Tropical island living
Why go on holiday to Barbados?
Barbados has everything a holidaymaker could expect from a tropical
island. Miles of white sandy beaches, the calm Caribbean, the dramatic
Atlantic, a lush interior, bustling nightlife and spicy local food.
How much does it cost?
All-inclusive holidays are very popular. Prices do vary quite
considerably but expect to pay from about £750 upwards a week. Flights
only can be bought from about £350. If you turn up with nowhere to
stay, the tourist office at the airport can almost certainly find you
somewhere in whatever price range you choose.
When should I go?
Barbados is a year-round destination. Christmas and New Year are
relatively rain-free and therefore the most popular. Temperatures range
from 70F-83F (21C-28C).
February and May are the driest months and July is the wettest with an average of 18 days rain.
However, it's worth visiting in July to witness the colourful Crop-Over
Festival which marks the end of the sugarcane harvest. It starts
mid-July and continues for three weeks.
Located in Christ Church, Plum
Tree Club offers an outdoor pool and a tennis court. These fully
equipped apartments are located right on a 9-hole golf course.
Each apartment here includes a TV, balcony and a full equipped
kitchen with a fridge, oven, stove and microwave. Free WiFi is
available throughout and the bedroom has air-conditioning.
At Plum Tree Club you will find a garden and barbecue facilities.
Other facilities like a vending machine are offered.
The beach is just 800 metres away, with a free shuttle service 4
times a day offered by the property. Grantley Admas International
Airport can be reached in a 20-minute drive
Area: 430 sq km (166 sq mi)
Capital city: Bridgetown (pop 7500)
Barbados is a distorted pear-shaped island lying
2585km (1610mi) southeast of Miami and 860km (535mi) northeast of
Caracas, Venezuela. It's about the size of a large US city. The western
coast has white-sand beaches and calm turquoise waters, while the
cliff-lined Atlantic eastern coast is much more turbulent. Coral reefs
surround most of the island. Over eons the buildup of coral on
sedimentary rocks has created the bulk of the island. Water permeates
its soft coral cap, creating underground
streams, springs and limestone caverns. The most notable of the
caverns, Harrison's Cave, is one of the island's leading tourist
The best time to go to Barbados is during the
cooler, drier months of late winter and early spring (February to May).
Keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season when prices are
higher and places most crowded.
The capital of Barbados is a busy commercial
city set on Carlisle Bay, the island's only natural harbor. It's an
architectural hodgepodge of modern and colonial, with side streets
leading off into residential neighborhoods sprinkled with rum shops and
chattel houses. True to the island's British heritage, there are
monumental obelisks, gothic parliament buildings, and a large Anglican cathedral. Military history buffs should head to the Barbados Garrison,
the 17th-century base of the British Windward and Leeward Islands
Command. It has a museum, fortifications, brigs and cannons a-plenty.
It's the oldest town in Barbados,
but you'd hardly know it from its modern appearance. Founded in the
1620s, Holetown is now a major cog in the island's tourism machine. You
can absorb some of the town's history at St James Church,
a 19th-century structure that still has traces of its 17th-century
past, including a bell inscribed with the name of King William.
Along the southwestern coast there's a cluster of small, low-key towns
with excellent beaches that provide much of the island's low to
mid-range accommodations. St Lawrence, about 15km (9mi) southeast of
Bridgetown, is the liveliest, offering plenty of opportunities to
boogie down or fill up on flying fish. Dover Beach, the town strand, has powdery white sand. A few minutes' walk west along the beach at low tide brings you to the towns of Worthing and Hastings,
which have interesting local crafts and lovely white-sand beaches.
Grooving with the turtles in paradise
Before a Bajan banquet of epic proportions, a turtle is the last thing you'd expect as an aperitif.
But looking down from our candlelit table at Barbados's most spectacular restaurant The Cliff, that's exactly what we saw.
Hauling itself out of the moonlit Caribbean Sea on to the spotless dusk
beach, with its protruding ET-like head and leathery flippers, there it
Two days later, we were closer still; gazing through snorkel masks a
short paddle from Paynes Bay as the beautiful ocean giants wallowed
just yards beneath us.
Of course, turtles are far from the only thing worth admiring on the
eternally popular - and quintessentially British - tropical island.
The fine coral sands are legendary, the salmon-pink sunsets
breathtaking and the sunshine almost eternal. Yet the day we checked
into the all-inclusive Almond Beach Club, the sun was taking a breather
behind some clouds darker than the local rum.
Twenty-four hours of incessant rain later, it reappeared to shed a golden glow on our west coast retreat.
Bang next door to the celebrity haunt Sandy Lane, Almond Beach is a
favourite with UK stars including Martine McCutcheon and Lisa Faulkner.
But the A-list action was in full swing 200 yards down the coast.
Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs was in Barbados for the wedding of
his pal, Liverpool's Danny Murphy, and was enjoying some late afternoon
jet-skiing with his wife Stacey and Murphy's actress fiancee Joanna
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