in more than sun-drenched afternoons, delve into the past at St. Nicholas Abbey, and stroll through the historic interiors of this magnificent 1658 Jacobean mansion. Enjoy a sip of island rum distilled on the premises, then head for the horse races at Garrison Savannah. Place your bets, and take the winnings on a shopping spree in Bridgetown where world-class jewelers showcase their finest gems. Sample a delicious variety of gourmet menus along the west shore, or dine and dance till dawn with the locals at their Friday fish fry in the little southern town of Oistins.
Best Time To Visit:
Sun-filled days and temperate nights moderate the climate year round, but be sure to pack your umbrella for island visits between June and November. This 5-month wet season is mild and rarely interrupted by severe weather, and you’ll enjoy knowing that Barbados lies comfortably outside the Atlantic hurricane zone. The tourist scene begins to slow down during May, so you’ll enjoy substantial savings by visiting during the summer. However, many resorts and restaurants close from September through October until the season fires back up in the middle of December.
While you plan your holiday calendar, consider visiting during the annual Crop Over Festival. This unique carnival celebrates the sugar cane harvest with a full spectrum of island culture from local food delicacies to native music and dance. The jubilee stretches over 12 weeks from May through August and offers an experience unique among Caribbean festivals. From the annual November Barbados Golf Festival to a Celtic celebration at the end of each May, the island calendar is always filled with the lively entertainment and tropical charm that makes Barbados a special treasure.