The island of dreams, Barbados promises to provide the backdrop to the perfect holiday.
With gentle, crystal-clear waters which gently lap against white sands, and deep azure blue skies without a cloud to be seen, Barbados truly is a tropical island paradise.
But there's much more to the Caribbean getaway than just idyllic beaches, with rolling green hills, colonial architecture and abundance of things to see and do.
The year-round perfect holiday
Lying in the Caribbean, Barbados has the ideal tropical climate with hot and sunny weather all year round.
Just north of the Equator, Barbados weather can be split into the wet and dry seasons often seen in tropical locations but unlike other destinations, even during the wet season, Barbados makes a great holiday choice.
The dry season is the slightly cooler of the two, with lower humidity and runs from January through to May. You're unlikely to see any rain other than the very occasional tropical cloudburst which will be over almost as soon as it's begun!
You can expect temperatures of around 28ºC while the sea will still be a very balmy 26º, with warm waves that you'll enjoy splashing around in. The north east trade winds can also provide a cooling effect so you'll never feel blisteringly hot or uncomfortable.
The wet season is only a degree or two hotter but has greatly increased humidity and it's this which can make it feel so different. You'll be glad of the air conditioning in your luxury villa if you visit during this time of the year.
Hurricanes can be a problem elsewhere in the Caribbean during the wet season but in reality, they're never much of a problem in Barbados, with the island being very rarely affected. This is because hurricanes tend to move from one land mass to another and Barbados is much more easterly than the other Caribbean islands, and it's this distance which provides it with protection.
The stunning beaches and endless stretches of coastline are what many people visit the island of Barbados for, and whatever time of year you come, you'll be guaranteed the same picture-postcard perfection.
Turquoise waters, pristine white sands and gently swaying palm trees are what await you, and you can have your pick of beaches too.
The western coastline of Barbados has the most picturesque beaches and the best conditions for swimmers, with the waters calm and gentle. There are large and busier beaches with a range of facilities such as bars and restaurants, and there's also more secluded stretches which don't have the same amenities but promise privacy and peace.
Bathsheba beach, Barbados
But the island has a range of geography and the coastline varies as it moves around Barbados. The north is famous for its sheer cliffs and in the south, there's a stretch of beautiful coral reef, plus it offers the best conditions for water sports enthusiasts.
The easy coastline of Barbados is the most dramatic with wide
and windswept stretches which are battered by huge waves rolling in
from the powerful Atlantic Ocean. There are some dangerous
undercurrents here so swimming isn't advisable. There are safe
spots though, and surfers from all over the world flock to these,
keen to take advantage of the unusual tropical waves.
Barbados is arguably as well known for its nightlife as its beaches, with a reputation as the party island to uphold.
It certainly does this in style and if you head to the west or the south of the island, you're likely to find plenty of nightlife which goes on until the early hours, and beyond.
There's a wide variety of nightlife in Barbados with everything from hip and trendy nightclubs to tiny rum shops offering the island's favourite drink. Street parties aren't unusual and cabaret acts such as stilt walkers, fire eating and limbo dancing are seen at all venues, including clubs.
Because of the warm evenings, some clubs are an open-air affair with dancers able to enjoy the DJ with the benefit of not being encased in a sweltering venue. Cocktail bars, restaurants and beach bars all line the streets, with some places suitable for families and others offering adult-only entertainment.
There are some resorts which are quieter than others, particularly those towards the north or in the east, so if you're looking for a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle, you'll also have plenty of choice.
Activities and attractions
The hotels and villas in Barbados are nothing short of luxurious and the food, drink and facilities on offer may make a wrench to leave your accommodation. But if you venture further afield you could find there's much more than the surprisingly green island of Barbados has to offer.
As a coral island, Barbados has a fascinating geological structure and beneath the surface there's a whole network of caves, caverns and underground rivers and streams. It's these which provide the clean and pure drinking water on the island.
Harrisons Cave, Barbados
If you're brave enough, there are tours to take you deep below the ground to see the source of the water and marvel at the subterranean waterfalls, pools and rock formations.
Back in the sunlight again, moving inland and away from the coast, you'll notice that the island becomes much hillier, with rolling green countryside, and lush, tropical vegetation. There are some high peaks which provide a stunning vista of the Bajan coastline and from up high it's possible to really appreciate the beauty of the island.
As well as botanical and landscaped gardens, there are plenty of historical venues to visit, showing the history of Barbados and what life was like under British rule, prior to independence in 1966. African, British and Bajan influences can all be seen on the architecture and the island has a unique blend of cultures.
With everything from watersports to wildlife parks, there's so much to see and do on Barbados, it's an essential place to visit. But there's one thing more than anything which makes it such a stand-out location: the Bajan people.
Renowned for their smiles and friendliness, you're guaranteed a warm welcome when you visit Barbados, and wherever you go on the island you'll experience the same.
Barbados is often described as 21 miles long and a smile wide…and in case you're wondering, a smile is worth 14 miles!
A tiny island with a giant heart, the Bajan people will guarantee that your stay with them is one you'll always remember.