Barbados seems to exist to fulfill every beach fantasy you’ve ever had. Walk a few minutes in just about any direction, and you’ll find vibey island bars, blue water lapping against powdery shores, and vivid flora. In fact, the only downfall to this beautiful and balmy Caribbean island is that there are so many beaches to choose from that it’s hard to know where to start.
If you are planning a dream trip to Barbados, avoid decision anxiety with this guide to the island’s best beaches. First things first, though — there is no such thing as the “perfect beach,” since we each have our own idea of paradise. For instance, if you’re looking for family fun, a resort beside a secluded little cove might not quite cut it for you. Likewise, if you’re heading off on a romantic couple’s escape, you might not necessarily want roaring watersports right on your doorstep.
That’s why this guide aims to cover a few different bases, giving you a feel for the variety of beach experiences that you can enjoy in Barbados.
Ideal for: True romantics and Instagrammers
Let’s start with the superstar, shall we? Crane Beach isn’t just heralded as one of the best stretches of sand in Barbados. It is also considered to be one of the best beaches in the world. One of the main reasons for this is its distinctive pink sands, making it a popular spot for honeymooners looking to enjoy a rosy sunset together. In fact, the pink effect is caused by mineral deposits of rose quartz and garnet, meaning that this beach is effectively powdered gemstones (talk about decadent!). Crane Beach also has a romantic palm grove, striking cliffs, and a coral reef that you can dive down to explore.
Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts and tranquility seekers
If the wildlife of Barbados is your thing, then this peaceful beach in the Saint James parish is unmissable. In fact, Alleynes Bay is considered to be a hidden treasure of the island. That’s because it’s away from the main tourist strip and offers quieter charms. But never fear — there’s still a beach bar for those all-important refreshments. Nature is the real draw here, and if you like diving or snorkeling, the crystalline waters offer a chance to spot turtles and colorful tropical fish. The island’s world-class Royal Westmoreland Golf Course is nearby, so you could pair a morning on the beach with an afternoon on the greens.
Once you’ve decided which Barbados beach you’d like to be close to, your next step is choosing a hotel resort. If you want a truly luxurious experience, then an all-inclusive vacation is the way to go. After all, enjoying an endless stream of ice-cold rum punch is so much more fun than constantly keeping an eye on your wallet. With this in mind, a Barbados all-inclusive with private beaches might offer the perfect base for exploring this incredible Caribbean island.
Ideal for: Thrill seekers and activity lovers
This wind-whipped south coast beach enjoys vigorous waves and swells, making it a watersports hub. A popular spot for surfers, Silver Sands Beach is also a first-class spot for kite-boarding, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Tree-shaded picnic benches mean that kids can enjoy their visit here, too. If you like to stay connected on your phone at all times, the Wi-Fi gazebo lets you share your shots on social media in real time.
Ideal for: History buffs and divers
This crescent-shaped bay is perched on the southwest coast of Barbados. It is fringed by lush rainforest and is also a popular marine park. Carlisle Bay offers no fewer than six barnacle-encrusted shipwrecks for scuba divers and snorkelers to explore, as well as rusty old anchors and cannonballs. History buffs who don’t want to dip their heads below water can visit the nineteenth century Needham’s Point Lighthouse instead, which you’ll find on the grounds of Hilton Barbados Resort. The calm waters of Pebbles Beach are ideal for children to swim in, while adults can lie back and watch luxury yachts and catamarans drift along the waves. This bay also has the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ideal for: Families
Located beside the famous Barbados Boardwalk on the buzzing south coast, this beach is very popular with families because it offers a natural, rock-protected pool for little ones to swim safely. Life guards, food kiosks, and shopping all make it a great spot for unwinding under a beach umbrella while having plenty of entertainment at hand. Older kids can enjoy boogie boards and windsurfing, while grownups can sip a fruity cocktail or three at the tiki bar. What’s more, the Quayside Centre offers a range of international cuisines to suit even the pickiest of young diners. Rockley / Accra Beach is also easily accessible by public transportation.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.