Barbados is one of the many incredible islands in the Caribbean Sea. For having travelled to more than a few of those islands, I can safely say it’s a must-visit!
From Istanbul there are no direct flights, so I and my family first go to London via Turkish Airlines then to Bridgetown via Virgin Atlantic-for those of you who haven’t flown with Virgin before, you must do it asap! Once we land in the capital Bridgetown, we rent a car-which I would totally recommend if you’re cool with driving from the left side and single carriageways. Our hotel is in Christ Church which is the busiest of 11 towns of the island. One might say it’s because of the airport, another because of its stunning beaches… We don’t want to miss any second, so we unpack fast and hit the road.
The island is surrounded by fabulous beaches and unique natural beauties. One of these unique places is popular Bathsheba, on the other side of the island in St. Joseph. It overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and hosts an enormous rock whose bottom surface is much smaller than all of its other surfaces. After taking a couple of photos and getting hit by the strong wind, we head to Oistin’s which is the eating hot-spot of Barbados. Here you can find the following and much more, and you should taste them all:flying fish, mahimahi, shark, red snapper, fish cutter, fishcake accompanied by your choice of macaroni pie or rice and peas… There are countless stalls, each smelling incredibly good and yelling their specialties so loud-even though they’re quite the same. We cannot believe how amazing the food tastes in this street market and decide to try a different stall&fish each night.
Coming from the cold of Europe, we decide to spend our first day at the beach! Miami Beach, Dover Beach and Accra Beach are indeed the most famous ones. So we spend the day swallowing sea salt and storing sunlight in our skin-not sunburning- at these three tremendous places. What a relaxing and incredible day…
The next day is the time to be curious tourists. Therefore, we plan to go to the Barbados Museum and Barbados Garrison Military Prison. The latter hosts their rich military history, whereas the first one hosts more random stuff from its historical coral structure to the umbrella of the famous Barbadian star Rihanna… In the neighbourhood, from sugar museums to parliament houses, there are a few more museums if you’re interested. We quickly miss the sunlight and turn our heads to the Queen’s Park. The park fails to amaze us, but the thousand years old Boabab Tree is worth the ride. The largest and oldest tree’s seed is thought to have floated across the Atlantic and grew on the edge of a lagoon-surround and try to hug it as a family! After a tiring day, we make our way to the delightful Oistin’s.
The following day, we visit perhaps the most interesting attraction of the island: Harrison’s Cave. The extraordinary place can be visited with a signature tram tour or eco-adventure tour. We take the tram which allows us to explore the breathtaking limestone cavern. Throughout our underground journey, we witness the beauty and mystery of cave past streams, waterfalls, crystal clear pools and towering columns. For dare-devils, the second tour offers a rather wet tour with head lamps. At this point, there’s probably no need to mention where we dine.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know how into I am to farmers markets! I do a quick research and find out about Holders Farmers Market, only open on Sundays. So, we make our way to the market on a beautiful Sunday morning. The long and complex ride is definitely worth the delicious breakfast under shady trees. We not only have our breakfast but also shop 100% Bajan products which are “as organic as possible”. Whether you need raw cows milk or arts&crafts, come and enjoy a fun local event! As we finish our breakfast and taste chilly Bajan jams, a light rain starts to wet us. The children run around the fresh-cut grass, we sip our coffee and take in the beautiful smelling air. One can spend all day here, but according to our plan we must get going to our submarine tour! Atlantis Submarines depart from Bridgetown, so after buying our tickets we wonder around the streets of the capital. When it’s time, once again, we trust the brand and get 150 feet under the sea-surface with it. We get to see 20 million years old Freshwater Bay Coral Reef which is home to numerous marine organisms from trumpet fish to pink tipped anemones. For us who don’t dive, this is a great opportunity to not to feel left-out from the hidden treasures of deep seas.
As I mentioned earlier and in other posts, we prefer renting a car during our travels. In doing so, we aim not to leave an unstepped stone. Hence, we allow our last two days to drive around the island and dip in the clear waters we find. We are glad to see the scenic views from different sides of the islands, to get to eat at Fisherman’s Pub&Grub and many other not-touristy local restaurants along the way.
One never wants to leave the Barbados-or literally any island-, nevertheless we depart from the Grantley Adams International Airport packed with warm memories. If you haven’t bought any yet, the duty free is the last call for the most Barbadian souvenirs: rum, rum cake and rum everything!