Villa holidays in Barbados provide the perfect way to experience a glimpse of paradise, and the island still wows visitors with its sands, seafood, limestone hills and clear, calm waters.

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Barbados Villa Holiday Guide

Barbados lies to the east of the other Caribbean islands. It is located outside the hurricane belt and so is usually considered safe to visit during the hurricane season which runs from June to November. Measuring thirty four kilometres by twenty three, it is a low-lying island whose shores are protected by a ring of coral reefs. Expect to find fine restaurants and white-sand beaches on within waking distance of your villa, and the island is also the sporting capital of the Caribbean. Horse races are regularly held at the Garrison Savannah track in Bridgetown, and cricket matches take place year-round at the Kensington Oval ground. A villa holiday in Barbados can be as easy going or exhilarating as the island itself.

Towns in Barbados

In the capital, Bridgetown, busy shopping streets, office buildings, and super-yachts moored in the harbour reflect the city’s status as a centre for commerce. In contrast, the architecture in the Historic District dates back to the 17th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it includes The Garrison—a group of military buildings set around the Savannah, an extensive lawn that was once the parade ground for colonial soldiers.


The Barbados Countryside

Barbados is a largely flat island with some gently undulating limestone hills. The interior is punctuated with stone churches, old sugar mills, and grand plantation houses next to agricultural plains and fields of sugar cane. Rural roads lead to small villages, which always seems to have several rum shops. Mount Hillaby is the highest point at 340 metres. It offers one of the best views of the island, and together with Cherry Tree Hill is reached by driving through an avenue of mahogany trees.

View from Cherry Tree Hill

Active pursuits in Barbados

The ocean is Barbados’ playground, with water-sports including kayaking, water skiing, and dinghy sailing widely available from west-coast beaches. The reef break offshore at Bathsheba, on the east coast, is known as the ‘Soup Bowl’ and attracts experienced surfers. Catamaran cruises in the shallow waters along the west coast offer snorkelling alongside turtles. For land-sport lovers there is horse riding along the beaches of the north-east coast, and several golf courses: the Tom Fazio-designed Country Club Course snakes around five lakes.

Surfing in Bathsheba

Arts and culture in Barbados

Barbados hosts a sports, food, or arts event almost every month of the year. These include the annual Food, Wine, and Rum Festival in November and Holders Season—a performing-arts event held in March in the gardens of a restored plantation house. The best attended is Crop Over, a carnival taking place in July and August, when processions of dancers and singers in dazzling costumes take to the streets.

Garrison Savannah, UNESCO historic area

Eating and drinking in Barbados

Barbados is the only country in the West Indies to have Zagat-rated restaurants—as highly regarded in North America and the Caribbean as Michelin-starred restaurants are in Europe. From sushi to French fare, Italian to Indonesian, the food on offer is as diverse as you would find in a cosmopolitan city. Local dishes are more simple, drawing on readily available ingredients such as flying fish, which is served fried in a sandwich or wrap dressed with hot pepper sauce. A side order of fried plantain and dessert of sweet potato pie topped with pineapple are also typically Bajan. Mauby is a tea made from tree bark, sweetened with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Bajan sweet potato fish cakes

Barbados entertainment and nightlife

In Barbados the unofficial start to the weekend is the Friday Fish Fry at Oistins fishing village on the south coast. Stalls sell fried fish, shellfish, barbecued ribs, chicken, rum, and beer, while reggae and calypso bands play. St. Lawrence Gap, a strip of cocktail bars, restaurants, and nightclubs also on the south coast, has a party atmosphere every night of the week, with live music, DJs, and karaoke.

Pisces Restaurant at St. Lawrence Gap

Nature in Barbados

Barbados’ Harrisons Cave, a huge limestone cavern with a subterranean lake and waterfall, is unique in the Caribbean. Over 1,500 metres of tunnels feature rock formations including stalactites and stalagmites. Above ground, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and its avenues of mahogany trees is home to green monkeys, brought to the island around 350 years ago from West Africa. Horticulturalists can see hundreds of bright, exotic blooms including hibiscus, begonia, beehive ginger lilies, and allamanda at Flower Forest.

Green monkey

The Barbados Coast

The west—the Platinum Coast—is lined with bays and coves of fine-grained white sand backed by palm trees. Met by the clear, calm waters of the Caribbean Sea, west-coast beaches are good for swimming. The East Coast faces the Atlantic Ocean and has a rugged, undulating shoreline and fewer beaches. Bathsheba is a large bay with yellow-sand and Crane Beach, a curve of pink sand, is shielded by tall cliffs.

Platinum Coast