It doesn't matter what time of year you visit - Barbados is truly heaven on earth, offering the kind of views you typically expect to see on postcards. From the moment you arrive in the newly-transitioned republic, you'll feel transported to a dreamlike state where sea turtles swim through clear waters and spicy comfort food is served with a smile.
Bajan cuisine is not only vibrant in colour but flavour as well. Flying fish and cou cou serves as the national dish, with the former soaked in lime juice and Caribbean spices before being breaded and fried. The latter is a little more unusual, combining cornmeal with okra to form a stodgy side dish that's often complemented by fresh vegetables or plantain.
Conkies are another popular dish, traditionally eaten in the lead-up to Barbados' Independence Day on November 30th. A dense cornmeal cake, complete with pumpkin, coconut, cherries and Bajan spices, is folded within a banana leaf casing, making for a convenient on-the-go snack.
Finally, we couldn't not mention the island's most famous product: rum. Whether it's mixed into cocktails or enjoyed solo on the rocks, rum was invented here in 1703 and continues to prove popular with locals and tourists alike. Visiting over Christmas? Try Bajan Black Cake, a rum-soaked fruit cake that's made three weeks in advance.
Super-soft sands, crystal-clear waters and picture-perfect palm trees are commonplace for Barbados' beaches. Should you stay on the west side, you'll benefit from the calm, shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea. By contrast on the east, thrill-seekers at spots like Bathsheba Beach will find surf-friendly waves just waiting to be caught.
If you're travelling as a family, we'd recommend Reeds Bay which is shaded by plenty of luscious trees. With a marked area for swimming, you can lap into the clear waters together worry-free.
However, for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, you can't beat Bottom Bay - be sure to grab a fresh coconut from one of the beach vendors.
For our full list of the best beaches in Barbados, click here.
While you may be someone who could happily swim in the sea or lie on the sand all day, you'll never be short of things to do in Barbados. Trade a dip in the pool for some forest bathing as you explore the 53-acre Coco Hill Forest, a sustainable farming project you can spend a day hiking around.
Feet feeling tired? Climb aboard a horse with Ocean Echo Stables to explore the east coast in truly idyllic fashion - they even offer full moon rides to amp up the romance factor. Then, swap land for sea and hire a snorkel to take in some of the world's most stunning reefs.
Check out our full list of things to do in Barbados here.