So you’ve just landed in Barbados, the home of Sir Garfield Sobers, Rihanna and Mount Gay rum. The tourist season starts in November and continues until April, it is also dry season and it is slightly cooler than in the summer months (but not by much). From June to October is considered the rainy season, but don’t let that turn you off, there is still plenty of sunshine to get that awesome tan and when it does rain there are so many amazing restaurants you can check out that you can’t possibly get bored.
Our airport is located on the south of the island so we will start our guide on the South Coast. This part of the island is much busier than most other areas, it is great for tourists because there is so much happening and most things are within walking distance.
One of the most popular beaches on the south coast is Accra beach. There is so much happening around here, lots of places to eat and drink and beach chairs to rent. Another great beach to check out is Pebbles Beach, you pass this beautiful beach on the way to Hilton. Pebbles beach has so many activities, you can surf, paddle board, kayak, sail, dive and snorkel and I’m pretty sure I missed a few other beach activities. You can rent whatever you need from Paddle Barbados just by the Cruising Club. A bit further south you can find more beaches and surf spots, Freights Bay is probably where you will go to have your first surf lesson, and Silver Sands is popular for its kite surfing and wind surfing and even if you are not up for those then just go and check out the beach, it’s beautiful and there is plenty of entertainment.
If you are looking for a quick bite to eat there is the Barbadian fast food chain, Chefette. This is a must before you leave the island! Try out one of their rotis, they are amazing but if that is not your thing then the chicken sandwiches are pretty great too. If you have eaten too much Chefette by the time you visit Accra then you can head over to Quayside center which has plenty of other options. Just Grillin’ is delicious too, jerk chicken is my favourite and any of the side dishes are fantastic. If you are looking for something a bit healthier there is a fresh juice bar called Raw Juice which does a lot of vegan dishes and fresh cold pressed juices and smoothies. If you are looking for somewhere sexy to grab a meal in the evening make a reservation at Champers or Tapas, you can’t go wrong with either of them, both located on the beach front with amazing views on either end of Accra beach. If you are looking for a more local vibe then check out the Oistins Fish Fry, this happens every Friday and Saturday night. There are little stalls where you can get your food, try some fried flying fish or dolphin (mahi mahi) with macaroni pie or peas and rice (YUM!).
When you are on your way to Pebbles beach you can check out Cuz’s Fish Shack and there is only one option here, a fish sandwich with egg and cheese so grab one of those before you go down onto the beach and relax. You can’t miss it because around lunch time there is usually a long line in the car park!
As you continue your drive up the coast you will pass through Bridgetown on your way and then you are on the west coast. This part of the island is where the celebrities come to stay over the Christmas and New Year period and for good reason, this coast has lots of classy restaurants, beautiful beaches and there are a few high end stores located at Limegrove.
If you are looking for restaurants for a romantic dinner one night then you are not short on options here, most are on the ocean front like Cin Cin their cocktails are fantastic, try a Ri Ri it’s absolutely delicious! Your next option is The Cliff or The Cliff Beach Club, you go to The Cliff for a beautiful dinner but The Cliff Beach Club you check out at lunch because look at this view…
Sunset Crest is next with a couple of cute cafes in the area for breakfast or lunch like Coffee Bean and Café Moya and there is even a Just Grillin’ down this side if you missed out on the one by Accra. Holetown is the main town on the west coast and here you have Limegrove mall, which has many cute places to grab some lunch, my favourite is Lemongrass, try the Phad Kee Mow here with a cucumber and ginger juice, so good! Across from Limegrove is Second Street which has a few restaurants and bars you can check out, Fridays are a popular night out down this street. All the restaurants here are great as well but two of my favourites are Nishi and Sitar.
Looking for something right on the beach? as in, sit and have lunch with your feet in the sand? There is Ju Ju’s Beach Bar where you can order your food and drinks and go swim in the water until its ready and sit down on the beach and eat which is probably why it’s so popular with tourists and locals. If you are looking for a little bit more than a beach bar then there is Lonestar restaurant where you can sit inside or outside and take in the view and then go for a swim after. Both of these are located in Alleynes Bay so definitely worth a stop!
The next beach you get to on the way up the coast is Paynes Bay, it’s quite a busy beach now but it is definitely worth checking out also you can swim out here and see the turtles. Once you are on the beach you can walk north towards Sandy Lane and you can see the hotel where the rich and famous stay. It’s quite something and at Christmas time it is packed with beach chairs, people and even paparazzi.
One of the most popular beaches on the west has got to be Alleynes Bay, it is a beautiful stretch of beach with a host of beach activities like paddle boarding, water skiing, banana boating and kayaking. If you paddle straight out from Lonestar you can see the sea turtles here as well, you will know where they are because all the catamaran tours stop here to let their people go for a swim.
North & East Coast
There is a lovely bar and restaurant located at North Point right by the Animal Flower Cave, the views here are stunning, I have even heard of people spotting whales while sitting and having lunch there! Stop off and just check out the views or stay for lunch it’s up to you!
The East coast has a couple more options, the most popular ones are Roundhouse Inn and Atlantis. Atlantis does a lovely Barbadian buffet on a Sunday afternoon so you can go and get your fix of macaroni pie there and then check out the scenery along the east coast after lunch.
These coasts on the island are not suitable for swimming because of their rough waters and strong currents but they are still worth a visit for their rugged terrain and beautiful views which are completely opposite to what you would see on the West or South coast. A few notable mentions here are Cattlewash and Bathesheba, the home of the world famous ‘Soup Bowl’ which hosts lots of surfing competitions.
These are just a few of my recommendations, again there are so many options on this little island. There are so many beaches to explore and many local restaurants hidden away that serve good bajan food as well. Barbados is just waiting for you to come and explore!