For those wishing to visit the Caribbean it can be tricky; all of the islands have so much to offer. Friendly locals, white sand, crystal clear blue seas, delicious cuisine, fascinating historical sights and stunning walks. So how do you know which one to choose?
We are here to shout about one of our favourite islands, Barbados.
Just a couple of the things we love about this island is not only the fact that it’s a great place to visit for its endless beaches and palm trees, it also has masses of beautiful flora (the aloe vera plants are ideal for that sun-burn) sunny afternoon cricket matches and beautiful colonial buildings.
Our favourite place to hang your hat in Barbados to explore (you can drive the length of Barbados in an hour and the width in 45 minutes so you are never to far away from everything you want to see) is St Lawrence Gap. It’s got some great bars and restaurants, perfect for turtle spotting and a great hangout to mix with the locals. Here are some of our top tips for things to do in this gorgeous island.
Sunrise: Breakfast at Dover Beach turtle spotting
Pack yourself a picnic and head to Dover Beach. Or, if you prefer, there are plenty of places where you can buy food and here are just some examples of delicious Bajan food you can try, no matter what time of day. Dover Beach is one of our favourites and there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for a small cost. Alternatively, just kick off your flip-flops under one of the shady palm trees and lay down your towel to catch some rays. The water is clean and warm and occasionally you’ll be treated to views of sea turtles coming up for air among the waves.
Fun in the sun: Catch a game of cricket
You can’t walk far without spotting an impromptu game of cricket. It’s a real treat if you can catch a match. Cricket is popular with people of all ages and really brings the community together and is a vital element to the island. It gives you a great excuse to sit in the sun with a cold beer or ginger beer for the kids. Check out some of the matches coming up here.
Sunset: St Lawrence Gap
You are in the right place for a fun night out. Tourists and locals alike enjoy the huge offering of restaurants and bars and there is a great atmosphere, especially at weekends. The people are vibrant and the music fills the streets. There are lots of great places to dine; from small local huts with live music, to larger restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by.
We like The Old Jamm Inn, which claims to be ‘the heartbeat of live music’ and who are we to argue? If you are looking for somewhere more chilled out and romantic, then you can’t go wrong with friendly and delicious Apsara Samudra, a restaurant overlooking the ocean that serves exquisite Thai and North Indian food (the Peshwari naan is to die for).
Sunrise: And breathe
Yoga on the beach has become more and more popular, and the Yoga Samudra classes are a perfect way to relax, stretch and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves and the sun on your back. Yoga is always at your level so these can be as challenging as you make them, ideal for those who miss a little bit of exercise when they are on holiday but also suitable for those who just want to chill out.
If you want to do something spiritual but don’t fancy doing the downward dog, then going to the local church is a lovely experience. Everyone dresses to the nines and it’s very welcoming. The white washed and quaint St Lawrence Anglican church, constructed in 1837 is charming and a great way to immerse yourself in Bajan culture. Perched atop a small perch at the first corner you encounter when entering the area, it’s easy to spot. You may even be asked to stand up and say hello as a very welcome newcomer.
Fun in the sun
The charming building with the lime green door houses the lovely art gallery, Art For Everyone, with some excellent pieces for you to peruse. Leave here and then grab some brunch at the Happy Days Café (we love their omelettes).
Once you have satisfied your hunger, hop on a bus to Bridgetown. The buses are great fun and a real insight into Bajan life. You’ll be sitting with locals on the journey who are really friendly and will chat to you about all sorts.
This will take a mere twenty minutes and then you are in Bridgetown, the heartbeat of the island. Start with a walk from Independence Square, which has statue of Errol Barrow, the first prime minister of the independent Barbados, and then head across Chamberlain Bridge to National Heroes Square, with its statue of Nelson and coral stoned Barbados Parliament.
Alternatively, you can take a bus to Barbados’ second city Speightstown – a great one to take photos of its brightly painted clapboard houses.
Sunset: Oistins Fish Fry
No trip to Barbados is complete without a trip to Oistins Fish Fry. You can rock up and pick a hut. Each and every one offers fresh catches of the day served straight from sea-to-boat-to-grill-to-plate. This is ideal for those wishing to mix with the friendly and fun locals and the food is great – if you only do one thing in Barbados this is it!
Have you been inspired? Take a look at the luxury properties we have available in St Lawrence Gap.