This post (probably) contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links, and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking through one. This is at no extra cost to you and allows the site to keep running! Thanks for understanding.
Last year I visited Barbados twice and *spoiler alert* – I absolutely LOVED IT. I saved a baby turtle, I drank a lot of rum and I snorkelled to my heart’s content. In this post I’ll take you through all the things I got up to on my perfect Barbados holiday. I’ve even included a Youtube video in case you’d rather watch than read. OK, let’s get into it.
My Barbados Holiday Guide
How to get to Barbados and Who to Fly With?
Barbados is pretty easy to get to from the UK, there are direct flights from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. From Dublin the easiest thing to do is book a Ryanair flight to Gatwick and then you’re ready to go. I booked a Ryanair flight, stayed in a Gatwick hotel overnight and then rolled out of bed and onto the flight direct to Bridgetown.
Of course, Lord knows what airlines will be in business after this quarantine and what airport slots they’ll be left with. The above info was accurate before Covid-19, but we’ll have to wait and see what the flight situation looks like when the world eventually gets back to normal.
When is the Best Time to Visit Barbados?
I visited in July and September. I definitely felt like September was a better time to visit. Turtle season is June to October. But I saw way more turtles in September than June.
September was also a nice time to visit because it was quieter but the weather was still great. Sure, it rained a couple of days but it didn’t last very long. Technically June to October is hurricane season but Barbados tends to dodge the major storms because it’s quite far out to the East in comparison to other Caribbean islands.
December to April is supposed to be the best time to visit. It tends to be drier and temperatures are usually around 30 degrees C every day. Honestly though, it was roasting in June and September when I was there and the accommodation prices were lower so I guess it really depends on your priorities.
What to do and see in Barbados
Harrison’s Cave is one of the main tourist attractions in Barbados. The cave itself is set in this beautiful gully full of plants and butterflies with a very majestic lift down to it (you’ll understand when you visit). You get kitted out in a hard hat and then take a tram tour through the cave with a local guide.
There are giant stalagmites and stalactites as well as beautiful pools and huge caverns. There’s also a little info centre and a couple of gift shops on site. Harrison’s Cave can be visited as part of a larger day tour taking in more of the island, or you can just get a taxi/rent a car, head there yourself and pay upon arrival.
Cool Runnings Sunset Catamaran Cruise
This was one of the most fun things I did in Barbados. It’s essentially a booze cruise with dinner and snorkel stops. The cocktails were delicious and free flowing. The guys on the boat also kept our cups topped up throughout the evening.
The first snorkel stop (equipment is included) was Carlisle Bay where I saw a couple of sea turtles. The dinner was a simple boat buffet and there were even a few veggie options. Of course, the most impressive part was the sunset. Ours was a bit cloudy, but still stunning. I’d definitely recommend it and considering what’s included I think the price is very reasonable.
There’s a lot of partying and dancing on the way back so if you’re looking for a serene, quite boat trip this probably isn’t the one for you. But I did this trip with my mam and we both loved it. You can check out all the details here.
Mount Gay Rum Tour
This was probably my favourite tourist attraction in Barbados. I adore rum so I couldn’t skip the Mount Gay tour. Especially since Mount Gay is the oldest commercially run rum distillery in the world!
We bought our tickets online and then collected them upon arrival. We arrived a bit early for our tour so we sat in the bar and had a couple of cocktails (there’s a discount for ticket holders).
Once everyone had arrive for our time slot we met our guid, a lovely local woman who was pure charisma embodied. She took us through the history of Mount Gay rum and had us plied with rum right from the beginning. We tasted various types of Mount Gay rum as well as a cup of rum punch.
We did the signature rum tasting tour which cost about $20 and organised our own transportation. They have a great gift shop where we also picked up a couple of bottles of Mount Gay for ourselves.
Oistins Fish Market
Oistins is one of the most talked about attractions on the island. The night when everyone goes is Friday for the Fish Fry. It’s a lively market selling and serving fresh fish and seafood. If you decide to eat you’ll sit at a plastic table outside with other tourists and locals. There’s a stage with entertainment as well if you fancy a dance. If you’re staying in a self catering apartment you can pick up cheap fruit and produce here instead of the supermarket.
