Luxe island living
Barbados is the Caribbean at its stylish and sophisticated best. Not only does it have the Caribbean requisite coral-sand beaches, turquoise waters and laid-back charms, but it mixes its easy-going Bajan attitude with traditional English activities left over from its stint as a British colony – think cricket, horse racing and afternoon tea.
Barbados offers plenty to do, from sugarcane field hiking trails and manicured golf courses, to historic plantation houses and beautifully maintained tropical gardens. The island measures up at 21 miles by 14, so getting out and about (either by hire car, local bus or on a tour) is easy.
Glamorous St James, on the west coast, has been dubbed the 'Platinum Coast' and 'Millionaire's Row'. Beaches here and on the south-west coast face the Caribbean Sea, and have sugary sands and calm, sheltered waters. There are plenty of beachfront bars and restaurants to try out, too. Then you've got the bustling capital city, Bridgetown, where you'll find shopping malls, colonial architecture, and statues of the island's icons in National Heroes Square.
For natural beauty, take a trip to Welchman Hall Gully and the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, climb Mount Hillaby for widescreen views over the island, or delve between the limestone stalactites and stalagmites of Harrison’s Cave. Of course, a visit to the Mount Gay Rum factory is a must – it's the oldest rum brand in the world.
Whatever you choose to do, our family holidays in the Caribbean offer plenty of fun in the sun, whatever age your children are.
Flight time from the UK to Barbados is approximately 9 hours.
With over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year and temperatures that hover in the high 20s and low 30s, Barbados is a year-round destination. The driest season, however, runs from December through to June.
A visa is not required for British citizens.
It's common for restaurants to put a 10-15% service charge on to the bill. If you're taking a taxi, it's polite to tip around 10%.
The official language of Barbados is English.
Hepatitis A, polio and typhoid vaccinations are recommended. Please contact your GP for more information.
Barbados runs on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) – that’s UTC/GMT -4.
The currency in Barbados is the Barbadian dollar (Bds$).
Barbadians love a celebration, so festivals come paired with calypso music, barbecues, rum tents and dancing, and can often roll on till dawn.
Barbados celebrates its independence on 30 November. Garrison Savannah, the beloved island racecourse, hosts a parade and the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown light up in national colours.
The Barbadian members of the West Indies cricket team are another source of national pride. Try to catch a game – or even an International Test Match – at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Arty types should watch out for the Barbados Independent Film Festival in January. Celebrities often pop up at the glitzy galas and al fresco film screenings.