Why you should consider Barbados as your next holiday destination
If you're stuck with dreary grey skies or a disappointing, watery summer you may well be dreaming of relaxing in a more tropical location.
Deep blue cloudless skies with crystal-clear waters that gently lap against white sands are the stuff that dreams are made of, but visit Barbados and you'll find that dreams really do come true.
A tropical paradise offering exquisite luxury, Barbados is an island where you can simply relax and let your worries drift away. Stunning scenery, exotic cocktails and luxurious accommodation are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Barbados; here's a closer look at what's on offer.
Find Your Perfect Holiday
If you long for a holiday in the sun, the chances are that you'll be fantasising about endless stretches of white sands, palm trees and gentle ocean waves.
Barbados offers just that.
A tropical Caribbean island, Barbados has a coastline which stretches as far as the eye can see with the perfect locations to simply sit and enjoy a cocktail, under the shade of a palm tree. The ultimate place to relax, the beaches on Barbados are exquisite, with warm and balmy waters ideal for a swim.
The stunning Gibbes Beach, Barbados
The beaches around the island vary with the different geographical features providing fascinating places to explore. If you want a calm and relaxing holiday, the west of the island will offer tranquil and exotic beaches where you can laze away the days basking in the warmth of the sun and listening to the gentle lap of the deep azure waters.
However, if you like to be more energetic, the east of the island offers beaches which are pounded by the Atlantic, creating great waves which are ideally suited to water sports such as surfing.
The underwater world
Photoshop all too often ruins experiences, creating unrealistic expectations on what could be on offer at a dream location.
But in Barbados, the sea really is a vivid electric blue, thanks to a unique natural filtering system created by the coral.
And it's this colourful yet crystal clear world which is a huge attraction to both visitors and residents, inviting everyone to explore its hidden depths.
When you see the Barbados Sea you will want to dive into it
But although there's much to be seen for those that go scuba diving, with impressive coral reefs and wrecks filled with exotic marine life, you don't need to go too far to see some magnificent sights. There are snorkelling trips on catamarans which offer the chance to swim with the huge sea turtles, gentle giants which inhabit the waters around Barbados.
Barbados has year-round sunshine, creating a glorious climate which delivers almost guaranteed blue skies in every season.
The tropical climate means that the temperature doesn't drop below 72 ºC, but rarely climbs above 90 ºC resulting in hot and sunny weather which isn't blistering or uncomfortable.
Most of the rain falls in the summer months, but the showers are short-lived and are often welcome, feeling refreshing. Everything dries within minutes of the rain stopping, with blue skies and sunshine re-appearing quickly.
Hurricanes rarely affect Barbados because it's a fair way from the other Caribbean islands, and as these kinds of storms tend to bounce rapidly from one land mass to another, Barbados is usually immune. The last major hurricane recorded on the island was in 1955.
January to June is considered to be the dry season.
Barbados also benefits from northeast trade winds which help to prevent the weather from ever feeling unbearably warm. These can disguise how strong the sunshine really is so sunscreen is vital if you go outside for any length of time.
Although Barbados is perhaps best known for its spectacular beaches and turquoise waters, the island has lots of other scenery which is worth exploring.
Barbados is a very flat island so it's perfect to go exploring by bike.
Many visitors enjoy touring Barbados by bike
The north of the islands boasts dramatic cliffs where the waves crash against the rock in direct contrast to the peaceful ocean seen on the west. In the central part of the island there's rolling green hills, plantations and lush countryside.
The stunning scenery isn't just where it can be seen either, with some of the most breathtaking specimens hidden in the network of caves below the surface. Harrison's Cave is one of the most famous, with not just underground streams but powerful waterfalls too! For those that dare, there's a whole underground network of caves and tunnels, showing off some of the island's incredible geology in great detail.
Barbados has a fascinating history which has resulted in a wide array of architecture which reflects the influences from around the world.
Bridgetown, the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was originally built in 1643 and a century later added a garrison, becoming an important army location. The modern town still has its colonial roots with traditional plantation buildings and Bajan architecture lying in direct contrast to sleek new shopping malls and contemporary buildings.
Being a colony of the British Empire for more than three centuries means there is a strong British influence in the culture of the island, but this is mixed in with West African traditions too, the place where the majority of the Bajan population originated from.
This unusual blend, coupled with the need to create buildings that could withstand the tropical rains and trade winds, resulted in what is now seen as the unique Bajan style.
If you enjoy nightlife you may well have heard about the infamous party scene on Barbados, particularly in the south of the island.
After sunning yourself and relaxing by the pool or beach by day, you can party all night long, especially in the south of the island. There are nightclubs, bars and pubs with everything from hardcore dance to cabaret entertainment on offer, showing that the reputation of Barbados as an island that knows how to have fun is well deserved.
Wherever you go in the world, an experience can be made or broken by the people you meet along the way. In Barbados, the people are friendly and accommodating, keen to help you enjoy your stay.
The island is often described as 'a smile wide' and this is the perfect motto for Barbados. You'll always be met with a smile, and you'll receive a warm welcome from Bajans (the name for Barbadians).