Barbados, perched in the sea to the east of the Windward Islands, is an immensely satisfying luxury holiday destination. The best hotels and resorts in Barbados are mainly found along the west coast, including The Sandpiper, a hotel offering a relaxing environment with a wide range of activities available; and The Coral Reef Club, an elegant and refined hotel with an old-world colonial feel amid beautiful gardens.
Without the mountainous tropical rain forests of the Windward Islands, Barbados has natural attractions of its own: acres of rolling green sugar cane fields, exotic trees and shrubs such as banyan, mahogany and flamboyant poinsettia, a breathtaking coastline of soft sandy beaches lapped by the calm turquoise waters of the Caribbean on the west and expanses of wild surf crashing onto the wide sandy beaches of the Atlantic east coast. As you drive across Barbados you glimpse fine colonial-style plantation houses and come across villages brightly painted in classic Caribbean colours, surrounded by gardens of frangipani and hibiscus. Barbados is highly recommended as a destination for a first-time visit to the Caribbean, for those looking for excellent standards of accommodation, or if you want a tropical beach holiday with plenty of sightseeing activities and places to visit around the island.
Capital: Bridgetown.Airport: About 20 minutes by car.Size: 16 miles long and 3 miles wideCurrency: Barbados Dollar (£1 = 3.1BD$)Population: About 26,5000Temperature: 31 degrees Centrigrade
Fish dishes including flying fish, dolphin fish and kingfish. Banks beer and Mountgay rum. Barbados has numerous restaurants of a very high quality, many of them along the west coast, including the Cliff and Carambola. Mullins beach bar south of Speightstown. Bathsheba and the east coast with its miles of sandy beaches and ocean surf. Barclays Park beach and beach bar on the east coast north of Bathsheba. The brilliance of the orange-red flamboyant trees in summer and the dark red of the poinsettias in winter. Fruit stalls for pineapples, coconuts and bananas by the road side. Local cricket matches on pitches surrounded by palm tree-clad hills. Deep sided lanes between the sugar cane fields with glimpses of gracious plantation houses here and there. Wooden houses of shocking pinks, mauves, blues and yellows. `British` post boxes, road signs and bus stops. Plenty of sports available to play and watch; golf, horseracing, cricket, riding, polo, walking, tennis. Early in the morning it`s as if the whole nation is out jogging. Cropover festival in August.
For short distances or dining out, use a taxi. It`s well worth hiring a car for most or at least part of your stay to have flexibility and independence. The quality of the roads is fine, bar a few potholes in the country and confusing road signs (be prepared to get lost, keep your petrol tank topped up and just keep asking the way). Barbados is very well developed for places of interest and well-preserved houses, plantations, mills, gardens and parks. For architectural interest visit St Nicholas Abbey, Drax Hall and Francia. For exotic gardens visit Andromeda and the Flower Forest. If you want to get away slightly from the main tourist areas travel into Scotland north of Speightstown. A drive across the interior provides beautiful scenery, with valleys and gulleys and ridges, acres of sugar cane fields and the grey-green leaves of palm trees rustling in the breeze.
Flight time London to Barbados is about 8 hours. British Airways has direct flights from London to Barbados every day of the week offering World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World and First.Virgin Atlantic has direct flights from London to Barbados every day of the week and direct flights from Manchester to Barbados on Sundays. BWIA has direct flights from London to Barbados on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. BMI fly from Manchester to Barbados.
The Cobblers Cove hotel exudes an atmosphere akin to an English country house transported to exotic Barbado
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Coral Reef Club hotel offers tremendous rest and relaxation in a luxurious ambience.
The Sandpiper represents the best of Barbados, with its comfortable and relaxing Bajan charm and privileged
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A romantic all-inclusive west coast resort.
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Located on the lively South Coast of Barbados, the Turtle Beach resort sits on 1,500 feet of soft white san
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Find out more about the Caribbean
Antigua and Barbados are the main international gateways from the UK but flights from the UK also serve Grenada, St Lucia, Tobago, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Nassau, Grand Cayman and San Juan. CurrencyVarious, including the East Caribbean Dollar (£1 = $4.34), the Euro (£1 = Euro 1.17) on Guadeloupe, with US Dollars (£1 = $1.61) almost universally accepted throughout SizeSome 7,000 islands, reefs and cays stretching 2,500 miles from Venezuela to Cuba Population36 million Average temperatureAlmost constant 27 degrees
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