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All you need to know about Barbados

Joanne owns a property on Barbados and has been visiting the island for 25 years, she wanted to share more with us about the place she loves most. Currently Barbados is on the UK's Green list, but the Island's own rules require all over 5's to take and prove a negative PCR test three days before arrival. You'll also have to take a PCR test at the airport on arrival (currently free but charges being brought in soon) and you're given a green band. You then have to quarantine at your hotel or private government approved accommodation until you get the results of your airport PCR test, once negative your band is removed and you are free to enjoy beautiful Barbados As Barbados is on the UK's green list, this means you have to have a day 2 PCR test booked before you fly on holiday and take the test when you return. SO, official bits over, when you get to this stunning Caribbean island what is there to do?


There are so many things to do and see but here are just a few of our favourites...


Firstly, ALL beaches in Barbados are public. There are no private beaches so you are free to roam on any dreamy stretch of beach if you can access it! There are plenty of public access points all along the coast roads. Beaches in the south can be wavier and will suffer from sargassum (seaweed) at time. Beaches on the west coast remain for the most part extremely gentle and calm. Beaches on the east coast are extremely rough and only for really experienced surfers. Swimming definitely not recommended but wonderful to go and watch / listen to the crashing waves and play or fly a kite on the mostly deserted beaches!

FISH/SWIM/SNORKEL WITH THE TURTLES - Get up close to these beautiful creatures. Best done through an organised cruise or with someone local who really knows the best place to find them!

CATAMARAN CRUISE Why not take an all day catamaran cruise with all food and drinks included! Most organised tours will collect you from your accommodation (hotel or private villa) They will also bring you back after the cruise. A brilliant day out for the whole family or group of friends! Lots of snorkelling and fun! or Cool Runnings have recently introduced a ‘paint and cruise’ trip on Wednesdays where the children can paint a lovely picture while you are relaxing! We have also sailed with ‘El Tigre’ who were also excellent so whichever cruise provider you choose, you are sure to have a truly memorable day out!

VISIT THE EAST COAST See the contrast between the calm west coast Caribbean sea water and the rough and rugged coastline on the east of the island – beautiful scenery and lots of rock pools to explore. Bathsheba/Cattlewash is a long stretch of beach, ideal for a relaxing walk or even a picnic, which can be had at the nearby Barclays Park. The towering hills also provide a beautiful backdrop. Watch the surfers at the Soupbowl. Swimming is not advised at east coast beaches. WATCH THE RACE HORSES HAVING A BATH IN THE SEA AT PEBBLES BEACH - Every day from around 6/6.30 - 8.00am but there are more horses on Sundays.

SUNDAY MORNING BRUNCH AT THE CRANE BEACH HOTEL Book in advance and have a hearty brunch at the beautiful Crane Beach hotel whilst being entertained by a fabulous Gospel Choir – this is a wonderful way to spend Sunday morning, then why not spend the rest of the day relaxing on the stunning beach below. Due to covid regulations, this may not be currently scheduled so give them a call and check.

BARBADOS WILDLIFE RESERVE If you have young children, (and even if you haven’t!) a visit to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a must. Situated in a mahogany wood it is primarily a green monkey sanctuary but you will find lots of other animals there - most wandering freely including ducks, turtles, tortoises, birds, peacocks, otters, racoons, agouti and deer. Entry to the reserve also entitles you to visit the nearby Grenade Hall. Take the short walk up to the tower and see wonderful views over the east coast! You must get there for 2pm feeding time and watch the monkeys and other wildlife eating their lunch! CASH ONLY HERE - they don't take cards!

Entry to the wildlife reserve also gets you entry to the Grenade Hall signal station on the other side of the carpark – choose the left hand path to take you to the station where you can listen to some background history on the station and at the top of the tower, take in the breath taking views of the east coast. If you take the right hand path you can visit a natural bat cave and watch these funny little creatures sleeping upside down, or flapping around!

HARRISON'S CAVE Great for adults and children alike – embark on a tram for a one hour our of underground caverns filled with gurgling streams, cascading waterfalls and amazing snow white, pear-shaped stalactites...

OISTINS FISH FRY – Every Friday night the fresh catch of the day is cooked ready for a lively night. The fish served here is divine – completely fresh and honestly cooked and costs next to nothing. There is a great atmosphere where families, locals and tourists can mingle together over a bottle of Banks or a rum punch! Saturday nights are a bit quieter but still with the same delicious fresh catch of the day and you can infact visit the fish fry any night of the week for great value and delicious fresh food! 'Chillin ‘n’ Grillin' is our go-to place but they all offer great value for money!


Welchman Hall Gully is a cool, lush, tropical mile-long ravine filled with hundreds of exotic trees and plants, including rare clove and nutmeg species. This is a lovely gentle walk for anyone and is one of our favourite places to go – it’s cool even on the hotter days and you can watch monkeys in their natural habitat if you go at feeding time! Try and find your very own nutmeg along nutmeg walk!

