Barbados Holidays

Charming and sophisticated in equal measure, Barbados has some of the Caribbean’s best beaches and A-list resorts.

With its white-sand beaches, luxurious hotels and world-class dining, Barbados has long been a popular escape for those seeking the finer things in life. It’s no wonder that A-listers flock to its platinum shores. The ‘Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’ really delivers, from award-winning restaurants to mouth-watering street food at Oistins’ famous fish fry, and its melting pot of cultures creates a unique vibe – anyone for afternoon tea followed by an evening of dancing to a steel pan band?

And if you venture beyond the beach you’ll discover a host of attractions, from limestone caves and spectacular gardens to submarine tours and championship golf courses. Where else can you swim with turtles, join a cricket match, explore the countryside on a jeep safari, and enjoy tastings at the world’s oldest rum distillery?

Get in touch and we’ll help make your dream Barbados holiday a reality.

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Barbados - Perfect for

  • Iconic luxe retreats

    Barbados’s west coast resorts are the place to see and be seen

  • Heritage-listed Bridgetown

    Discover the rich history of the island’s vibrant capital

  • Fish fry

    Oistins Fish Fry is a must for foodies seeking out local flavours

  • A rum business

    The island of Barbados is considered the birthplace of rum

Holidays in Barbados

hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

Set on a sugary white beach, this all-inclusive resort is great for families as well as couples, with plenty to explore on the doorstep.

From £2,125 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

Get out and explore the island from this relaxing beach resort, which offers an excellent all-inclusive package and plenty of watersports.

From £2,034 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

Relax and re-energise at this boutique wellness retreat, divided into adults-only and family-friendly sections.

From £3,043 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 5 Star

This elegant beachfront hotel has wonderful oceanfront dining and spacious accommodation spread across rooms, suites and villas.

From £2,482 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

Flanked by powder-white sand and sparkling cerulean sea, this family-friendly resort boasts excellent facilities and a wide range of activities.

From £1,908 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados

This couples-only resort has a chic design, excellent dining and superb swimming pools.

From £2,748 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

Nestled in tropical flora not far from the sea, this adults-only hotel is a tranquil hillside hideaway.

From £1,342 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4.5 Star

Culture meets culinary prowess at this boutique all-inclusive that puts romance at the heart.

From £2,188 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados
  • 4 Star

This premium all-inclusive is perfect for families, with lagoon-style pools and an impressive array of facilities edged by a white-sand beach.

From £2,469 p/p
hotel
  • Barbados

Set on a beautiful white-sand beach, this adults-only resort offers an impressive array of activities under Sandals’ signature Luxury Included® programme.

From £2,438 p/p

Luxury Catamaran Cruise

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sailing through calm, azure waters on a luxury catamaran with a crew to cater to your every whim. You’ll travel along Barbados’s pristine western shore - nicknamed the Platinum Coast thanks to its dazzlingly pale sandy beaches - with stops in quiet, sheltered bays along the way. Here you’ll have the chance to snorkel over shipwrecks teeming with multicoloured fish or maybe even swim with sea turtles: Barbados is home to three different species. Between stops, you can soak up the sun on the deck or cool off in the shade with a drink from the all-day bar. As for food, there’s a delicious buffet-style lunch served on board with something to suit all tastes.

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Bajan Street Food Tour

Grazing your way through the heart of Bridgetown is a fascinating way to discover something of the culture and history of Barbados. On this three-hour small-group tour, you’ll try some of the island’s favourite dishes and learn the story behind them from your expert guide. As you walk through the capital’s colourful back streets, where the locals do their shopping, you’ll stop everywhere from simple cafés to a popular bakery for a taste of authentic Bajan cuisine. Tuck into just-made fish cakes with hot sauce - a traditional breakfast dish - from a brightly painted food truck and wash it down with a palate-cleansing glass of ruby-red sorrel in a lively indoor market. Round off the experience with a coconut-milk ice cream from the island’s only artisan chocolate maker.

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Barbados Your Way (Car & Driver) - Half Day

Enjoy the freedom of having your own wheels, but without the stress, by hiring a car with a driver to take you wherever you choose. There’s a lot to discover, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to pack into four hours. You could head down narrow country lanes into the hilly interior, pausing at roadside stalls for coconut water fresh from the husk and stopping wherever you want to take photos. Maybe you’d prefer to make for a secluded cove that just happens to have one of the best beach shacks - and the tastiest flying-fish sandwiches - in Barbados. Whatever you opt for, you’ll know that the person behind the wheel knows exactly where they are, and can give you a local perspective on it. It’s a superb option for anyone travelling with children or couples who want to learn more about the island.

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Barbados Your Way (Car & Driver) - Full Day

Barbados Your Way (Car & Driver) - Full Day Tailor-make your dream island tour with a private car and driver for the day. This is your chance to dive deep into the island’s culture, see its major sites and get off the beaten track with a local to guide you to those hidden gems. You could take in a visit to a historic grand plantation house or a fabulous botanic garden; have a surfing lesson or a gentle swim at a beach only the Bajans know about; and fit in a spot of shopping at some of the many craft shops and stalls along the way. You’ll have plenty of time for a lazy lunch that’s as chic or casual as you want - your driver can recommend somewhere if you’re not sure where to go. It’s a perfect choice for anyone looking for a truly memorable experience of Barbados.