Walk the Richard Hynes Boardwalk
If you’re near Hastings then I highly recommend a stroll down Richard Hynes Boardwalk. It’s right on the water, peaceful and has stunning views. There are small bars and restaurants along the way, including the most scenic KFC I’ve ever seen. It’s a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Rent a Car and Drive the Coast
If you don’t mind driving abroad then renting a car is a great way to see Barbados’ gorgeous East coast. Bathsheba beach is well worth a visit with its iconic rock formations. You can drive up the whole coast, stopping at beaches, some beach huts and bars.
See Rihanna’s House
If you’re a big Rihanna fan then you’ll want to head to Rihanna Drive just outside Bridgetown. Here you can see the house and street when the Bajan super star grew up. Take some photos, have a drink in one of the local bars and soak up the island vibes.
If you need anymore ideas of things to do in Barbados then check out this post on the Sandals blog.
Barbados Travel Vlog
Check out my vlog for some visual evidence of how stunning Barbados is, as well as extra tips for your Barbados holiday. Don’t forget to give it a like/comment and subscribe to my channell if you haven’t already.
Where to Eat in Barbados
Jake’s Island Grille
Jake’s Island Grille in Hastings, just across from the Coconut Court Hotel is a great place for dinner and a cocktail. The vegetarian tacos are divine. It’s casual but a bit pricey (though probably standard by Barbados standards).
The Good Life
This is a veggie/vegan restaurant that a guy at my hotel recommended. It’s at Rocklye, just to one side of the small mall area. I loved this place, and even my mam, who isn’t vegetarian, enjoyed it. It was great to see a whole menu full of interesting and exciting veggie options. Lentil burgers, tofu pittas, fresh juice shakes and more. Highly recommend if anyone in your group is veggie/vegan.
Mama Mia Italian Deli and Pizzeria
This great value Italian restaurant is a couple of doors up from Jake’s and does reasonably priced and delicious pizza for take away or sit in. It’s also a lovely place for a little romantic dinner. It’s very popular but usually they can squeeze you in.
This is possibly the most famous restaurant on the island of Barbados. It’s in St.James, north of Bridgetown. It’s best known for the spectacular views and spectacularly high prices to match. I didn’t go there because the prices made me weep, but if you’re a foodie or on your honeymoon and fancy splashing out then this is the place for you.
Quayside Shopping Plaza Food Court
The food court at Quayside has lots of great options for an affordable price and a couple of lovely coffee shops. If you’re staying in Rockley it’s incredibly handy. We tried the Alibaba kebab/falafel shop there. It was like a small takeaway shop with lots of plastic tables and chairs outside. Great portions and meal deals. Perfect if you’re on a budget!
When I stayed in Worthing in the Blue Orchids hotel Mojo’s was just across the road so I had dinner/lunch there a few times. I really liked the outdoor covered seating area. The service was good and there were usually drinks offers available too. It’s fun and casul and gets pretty busy on the weekends.
Where to Stay in Barbados – By The Beach
Blue Orchids Beach Hotel
I visited Barbados twice and Blue Orchids Beach Hotel was my absolute favourite place to stay. It is surprisingly cheap for Barbados and offers self-catering apartments. Because I booked via Booking.com we had breakfast included and it was an IMPRESSIVE breakfast.
Sure, the restaurant service was VERY island time, and sure breakfast looked different every morning, but we were in no hurry and the food was always good. Plus the restaurant looked right out over the sea.
The hotel had its own private beach which was full of turtle hatchlings when we were there in Sepetember. It also had an incredible decked area right over the sea at the back which was perfect for watching the sunset while the turtles popped their heads up above the waves.
Where to Stay in Barbados – In the Rainforest
Naniki is an eco-friendly retreat and wellness centre in Surinam, Barbados. I didn’t actually stay here but I did visit for a day. I had lunch in their restaurant (lentil pie *drools*), which was absolutely delicious, I hiked through the palm forest, I checked out their cottages and even had a look around their wellness centre where they offer Ozone therapy. Naniki showcases a different side of the island and highlights that there is more to Barbados than beaches and turtles.
Let’s Wrap it up
So I hope you feel like you know a bit more about Barbados now! Of course, I couldn’t cover everything in one video and article but I covered my favourite bits. Would you visit Barbados? Let me know in the comments below.
Visit Barbados hosted me on a couple of my activities while I was on the island. However, all opinions are, as always, my own.
- 50 Fun and Interesting Facts About Aruba
- 8 Days All Inclusive in Cuba
- What to Wear in Aruba
- 5 Awesome Things to do in Aruba