The Crane at Barbados

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The weather is beautiful in Barbados!

Sightseeing See specific places to go here.

Begin with Bridgetown, the capital and a hub of activity with such points of interest as the Careenage, home to colorful fishing boats and splendid yachts. Visit Heroes Square with its statue of Lord Nelson, predating Londonís famed column by 36 years. Fine boutiques and department stores line Broad Street, preferred among well-traveled shoppers. A stroll around the capitalís public buildings reveals the ďLittle EnglandĒ of the Caribbean, and an island steeped in tradition.

The Crane offers shuttle service to Bridgetown and it is easily accessible by taxi. We've found parking tricky there when driving ourselves.

Head up the coastlines for beaches that beckon with soft sands, waves and winds. Shaded with palms and blossoming foliage, each of the diverse coasts offers a distinct environment, ranging in hue from petal pink to purest white. A tribute to the lost arts of relaxation and recreation, there are 70 square miles of beaches which reflect many moods, with exhilarating Atlantic waves to the east and placid turquoise Caribbean waters to the west.

West Coast

Home to a collection of exclusive resorts, these popular Caribbean beaches boast soft white sand and crystal-clear waters ideal for swimming and water sports. Beaches include: Batt's Rock, Paynes Bay and Folkestone Park in St. James; Gibbs Beach and Mullins Bay in St. Peter; and Carlisle Bay, just south of Bridgetown.

BeachesGenerally the seas on the West coast are the calmest, but good, safe, quiet swimming is available in the many tranquil bays along the South West and the South that touch the Caribbean Sea. If you like calm waters with a soft sandy bottom, then the West Coast is probably the best of these conditions, but seasonal variations can cause things to change.

South Coast

A special hybrid between the Caribbean and Atlantic shores is found on either side of our southernmost point, Silver Sands Beach, a favorite among windsurfers. Winding upward toward Bridgetown are Dover, Rockley and Needhams Point.

BeachesHere you will find seas of gentle waves for body surfing and tumbling in the water. There are rollers for surfing with buggy boards and surfboards and some of the best windsurfing in the world. Annual surfing competitions and international surfing meets are held on both the South and East Coasts.

East Coast

Dramatically different, our Atlantic coastline, with rugged waves and fine beaches, is nestled amid spectacular rock formations. Most popular among surfers and sunbathers, this coast also welcomes swimmers at Crane Beach, and at sandy stretches surrounding Sam Lordís Castle and Culpepper Island, off St. Philip. Explore a surferís paradise at world-famous Bathsheba, with the mammoth waves of the "Soup Bowl" or "Mixing Bowl".

BeachesThe East and North coasts of Barbados meet the Atlantic Ocean where huge waves crash along the shore and coral reefs. If you love the sea at its wildest you must visit the East Coast, but don't swim north of Sam Lordís Castle unless you are with someone who knows the area well.

The East Coast is covered by the Island Safari, which takes you places you couldn't possibly get to by car, while the interior of the island is better visited on Adventureland Safari.

North Coast

The East and North coasts of Barbados meet the Atlantic Ocean where huge waves crash along the shore and coral reefs. This coast is not recommended for swimming except for a few of the very protected bays. There are strong currents and fierce waves beating on the rugged coral to create a spectacle of power of a wild and rugged sea. One of the best ways to see the North Coast is by the Island Safari.

Barbados is 166 square miles and divided in to 11 Parishes.

Barbados map.  Click to enlarge  St. Michael
Bridgetown is the capital and the hub of Barbados, hosting the main Duty Free Shopping areas on Broad Street, plus the majority of banks and financial institutions on the island. The varied architecture and historical buildings compliment the bustle of every day life. Less than 5 minutes' walk from Bridgetown along Bay Street is the beautiful beach of Carlisle Bay. It's home to several boat wrecks, offering some of the best places to dive and snorkel. It's a hot spot for many of the catamaran tours and boat trips to moor and let you explore.

  Christ Church
Home to the lively South Coast, It offers visitors a Multitude of accommodation options from Guest Houses to All Inclusive resorts. Windsurfers from around the world flock to Silver Sands and Maxwell. The Barbados Windsurfing World Cup is held Annually in January at Silver Sands. The calmer waters can be found at Accra, Dover and Sandy Beach.

