I return to Barbados time and again because I love the people – among the friendliest I have ever encountered on my travels around the world.
My 7-year-old daughter has established a lasting friendship with the grandson of one of the island’s many beach vendors – and they have become avid pen pals.
Bajans (or Bims as they are also known) are very proud of their British heritage and people of all races and religions live harmoniously.
They are different from other Caribbean peoples in many ways. They are very spiritual, have time for anyone and really enjoy interacting with those who are quiet or shy – drawing them out with disarming charm. They love to laugh, joke and just ‘shoot the breeze’.
And nothing is too much trouble for the friendly hotel staff who are genuinely eager to ensure that your stay is as happy and carefree as possible.
When I visit with my husband and daughter we prefer to stay on the undeveloped North West coast near the small village of Speightstown. Typically Bajan, it has a traditional fish market(opposite an amazing bakery) and the streets are lined with fresh fruit and vegetable vendors. And, like everywhere else on the island, it is very safe.
Barbados caters for all budgets. From inexpensive self-catering studios to chic 5-star hotels and resorts – with a large range of affordable boutique properties in between.
And there is so much to do. Party the night away in St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast; Surf the breaks off the East Coast or just relax and live the high life in one of the South West coast’s stunning resorts.;
On Barbados you can be as active or relaxed as you wish. Play one of its world-renowned golf courses (you don’t have to be a member – although green fees can be quite high), watch cricket at the Kensington Oval; visit the spectacular Harrison Caves; join a jeep safari; hire a 4 x 4 and enjoy your own self-drive, off-road adventure or zip-wire through the jungle – to name but a few of the many exciting experiences on offer. And, of course, no one should miss out on a visit to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery!
My own favourite activity is swimming with turtles – which you can do at a number of beaches. My daughter loves to visit the Wildlife Sanctuary and feed the monkeys and my husband is a great fan of the Military Communications Museum.
Barbados is generally warm year-round with an average daytime high of 30 Centigrade (86 Fahrenheit) and more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year.
The dry season lasts from January to June and the prevailing Northeast trade winds prevent it from becoming unbearably hot. Any rain tends to fall as short, sharp showers.
It really is one of those destinations that has something for everyone.
Senior Travel Consultant