Barbados – It’s not all about the beaches

Barbados – It’s not all about the beaches


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When it comes to Barbados, many people assume it’s all about lazing about on soft white sands, waited on hand and foot by waiters and waitresses; there to pander to your every whim. Of course, if that’s the sort of break you’re looking for, then it’s the perfect destination. But for thrill seekers, adventurers and those interested in something other than getting a tan, Barbados has so much more than its beautiful stretches of white sand to recommend it – although we recommend you spend at least some time on the beach. With this in mind, we bring you some great options for both families and couples to enjoy on the island, whether on a day trip or a weeklong break.

To the races

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It may surprise you to learn that champions from all across the globe travel to Barbados to compete. The Sandy Lane Gold Cup is a draw for both racing enthusiasts and those that like a flutter on the results at the Garrison Savannah.

Under the sea

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Visiting Barbados with the family, then a trip under the ocean waves on an Atlantis Submarines tour is certain to delight visitors of all ages. You’ll dive 130 feet with no need for a snorkel or change of clothes, experiencing sea life up close and you’ll learn a bit about the local sea life to boot.

Food for thought

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A visit to Barbados without trying the food would be a travesty. Soul food, including dishes such as fried chicken, rice and peas and macaroni pie will tempt the taste buds, and if street food isn’t your thing, then a trip to The Cliff, a local celeb haunt, will have you enjoying fusion cuisine and seafood with spectacular views.

Cricket, anyone?

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One of the most revered sports in Barbados, a visit to the Sir Garfield Sobersstadium will bring you a master class in the sport. Enjoy watching a game where there’s no chance of it being rained off – and take in some great entertainment and a tipple or two of rum too.

Learn the history

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A visit to Arlington house in Speightstown will be a true experience of old Barbados, where you can experience three floors of interactive experiences surrounding Barbados’ sugar cane production, with a lesson or two on slavery in there too. Don’t leave Speightstown without a trip around town itself, as you’ll feel a world away from the tourist traps as you watch the fishermen bring home the day’s catch.

Water sports

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Whether it’s the underwater adventures that lure you in, or you’re an adrenalin junkie just waiting to ride the waves, Barbados has something special for you. For divers, there’s a chance to get up close and personal with some of the most amazing species of sea life around. Surfers, however, will be in their element on the East coast, where a reef break known as the ‘Soup Bowl’ is waiting to challenge you. For those looking for something a little less demanding, there’s kayaking, Kitesurfing and windsurfing on offer.

Party like the locals

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You haven’t experienced true Barbados if you’ve never visited a ‘lime’, or party as we non-islanders know it. Head to Oistins Fish Fry on a Friday or Saturday night and you’re sure to be able to party like the Bajans, with Calypso music, the chance to buy locally crafted souvenirs and some pretty lethal drinks on offer too. If you’re more interested in Carnival, then head to the island at the end of July to early August and you’ll really be in for a treat. Originally known at the ‘crop over’ festival, it was once a celebration of the sugar cane harvest. Now, expect Soca and Calypso competitions along with a ‘Pic-o-de-crop’ competition, and a whole lot of Bajan spirit.

Of course, it’s essential to make time to spend on Barbados’ glorious beaches, but why not consider doing so after you’ve experienced some of the other delights that this wonderful island has to offer – you’ll take away many more memories of your holiday, along with a sense of what it means to have lived here in years gone by and the satisfaction of having done more that lie on the beach for the duration of your stay.

If you’re looking for places to stay in Barbados, whether on celeb strewn Sandy Lane, or somewhere that offers a little more sanctuary, then there are a whole host of choices for accommodation in Barbados that offer all you need and more to enjoy this stunning island.