Oistins is the islands main fishing port, the daily catch is sold at the waterfront market. Every Friday evening a lively Fish Fry takes place where you can eat fried and grilled fish, fish cakes, sweet potato, macaroni pie, and coleslaw and much more at simple local restaurants, dance to the lively calypso music and buy local crafts. The Oistins Fish Fry has now become so popular, it is the second highest-rated attraction in Barbados, after Harrison's Cave.

St Lawrence Gap is the happening area, water sports are in abundance in the day, and at night the strip comes a live with happening restaurants, bars and nightclubs with the best DJ's and local bands playing music in to the early hours.

  St. James
Situated on the West Coast, It's famous for the white powdery beaches, luxurious hotels and world class restaurants serving Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine. It's also home to the protected Turtle colony, take a boat trip and swim one on one with this precious species.

Holetown is the commercial heart of the St James, with banks, supermarkets, police station and local stores. Holetown Festival, which celebrates the landing of the first settlers in February 1627, includes a street parade, local exhibits and of course music and dancing.

The first settlement in Barbados, Holetown, was originally named Jamestown, after its benefactor, King James I of England. The Holetown Monument commemorates the first English landing in Barbados in 1625.

It acquired the name "Holetown" because of the off loading and cleaning of ships in the very small channel located within the immediate vicinity of the town. Holetown is the site of the annual Holetown Festival, a colorful local festival of crafts, music, and historical parades!

  St. Joseph
Bathsheba on the East Coast is one the most spectacular places on the island. The lush vegetation and the wild Atlantic Ocean have formed a unique rugged coastline. It's famous for the surf. The Caribbean Surfing Championships are held annually in early November at the 'Soup Bowl' the central beach area of Bathsheba. Houses and simple accommodation are rented to locals and visitors, this is one of the most economical places to stay.

The Andromeda Gardens, part of the Barbados National Trust and the Flower Forest are both set on the hillside with spectacular views over little fishing villages. They both have a fine collection of tropical plants and flowering trees including orchids and the Compass Tree named as it grows pointing east and west.

  St. Lucy
The North Point of Barbados, hosts one of the three working lighthouses in Barbados. The coast line is rugged and offers some spectacular views. The seas are rough and attract extreme surfers when the winds are high. The Animal Flower Cave is worth a visit. It is a cavern, home to sea anemones which form the shape of beautiful flowers.

  St. Peter
Speightstown is a sleepy fishing village with old English architecture. Heading inland you will find the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. A large mahogany wood where the monkeys, porcupines, mongoose, (to name a few) and tropical birds roam and fly freely through the trees. Speightstown was the first major port and commercial center of Barbados. Falling into disrepair and neglected over the years it has now been revived and is the home of a brand new luxury marina development - Port St. Charles - and a number of exciting initiatives. There are excellent hotels and restaurants in the area as well as an art gallery, and some fine examples of original Barbados architecture.
St. Nicholas Abbey is the oldest standing structure (1650), it is one of the only 3 remaining Jacobean houses within the Western Hemisphere.

  St. Philip
The home of two of the oldest hotels, Sam Lord's Castle and The Crane Beach, both have fantastic architecture, spectacular views, luxury facilities and sandy cove beaches safe for swimming. Ragged Point is another hot spot for surfers.

  St. Thomas
One of the most famous excursions is a trip to Harrison's Cave, unique within the Caribbean, claimed to be one of the wonders of the world. A half mile tram tour will show you the spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and the mystical wonders of the limestone cavern.

  St. Andrew
The Scotland district is a scenic hilly area in the north east. A series of peaks including Mount Hillaby the highest point of the island at 1100 feet.

Chalky Mount is the only part of the coral capped island where red clay is found. Potters have worked here since the last century. The pottery village has a full array of local crafts to buy.

  St. John
Drive to the top of Hackleton's Cliff; it's quoted to be the best view on island. Nearby Codrington College is set within 5 acres of woodland, and it is the theological college of the Anglican Church.

  St. George
Set inland within fields of rolling sugar cane, you will find the Gun Hill Signal Station, used and built by the British Army in 1818.

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