ST NICHOLAS ABBEY HERITAGE RAILWAY / RUM TOUR Something for the whole family! Kids will LOVE the steam train ride and adults will love the rum tour! A wonderful day out to one of Barbados’s historical treasures. Check the website for tour times and details:

SPEND THE DAY AT THE BOATYARD BEACH CLUB A brilliant day out for families and couples alike. Pay an entrance fee of $60 each and get back $45 in bar credit for drinks and lunch (children under 12 is $30 entrance and $20 back in credit) @ August 2021. Two happy hours a day! The most beautiful stretch of beach you can imagine! There are water trampolines, a climbing iceburg with slide, rope swing and jumping board to keep the children occupied! Beach chairs and umbrellas are included in the entrance fee as well as a brilliant and FREE boat trip to swim with turtles and snorkel over a great shipwreck - sign up at the entrance - one of our favourite ever days out! Free parking on site.

RASCALS WATER PARK AND RESTAURANT / BEACH BAR Another great day out for families and couples alike. The restaurant serves great food and drink at a reasonable price. A lovely beach area too with sunbeds for hire. Check out their facebook page for latest prices / offers. Situated along the Mighty Grynner Highway towards Bridgetown and has free parking on site.

LEARN STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING WITH PADDLE BARBADOS @ PEBBLES BEACH Our children loved their SUP lesson and then spent a couple of hours perfecting their technique! Great value for money as kept the kids occupied for hours!!! You can do a variety of other activities here too... Be sure to grab a famous Cuzz’s fish cutter from his beachside shack! Free parking right by the beach!

TIKI BAR SOUTH COAST @ ACCRA BEACH - GREAT BEACH FOR BODY BOARDING! Our children love going here for the waves so grab your boogie boards and head here! Great Bar with great food right on the beach (parking too) Get 2 sunbeds and an umbrella for 60 TIKI dollars which can then be spent on food and drink at the TIKI bar.

ANIMAL FLOWER CAVE / NORTH POINT, ST LUCY - We love heading up to the north of the island as the Atlantic ocean meets the caribbean sea! It’s so wild and rugged. There is a great restaurant here serving delicious, reasonably-priced food for lunch and if they have the bread fruit fish or chicken tacos on the menu they come highly recommended! The animal flower cave is the island's lone accessible sea cave. Inside the cave there are still some sea anemones which are locally called animal flowers from which the cave obtained its name. You can swim in the beautiful tranquil lagoon there (entrance fee applies) - it really is a beautiful place!

RAINY DAY? - No problem - fabulous cinema at Lime Grove in Holetown, wonderful shopping and places to pause for a cocktail too!

GETTING AROUND - Apart from taxis, Barbados has great public transport. All buses cost the same flat $3.50 fee per person no matter where you are going on the island. YOU MUST HAVE THE CORRECT FARE There are 3 options with the buses depending on your level of thrill seeking!!! BLUE BUSES - these are Government run buses and are generally a little slower and less crowded than other buses. Some of these are the new electric version vehicles too (reg plates start BM) YELLOW BUSES (with blue stripes) - Privately owned buses. Great if you are using off-peak but they do pack people on and you may well find yourself clinging on for dear life - quite an experience! (reg plates start B) WHITE ZR MINI-BUSES - by far the most fun but they are only small and they pack people on like sardines ... however, the sound systems on these buses could cause an earth quake! Affectionately known as 'Boogie Buses’ definitely one to try ... at least once! (reg plates start ZR) CAR HIRE - Barbados drive on the same side of the road as us Brits to hiring a car is a breeze and so great to get out and explore this stunning island! There is so much more to see and do during your stay in beautiful Barbados! Find more information here:

Other Facts about Barbados POPULATION: Approx 286,000 SIZE: 14 x 21 miles OFFICIAL LANGUAGE English CURRENCY: Barbados Dollar (Bds) but US dollars are also accepted. The Barbados dollar is permanently linked to the US dollar at a fixed rate of 1.98 Bds to 1 USD TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT -4 hours in winter and -5 hours in the summer FLIGHT TIME FROM UK: ~8 hours PRIME MINISTER: Mia Amor Mottley, QC MAIN INDUSTRIES: Tourism, Sugar, Rum AIRPORT: Grantley International (Code BGI). Fly with VIRGIN, First Choice, Thompson(TUI) & BA direct from the UK INTERNATIONAL DIALLING CODE - 1 (246) WATER: Barbados boasts the purest water supply you will find anywhere. Rainwater is filtered naturally through natures own coral filter system, and eventually collected underground. You can drink tap water anywhere on the island. ELECTRICITY: 115/230 Volts 50 Cycles. (Two prong flat plug the same as most North American devices).

VACCINATIONS: There are no specific vaccinations required for visitors to Barbados. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. There is no present risk of malaria in Barbados, therefore no preventative measures are required. A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas.

Written by Joanne Crosby

Joanne has owned a property on Barbados since 2005 ( and has been going for over 25 years now! She has three boys age 15, 12 and 11 and they have been going two or three times a year since they were born.

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