With its verdant rainforest, sensational beaches and a long list of natural wonders, it’s no wonder Barbados is such a popular holiday destination. Located 100km east of the Windward Islands, this bucket-list destination is just as dreamy as it looks in the pictures, offering that perfect balance of culture and ultimate luxury. Ready to book your villa holiday in Barbados? Here’s our travel guide to help you with the planning process.
When to visit
Barbados has a tropical climate, so expect rainfall at any time of year. Showers here are often over very quickly though, and temperatures generally stay between 21 and 31 degrees. For your best chance of dry weather, avoid the July-November rainy season by visiting between mid-late December and May. However, no matter when you plan your holiday in Barbados, you’ll enjoy around eight hours of sunshine every day and warm sea temperatures year-round.
How to get there
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and TUI all fly direct from the UK to Grantley Adams International Airport. The flight time is around 8.5 hours. You’ll find private transfers and taxis as well as car hire options at the airport (always agree on your taxi fare before you travel and use authorised taxis that display a yellow sticker). Local buses (which charge around BDS$2 per journey) run hourly from the airport into the capital city of Bridgetown – just ask airport staff for assistance.
Why visit Barbados?
From the UNESCO-listed Bridgetown to the Sunbury Plantation House, Barbados unearths a layered colonial history that’s well worth exploring. Look out for the annual Barbados National Trust Open House Season for a glimpse at the island’s historic properties.
It goes without saying that the beaches in Barbados are world-class. Divers come here for the sensational natural coral reefs and Bathsheba is one of the best beaches in Barbados for surfing.
Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s lushest islands, filled with rich flora and fauna. From jeep safaris through its dense jungle to horticultural gems like Hunte’s Gardens, there are myriad ways to get close to nature.
Food and drink
From no-frills fish shacks to upscale seafood restaurants, Barbados’ food is varied and vibrant. Rum is, of course, the tipple of choice here, while the long-running Barbados Food & Rum Festival is a great place to try a bit of everything.
Whether it’s music, sport or gastronomy you’re into, there are all sorts of ways to explore the Bajan culture. The annual carnival, or ‘Crop over’ festival, has been held here since the 18th Century
Restaurants and nightlife
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to bars, clubs and restaurants in Barbados. The so-called Platinum Coast boasts glitzy fine-dining restaurants and cocktail bars while St Lawrence Gap and the renowned ‘Harbour Lights’ are the places to enjoy a party, or as the locals say, ‘lime’.
Andromeda Botanical Gardens
Head to the east coast to Andromeda Botanical Gardens, named ‘one of the most unique and outstanding gardens in the world.’ The creative work of horticulturalist Iris Bannochie, this tranquil garden is home to tropical flora including cacti, orchids and a show-stopping Banyan tree.
Sunbury Plantation House
In the parish of Saint Philip, Sunbury Plantation house offers a look at the dark slave trade past of the Caribbean. Dating back 300 years, this former sugar estate hosts guided tours around its restored plantation rooms, boasting original furniture and antique collections.
Cuz’s Fish Shack
When you’re ready for lunch, visit the car park behind Pebble’s Beach (Carlisle Bay) and head to Cuz’s Fish Shack. Set up over 50 years ago, this no-frills food stall sells traditional Bajan fish cutters, a simple-but-delicious fish sandwich, usually made from the island’s renowned flying fish, or marlin.
Where to visit
Capital of Bridgetown
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are all sorts of historical landmarks filling the old town of Bridgetown, a fortified port and Barbados’ capital city. After exploring the city on foot, it’s worth visiting the famed Garrison for a glimpse at British colonial history. Queen’s Park in Bridgetown also plays home to the island’s famed Baobab Tree, thought to be the widest tree in the Caribbean.
The second largest town on the island, Speightstown is steeped in Bajan culture. The restored Arlington House unearths the island’s trading history while a stroll around this bustling port, dubbed ‘Little Bristol’, unveils interesting shops and colonial Georgian architecture. Stop at the characterful Fisherman’s Pub for some great Bajan food.
Dating back to 1882, Kensington Oval is the oldest cricket ground in Barbados and it’s where regular test matches are still hosted on the island today. The nearby Legends of Barbados Cricket Museum is filled with portraits and sporting memorabilia from the island’s cricketing past.
There’s a reason the West Coast is nicknamed the ‘Platinum Coast’. A renowned celeb hotspot, it also plays home to some of our most opulent Barbados villas. The Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in upmarket Holetown is the go-to place for designer homeware and fashion, stylish restaurants and luxury spas.
Feel armed and ready to head off on holiday to Barbados now? Great! We’ve got an amazing collection of stylish villas in Barbados – from beachfront to nestled in the greenery. If you need any help choosing where to stay, our concierge team can give you a hand!