Barbados has huge appeal for beach lovers. Expect sugar-soft sand, impossibly clear waters (that are also beautifully warm) and plenty of palm trees to complete the paradise picture. Exploring beaches on all sides of the island is one of the top things to do in Barbados to get a range of experiences. The west side is lapped by the calm, shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea, while the Atlantic-facing east side boasts a rugged coastline and epic waves that are ideal for surfing. In short, Barbados has a beach for just about everyone. Here are our pick of the 10 best beaches in Barbados.
Best for natural beauty: Crane Beach
On the southeast of Barbados, you’ll find Crane Beach: a cove that gets endless mentions in top travel magazines. This spectacular crescent of pink-hued sand is flanked by coconut trees, 80ft cliffs and crashing Atlantic waves. Approach the water with caution, but if you’re into bodyboarding, you’ll be in your element.
Best for getting away from it all: Cattlewash Beach
Up the coast from Bathsheba, Cattlewash Beach is a biscuit-coloured strip of sand that’s flanked by rugged scenery, fizzing waves and marvellous rocky cliffs. A great stop-off point for escaping the crowds, it’s also ideal for enjoying some long, meditative walks.
Best for scuba-diving: Carlisle Bay
It’s no wonder so many scuba-divers come to Carlisle Bay. With enchanting shipwrecks and a bounty of marine life to explore, this beach provides some of the most spectacular diving experiences in the Caribbean. Expect to see everything from seahorses and frog fish to moray eels and manta rays. Then, after your dive, head to Cuz’s Fish Shack for a Bajan fish cutter – the tastiest sarnie on the island.
Best for celeb-spotting: Sandy Lane Beach
Occupying the coveted Platinum Coast, Sandy Lane Beach is the coveted playground for guests staying at its eponymous hotel. Public access isn’t always easy, but if you’re staying in one of our glorious villas that occupy this enclave, you’ll be just steps away from the VIP cove. Palm-fringed, peaceful and boasting lovely sunsets, it’s no wonder celebs like to holiday here.
Best for surfing: Bathsheba Beach
This isn’t a beach you’d come to for a relaxing swim, but it is a beach that promises epic surfing opportunities and out-of-this-world scenery. Rolling Atlantic waves froth and foam against otherworldly rocks that poke out of the water, while verdant cliffs provide a striking backdrop. Home to the famed Soup Bowl reef break, this surfer’s paradise is equally worth a visit for taking breezy walks and gorgeous snaps.
Best for a lively atmosphere: Alleynes Bay
A favourite sunset spot and home of the renowned Ju Ju’s Beach Bar, Alleynes Bay is a great place for couples as well as groups to get together in the afternoon. With Banks beer on tap, reasonably-priced Bajan bites and friendly locals – plus an array of other restaurants nearby – you’ll feel instantly at peace. End the day watching the crimson skies with friendly company and a piña colada in hand.
Best for families: Rockley Beach
Rockley Beach – or Accra Beach, as it’s often known – can’t be beaten when it comes to family-friendly beaches in Barbados. Little ones can safely play in the calm waters on the southern end, while older children can boogie board the livelier waves further up the cove. The casuarina trees provide much-needed shade, but parasols and beach loungers are also available to hire. Search for crabs in the rockpools, take a stroll along the boardwalk and then stop by a beach shack for a frozen treat.
Best for watersports: Silver Sands Beach
Thanks to trade winds and protected lagoons, Silver Sands Beach in Christ Church is ideal for watersports. From around November to July, you’re bound to find thrill-seekers enjoying surfing, kiteboarding and paddle-boarding around here. Outside of high season, the nearby Long Bay are great spots to enjoy a walk, so pack your picnic and enjoy the views.
Best for a castaway feel: Bottom Bay Beach
Hugged by cliffs and shaded by towering palms, Bottom Bay is one of the most secluded beaches you’ll find in Barbados. Less crowded than other beaches, it’s not the best for swimming (the waves can be quite unpredictable), but it’s a lovely spot for a romantic picnic or some afternoon sunbathing. To top off the castaway vibe, look out for vendors selling fresh coconuts.
Hidden Gem: Shark Hole Beach
Not many people know about this hidden beach on the southeast of the island, accessed via a narrow path in between Bottom Bay and Beach Head Bay. But since it’s so small, those in the know fill these golden sands pretty quickly. Ask a local for directions, arrive early (avoiding weekends) and enjoy the unique rocky scenery coupled with a hidden-away feel.
Looking for a base to explore all of these beaches in Barbados? We’ve got a gorgeous selection of luxury villas in Barbados. Whether you want a villa near a beach, a short walk from one or even on the beach, you’ll never be far from some soft sand and warm turquoise water!