We have finally decided to take the big leap. Our baby is now 8 months old and we have decided to try and go on a long-haul flight. You may think it is insane, but we wanted to give it a try. I am the type of person that does not step backward before trying. So with the necessary research on the best connections, the shortest travel time and a good destination we have decided that it’s time for a big adventure. How did our flights go? I would say not bad! Our baby is at the right stage for this type of journey; she can play and be distracted; getting her to sleep got a little easier and she is not yet crawling or walking so she can stay seated for a long time. Of course she becomes a little cranky when she is sleepy, so we had to move and walk along the aisles to get her to sleep. However, it was not that bad.
I am sure there are a lot of people who have never heard about this island. It is a micro nation and usually we group the islands in this region as Caribbean islands. However the Caribbean consists of thousands of islands; some inhabited and some not. Some of these islands are independent, while others form part of other nations like the United States or are European colonies. Barbados in fact is a former British colony and this is one of the numerous characteristics that make it similar to my homeland Malta. They drive on the left hand side and being a Commonwealth country we didn’t need any Visa. Here are some quick facts for those of you that have never heard about this island.
- Area: 439 km2 (slightly larger than Malta)
- Population: 270,000
- Languages: English, Bajan Creole
- Religion: Christian majority
- Capital city: Bridgetown
- Currency: Barbadian Dollar
- Official Tourism Site: https://www.visitbarbados.org/
- Direct daily flights from London
- Ideal destination to escape the European winter
- Barbados lies outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt (hurricane season goes from June to November in the Caribbean)
- Amazing clear blue seas, white sand and the perfect destination for a break
- Caribbean hospitality
- Delicious food featuring barbecued food and fresh fish
- A safe place that is family-friendly
- A good place to drive; we find it easier to drive with our baby than going around with public transport
- There are interesting places to visit (although 3 full days are just the right time in my opinion); I wouldn’t suggest staying longer than a maximum of 5 days, unless of course you like to spend entire days at the beach
Our itinerary was not packed and we had ample time in the afternoon to relax at the beach. Below are the places included in our itinerary.
Day 3 – South Beach Hopping
Start with a coffee in the capital Bridgetown
Go to the most popular beach on the South Coast – Bottom Bay
Walk along the coast to view Harrismith beach as well
Discover small coves like Shark Hole Beach
Enjoy a large beach for yourself at Foul Bay
Taste the island’s most famous Rum Punch at Cutters
Swim at Rockley Beach
Other places to consider:
- Oistins Fish Market if you happen to be there on a Friday night
- St. Nicholas Abbey Rum Distillery
- Andromeda Botanical Gardens
You will be surprised at the rates of accommodation in Barbados. The most expensive area to stay is the West Coast, also known as the Platinum Coast. Why? Because you can find the most beautiful beaches with calm waters. If you want to save some money you either take a look at the south coast (mid range) where the waters are more rough or on the central and eastern side of the island.
Some of the locals can be too friendly, especially if you are driving the central and eastern side of the island. They will come and talk to you and give directions and recommendations in exchange of money. Do not be scared as most of the time they won’t harm you, however sometimes it is better to stay away.
I am sure you will want to explore other islands in the area. Hopping from island to island here is not that easy as flights (the only means of transport existent between islands) are extremely expensive. We found that the easiest and most cost-effective way to visit more islands was by taking a cruise. I am far from being a cruise type of person (I will explain this in the next post). However most of the islands here are very small and the main attractions are beaches. So I recommend this option if you wish to explore some other islands in the region. I will soon write more information on the other Caribbean islands we visited on the next blog post.