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Mount Gay Rum Cocktail Making Lesson

Enjoy a hands-on experience of Mount Gay rum and learn about its long and illustrious history at the same time. Your fun-filled afternoon at its modern visitor centre in the heart of Bridgetown begins with a welcoming rum punch, after which you’ll delve into the background story of the world’s oldest rum. That will definitely whet your appetite for trying a few of Mount Gay’s signature rums and learning how to mix, muddle, shake and stir them into a delectable cocktail. After you’ve watched a demonstration from the in-house mixologist, you’ll be ready to make a couple for yourself - and, of course, to drink them. With a stop in the shop to grab a bottle for yourself, you’ll be all set to impress your friends with your bar skills once you’re back at home.

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Mount Gay Rum Experience

Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery in Barbados, and its historic buildings surrounded by sugarcane fields in St Lucy, in the north of Barbados, are still in use today. At its beautiful open-air visitor centre in Bridgetown, you can learn all about the rum maker’s impressive 300-year history. You’ll discover the various different steps required to turn molasses - a by-product of making sugar - and water into the finished product, which have barely changed over the centuries, and have a chance to sample some of the brand’s signature rums. At the end of the tour you’ll be served a light Bajan-style lunch overlooking the sea, before a final stop at the shop to pick up a bottle to take home.

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Get to know the island of Barbados and those important practicalities when planning your perfect island adventure.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT -4 hours

CURRENCY

Barbados dollar; many establishments will accept US dollars

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

9 hours

RELIGION

Christianity

LANGUAGE

English

Where is Barbados?
Barbados sits in the Lesser Antilles and is the most eastern of all the Caribbean islands. This small coral island is just 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, with crashing Atlantic waves on the east coast and the calmer waters of the Caribbean Sea on the west coast.

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West & south coasts
Most of the hotels are scattered along the west and south coasts as the rugged east and north shores are pounded by crashing waves. The chic west coast attracts royals, film stars and the world’s leading sports stars to its upscale resorts and swanky restaurants. The lively south coast offers a different experience and is a great spot for family holidays or a holiday with a group of friends. The restaurants, bars, rum shacks and nightclubs of St Lawrence Gap and Oistins, with its famous 'Fish Friday', are the perfect remedy for those seeking more than lazy days on the beach.

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East coast
Along the ruggedly beautiful east coast, small fleets of fishing boats brave the large swells that roll in straight off the vast Atlantic, while daring surfers ride the rolling waves. A drive along the dramatic coastal road, with stops at the coral boulder studded beach of Bathsheba and the surfing mecca of the ‘Soup Bowl’ en route, is a highlight of any trip to Barbados.

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Bridgetown
Like many fortified harbour towns and cities in the Caribbean, Bridgetown has a rich and varied history. Together with its Garrison, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and showcases well-preserved colonial architecture from the 17th to 19th Centuries. As you wander around town, you’ll see grand public buildings, brick-build warehouses where molasses, rum and sugar were stored before export back to Britain, and more modern structures that celebrate the country’s independence. Head to Cheapside Street Market on Thursday to Saturday for fresh tropical fruit or discover the story of rum production at Mount Gay Visitor Centre.

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Getting around
As Barbados is a small island, all of the hotels are within easy reach of the airport – generally between 15 minutes and an hour. Taxis are a great way to get around and Barbados’ bus network offers great value and an easy way to explore the island. If you really want a taste of local life then the ‘reggae buses’ – yellow buses that whiz around the island pumping out loud dancehall music – are great fun and very cheap.

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Diving & snorkelling
With its pleasant year-round climate, you can dive at any time of year in Barbados but summer, when the water temperatures are the warmest, is particularly popular. Barrier reefs are located between half a mile and two miles from the shore, with healthy coral and abundant marine life. You could spot barracudas, sting rays, sea horses, and hawksbill and leatherback turtles, to name just a few. Carlisle Bay, off the coast of Bridgetown, is one of the best spots to discover some of Barbados’ shipwrecks – of which there is believed to be 200. Snorkelling with sea turtles is a must-do experience in Barbados and a number of hotels offer boat trips.

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Food & drink \ Bajan cuisine centres around fish and seafood – including lobster, shrimp and red snapper – and Barbadians also eat a lot of the island’s delicious fresh fruit – if they can pick it from the trees before the monkeys get there. Speciality dishes include ‘pepperpot’, a pork and beef stew, and flying fish, lightly fried and served with lime wedges and tartar sauce. Food and parties go hand in hand in Barbados and a festival or street party is a great way to experience the island’s tasty cuisine and warm spirit. And of course, a trip to Barbados wouldn’t be complete without sampling the island’s famous rum.

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