- Island Tour
- Sail Away
- Tyrol Cot Heritage Village
- Drive-in Cinema
- The Crane
I have traveled to the island of Barbados 4 times since 2009, and it was after my 2nd visit in 2011 that I would say I officially caught the travel bug and began longing to explore more and more of the world.
Over my 4 trips to Barbados, I have found myself repeatedly engaging in a number of activities and visiting certain places each time – whilst adding new places to check out too, of course! Below is a selection of 5 things I highly recommend you do when staying in Barbados.
Barbados is a beautiful tiny speck of only 166 square miles in the Caribbean, meaning that you can technically cover the entire island in just one day! The best way to see it? The 4×4 jeep safari is a must-do! A dedicated guide will transport you to the most pinnacle points as you take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Barbados through a mixture of terrains, on and off-road, with some doughnuts thrown in. It’s not too bumpy and although it is an open Jeep, there are coverings in place should it rain. Not only will you see some of the best parts of the island; Your guide will keep you entertained with interesting facts on the history and culture behind the island’s hidden gems and you will also get to taste a traditional Bajan lunch – refreshments are also provided.
There are numerous ways to spend the day at sea, the main gist is to get out there and sail, however you prefer. Most options are family-friendly unless you opt for a boat party – definitely leave the kids on land for that! I have personally only experienced a couple of the family-friendly options – so far! For the ultimate day out on the ocean, the MV Harbour Master is without a doubt the élite. I’d like to believe that it’s similar to spending a day aboard an actual cruise ship – without the cabins, but yes, it does feel that big! It is essentially a floating hub of entertainment with a dedicated section where locals can showcase their talents – I even got my hair braided whilst on it (twice)! Not a minute of boredom is to be had on the Harbour Master. If you happen to find someone napping, it is either out of exhaustion from participating in the onboard activities or the sun got them! Wear a hat and seek shade for a while folks! As with most excursions, free-flowing lunch and refreshments are provided. There is also the option to snorkel with turtles – gear, including life vests for less experienced swimmers, will be provided by the crew.
Tyrol Cot, St. Michael
Tyrol Cot Heritage Village was once home to the Prime Minister of the Federation of the West Indies, Sir Grantley Adams. If you’ve been to or are going to the island, that name should sound familiar. Grantley Adams international airport is the only gateway into and out of Barbados. It’s one thing to go to a museum and see pieces of the past displayed attractively for us to look at. But you gain a whole different perspective when you’re standing inside the actual construction, with the layout as it would have been (or near enough), surrounded by household essentials from that era used by those inhabiting the space. As we began wandering around the house of Sir Grantley Adams and the well-preserved Chattel houses, the connection and understanding I gained were far more moving than if I were to simply read about it. It brought great awareness as to how Barbadians survived during the years of emancipation when they lived in removable structures and had very few possessions in order to relocate easily if circumstances required.
Globe Drive-in Cinema, Christ Church
I used to think that drive-in cinemas were a thing curated and only seen on the movies/tv – kind of ironic, right?! So, when the opportunity to watch a movie in a drive-in cinema arose, it was too dreamy to pass up. The Globe Drive-in is a family-owned venture and the only drive-thru cinematic experience operating in the Caribbean! Simply tune in to the correct frequency through your car radio, recline the seats and watch a blockbuster under the stars. There is also a canteen on sight if you get peckish – no movie screening is complete without popcorn after all! If you happen to turn your gaze away from the big screen, you may even spot a plane landing nearby, as the drive-in is located not too far from Grantley Adams International Airport!
Sunday at The Crane
Located in St. Philip is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the Caribbean. Being a luxury hotel, which is slightly out of the way of the heart of Barbados’ tourism center, many may not think The Crane is accessible, but it is! Barbados is a predominantly Christian island, meaning most places are closed on Sundays. An afternoon at The Crane became a tradition ever since my first visit to the island. With a range of three restaurants to dine in, there is bound to be something that will leave everyone’s stomachs happy. I have only ever eaten at L’Azure, boasting traditional buffet-style Caribbean cuisine – it’s so delicious, suitable for all types of foodies, and can never be recreated to the same taste once home! My mouth is drooling as I think about a delicious Bajan macaroni pie… Oh! Plus, you get the added ocean view. It can get a bit windy though, so ladies – dress accordingly! Take advantage of your time within the complex and stroll around the ‘town-like’ ambiance, there is an art gallery, gift shops, and much more. All beaches in Barbados are public beaches, which means that even if you don’t fancy the elegant dining experience, submerged in abundant sub-tropical vegetation beyond the cliffs, (which many enjoy jumping off of) the stunning white sands and crystal blue waters provide a little more escape from the beaches closer to Bridgetown.