Barbados, sometimes called “Little England” or Bimshire” is the most easterly country in the Lesser Antilles Caribbean chain, and a gorgeous place for vacations
The former British colony is today a unique country with a blend of traditions and cultures with many great gems to discover for nature lovers or photographers.
My post aims to highlight a (non-exhaustive) list of +/- 30 great spots to enjoy during a 5 to 7 days stay on the Island.
For simplicity reasons rather than preference order, I classify them per geographical area…
So let’s start with the UNESCO World Heritage capital as it is a must-see location on your trip to Barbados.
Carlisle bay & Marine Park shipwrecks
Bridgetown is part of the privileged cities that can offer world-class beaches like Carliste bay in the middle of the town
Even if my iPhone’s poor underwater photo skills do not give justice to it, Carlisle Bay Marine Park is a wonderful snorkeling and diving spot, as it is home to six shallow wrecks
You’ll observe endless fishes and even beautiful rays 🤩
Guardhouse and clock tower
The 1802 photogenic red brick clock tower and Georgian style Guardroom in Bridgetown are iconic landmarks of the former British colony…
George Washington’s House
A few hundred meters from the clock tower, do not miss the former plantation house that hosted the future US president when he was young
Barbados is the only country George Washington visited outside of the USA, so that deserves the small museum that you’ll find in the well-preserved house 😎
In the same neighborhood, have a look at Needham’s Point area which was hosting the Naval Dockyard in the early 19th century. It is now in the middle of the Hilton hotel property 🥲
Bridgetown harbor and boardwalk
The wharf road (Bridgetown Boardwalk) has a vintage style and offers a great view of the old colorful buildings and the harbor.
The most beautiful time to be there is in my view at sunrise…
Bridgetown Parliament Building
The neo-Gothic Parliament Building, founded in 1639 is the third-oldest parliament in the Commonwealth (after Britain and Bermuda)
The nearby National heroes’ square fountain is worth a visit as well at different times of the day
St Michael’s Cathedral
The Anglican Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angel (was built in 1665 and rebuilt in 1789) is as well worth a visit.
Pebble beach and the racehorses’ bath
Last but not least, my favorite location in Bridgetown is the gorgeous Pebble beach
Nearly every morning at sunrise, grooms bring the racehorses from their nearby stables at the Garrison for therapeutic bathing.
This is clearly an amazing photography spot under beautiful sunrise light.
You’re unlikely to be alone as many tourists will wake up early for this, and some will even join the grooms in the water.
The south of the Island
There are many wonders to discover on the south coastline below Bridgetown and here they are (in going down from Bridgetown order)
Dover Beach, near Oistins, is one of my favorite photography spots, due to the colorful pink hotel on the beachfront.
To add a bit of extra color, the guard house is quite nice as well.
Dover beach is as well one snorkeling spot known for green Turtle.
Oistins Fish market
Going south toward Miami beach, the colorful hoses of the Oistin fish market are really worth a stop.
You’ll meet there some of the friendly locals
Miami beach is another beautiful beach on the south coast.
The guardhouse is as well beautiful and very “Miami”.
There is as well some cool graffiti between the fish market and the beach
Silver sands beach
Silver Sands Beach is recognized as a world-class location for windsurfing and kitesurfing in the Lesser Antilles.
It is the place to be both for fishermen and tourists 😎
After Silver Sands going further east is Crane beach. That beautiful beach is best looked at from the resort that overlooks the beach.
The gorgeous Bottom Bay beach, situated on the southeastern tip of the Island is in my view one of the most beautiful spots on the island.
This is a wonderful place for sunrise and morning golden hours as well (if you have the energy to get twice to that remote place 😊)
Harrismith beach & plantation ruins
At walking distance from Bottom Bay (through the plateau above the beach), you have an opportunity to have two sunrise/sunset spots in one with the beautiful Harrismith wild beach
One of the highlights there are the photogenic ruins of an old plantation house overlooking the ocean, offering endless shooting opportunities
The West & North Coast
Moving up north from Bridgetown, you’ll gradually move from paradise sand beaches toward wilder rocky areas in the North. I can’t of course list the endless numbers of beaches so here are a few spots of interest.
Batts rock beach
Most beaches on the west coast are great sunset spots, and Batts rock just north of Bridgetown is one of those …
Fitts village beach
Just north of Bath rock, Fillts village beach offers a spectacular palm tree line for sunset.
