Barbados is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
If you want to spend a day at the beach, away from crowds and surrounded by just sand, sea and all of Mother Nature’s beachy glory, head to the southeast of the island to the parish of St Philip which has plenty of that to offer.
No sharks here, just powdery pink sand and crystal-clear water. Shark Hole is a bay surrounded by protruding cliffs and enclosed by a coral reef not too far away from shore. The geological formation of the area is unique. The water within the enclosure is tranquil but venturing beyond the coral reef will take you into the rough and unpredictable waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This tiny oasis off the beaten track, while popular with locals on the weekend, is virtually uninhabited during the week. It’s not the easiest to get to but very worth the adventure you will have getting there.
This narrow stretch of beach on the southeast coast is named for the once imposing Harrismith Hotel (now ruins) which sits on the cliff above. A long flight of steps carved into the cliff lead onto what some consider to be one of Barbados’s most romantic beaches. Swaying palms, leaning coconut trees and weathered rocks scattered across the beach as foamy white waves break along the shore, conjure thoughts of being a castaway on a deserted island. Great for relaxing, meditating or just breathing in the aroma of the sea air, swimming is not recommended as this is also on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island where it’s ok to dip your toes but not a whole lot more.
Just three miles away from the airport, Foul Bay is the antithesis of its name. This pristine, postcard perfect beach is where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. The long and wide stretch of beach offers a panoramic view which can either be enjoyed beneath the shade of casuarina and palm trees or on the powdery white sand as you take in some Vitamin D. All of this, along with the turquoise waters and the tranquility, have made Foul Bay a favourite location for wedding ceremonies and vow renewals. There are no beach chairs, beach bars or shops so you will have to travel with your own supplies. But if you are looking for peace and quiet you can find it here, and you might even be lucky enough to spot some sea turtles hatching and making their first journey into the sea.
Once voted by CNN Travel as one of the top 50 beaches in the world, Bottom Bay is considered by many to be beach perfection. Cradled by coral cliffs, the golden sand is perfectly littered with coconut palms and there is a cave cut into the bottom of one of the cliffs. Bottom Bay’s azure waters are dominated by large waves and a strong current, which make it ideal for water sports enthusiasts but not for casual swimming.
If hidden caves, beautiful seashells and solitude are what you are in search of, Ginger Bay is the perfect find. Enclosed by towering limestone cliffs, this secluded beach is just east of the Crane Hotel and can be accessed by the stone steps from the old Ginger Bay Hotel. Great for a romantic picnic or a day in the sun, this gorgeous beach is one of Barbados’ best kept secrets.