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Barbados

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                     Barbados

Language: English with a Caribbean twist!

Currency: Barbados Dollar or the US Dollar. Real Holiday Guides recommends British travellers use Barbados dollars. All outlets and traders also accept the US Dollar but often give change in Barbados currency. 

Climate: Storms are common especially between June and November although Barbados tends to avoid the worst of them - most of the time they are nothing more than heavy downpours.
Humidity is at its highest from August to October
.

Water: The tap water is perfectly safe to drink.

Driving: They drive mainly on the left! Take a good map as the signposts can be deceptive or absent.

Flight Time From UK: Approx 8� hours

Time Difference: 4/5 hours behind GMT.

Excursions: 

  • Bridgetown - the capital contains most of the island's history and shopping opportunities.

  • Harrison Caves - in the centre of the island provides a chance to delve deep underground to see spectacular caverns and lagoons with options on how to descend the depths

  • Flower Forest - A tranquil trail through fantastic foliage and offering great views of the east coast.

  • Recommended Beaches to Explore: Miami & Enterprise, Foul Bay, Crane Beach, Bottom Bay and Bathsheba. These spots are not always easy to find but they are definitely worth the pursual.

  • Sunbury Plantation House - it's like stepping back to the old plantation days. Great for lunches and afternoon teas

  • North Point - At the top tip of the island you can sit and watch the two seas collide and crash against the dramatic cliffs. A cafe serves snacks.

                                            What's it really like?


20 miles long and 15 miles across at its widest point, Barbados is one of the smaller and friendliest of the
Caribbean islands. You'll find a genuine warm welcome and as long as the usual precautions are adhered to there's usually no need to fear walking around the towns, even at night.

General: Aside from the capital, Bridgetown which is a working city and sea port the other main towns are little more than villages with a scattering of shops and bars. 

The best time to visit for the weather is between November and May.

Barbados boasts a lower crime rate than some of its neighbours in the  Caribbean although the usual precautions should be taken. 

Laws have been passed which should ensure you're not bothered too much by traders on the beaches and police patrols on the tourist beaches are regular.

A recent survey of visitors to Barbados revealed a few things they would like changed, including a lack of pavements (sidewalks). Even even the towns the pavements tend to end abruptly. Holidaymakers also lamented about the dangers of bus drivers ignoring the speed limits on the roads. Our reporter recently clocked a driver on an official 'blue' bus racing along a narrow town road at  60mph!

       South Coast:

Famous for its white, soft sandy beaches which are wider than those on the west. A cooling breeze creates good conditions for windsurfers and body surfers. Annual competitions attract international competitors.
St Lawrence has a superb selection of authentic local restaurants with amazing food and some also offer great views.

Tourist areas like South Beach offer a few commercial centres along the coast road.

Rockley Beach (right) boasts soft, gently shelving sand with natural shade. There are a few small bars and sun loungers for hire, and a 1km wooden walkway - ideal for strolling during the daytime or evening. 
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    West Coast:

Often referred to as "The Platinum Coast" the west is the gentle, Caribbean side of Barbados and accommodation here tends to be more upmarket and expensive.

Paynes Bay, Sandy Lane and Holetown have the best beaches on this stretch of the coast. Holetown (right) remains a sedate resort whilst boasting a couple of modest shopping malls and a large supermarket.
The sea on the west coast is protected from the ravages of the Atlantic so the tide remains calm and gentle except in extreme weather conditions.
                                         
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 East Coast:

Beaches on the east coast are usually deserted and quite dramatic. A combination of rock formations, wild foliage and crashing waves creates spectacular vistas. 
The Atlantic can be wild with high waves and swimming is not recommended on the east coast due to strong currents. 
                                         
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Golf:

Three superb 18-hole courses and several 9-hole courses. Some are members only so check before you travel.

Bucket and Spade Brigade:

Strictly for undemanding beach babes so make sure your hotel has entertainment laid on. The hot climate may not suit the very young.

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