NB: One issue on most beaches is tourists getting their Instagram important shots climbing on those palm trees bending above the water… that are dying as a consequence one after the other so avoid this please 😢 …
Moving further north, Mahogany beach (near the fish shop) is another nice spot for a bit of change vs palm trees 😊
Alleynes Bay beach
Alleynes Bay beach (near the fancy and great Lone Star restaurant) is a great and beautiful place for sunset.
Here again, this is the last standing palm tree due to touristic / Instagram pressure so leave the tree alone… if you book dinner there, the restaurant torches transform the place into a dream…
So, take a drink and enjoy the mother nature show…
That little town is famous for its colorful houses.
To be honest, I’m not sure if this is a covid collateral damage but I was not clearly impressed by that place as most houses are in pretty bad shape. So a dream photo spot in my view 😢.
As you keep on going North, you’ll reach the beautiful Archer’s Bay, the northwest tip of Barbados island.
Some locals do surf there, and some have a strange way to catch the waves 😊
That bay is a great sunrise photography spot as well…
On the tipping north point, you’ll witness the permanent fight between to rocks and the waves
You’ll find there some plus or minus accurate orientation maps …
.. some colorful mamas statues…
And colorful gift shops
Animal Flower cave
One of the Barbados highlights, the animal Flower Sea cave, is in the North point restaurant property.
It is estimated that the cave coral floor is around 500,000 years old. To discover the cave, you’ll get down (with a guide) through some huge coral stone steps. Access & swim are restricted to calm days. As it can get quite busy, arriving at the opening may be a good idea.
The East & the highlands
There are a couple of beautiful gardens in Barbados but the Anthony Hunte’s garden is by far the most amazing
This exotic garden, located in lush scenic highlands close to Barbados’ Scotland District is enhanced by many beautiful statues
The garden is a hemispherical sinkhole in the limestone substrate. steps lead down through endless flowering plants, with towering trees around the edges.
Keep walking around and get lost in the natural beauty of the place, surrounded by statues
When climbing the upper-level steps, you’re likely to Meet Mr. Hunte and his house transformed of the old stables. He may invite you to test his rum punch or freshly made ginger lemonade.
Clearly, Hunte’s garden is a must-see place in Barbados
Barbados wildlife reserve
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is located in a natural mahogany wood near Fairley Hill National Park in the Northern parish of St Peter
The main reason to get there is to observe the cute green monkeys….
You’ll find many other animals native and non-native to the island, like a caiman…
But the highlight remains the green monkeys. The ideal time to visit is early afternoon when they get fed.
Of course, during that time of the day, there will be almost as many tourists as monkeys but this is still a great place to see and photograph in Barbados.
Farley Hill National Park
Just opposite the wildlife reserve, have a look at Farley hill National Park
Farley hill Park hosts the ruins of a stone mansion destroyed by fire in 1965
The ruins are fenced, There can always be ways to get around of course but stay safely outside the ruins.
St Nicolas Abbey and Distillery
St Nicolas Abbey, sugar plantation, and Rum Distillery is a charming place, built-in 1658.
The mansion is beautiful during morning twilight (if you can negotiate access to the property perimeter 😎)
You can visit the house as well as the still active distillery and old factory (and of course taste & buy Rum)
Cherry tree reserve
In the same area, Cherry Tree Hill is up 850 ft above the sea, and is officially part of the St. Nicholas Abbey estate (but it sits just outside the main gate). This is a nice and popular photo spot
There is a nice viewpoint on the east coast as well
Morgan Lewis Windmill
On the road down to the coast, you can have a short stop at Morgan Lewis Windmill as this is one of the only two intact and restored sugar mills in the Caribbean.
Andromeda Botanical gardens
The eight-acre Andromeda Botanical Gardens, located in the eastern parish of St. Joseph near Bathsheba village, is worth a stop on the way to Bathsheba
Last but not least, Bathsheba Beach is a great photography spot, with its golden sand beach dotted with coral rock formations carved by the waves over centuries.
The most famous rock (above) is just beside the blue house below.
A few hundred meters south, you’ll find on a rocky beach the stunning rock formations fighting the huge waves.
That place is absolutely gorgeous during the early morning twilight
Even if getting so early in those remote places is painful, you should get rewarded with a gorgeous sunrise 🤩
So I hope my post will engage you to visit the gorgeous island of Barbados.