Barbados is one of the top Caribbean holiday destinations, with a great many visitors flocking there each year to enjoy its beautiful and varied beaches. Barbados has over 70 miles of beaches and the differences between each coast are vast. Since it’s a coral island, the beaches are formed of finely ground coral which presents itself as either white or pink sand.
The west coast is the most popular as it lines the calm waters of the Caribbean Sea. The east and north coasts face the Atlantic and have a more rugged beauty and bigger waves. The south combines both and is ideal for water sports.
West Coast Beaches
The west coast is sometimes referred to as the Platinum Coast and the beaches are the most popular on the island. Many major hotels are located along the west coast and it’s the perfect spot for sunbathing, relaxing, swimming or enjoying a spot of snorkelling. The waters of the west coast are the safest to swim in by far and therefore often the right choice for families.
Sandy Lane Beach (St James) is one of the island’s most popular beaches. It provides perfect swimming conditions as well as a good choice of water sports. The beach can be found in front of the Sandy Lane Hotel.
Batts Rock Beach (St James) has vibrant reefs to explore when snorkelling and the quiet waters are perfect for swimming. Although it’s not one of the major beaches there are facilities such as parking and showers.
Gibbs Beach (St James) is one of Barbados’s most luxurious beaches and it’s where sailing cruisers often stop. This is the place of the rich and famous and the area is impeccably well kept. There are plenty of opportunities for water sports or perhaps even some celebrity spotting.
North Coast Beaches
The north coast is extremely rugged and much of it is made up of high cliffs, though there is the odd cove to be discovered. Swimming is not recommended due to the waves and the currents but that doesn’t mean the beaches aren’t worth a visit.
Little Bay (St. Lucy) may not be the place to take a dip but it does offer incredible views. The unusual rock formations and blowholes are a photographer’s dream. The lack of swimming means that the beach is often fairly quiet provided you don’t turn up at the same time as the tour operators.
River Bay (St. Lucy) is a freshwater bay which also has great views from its huge cliffs. It is most popular as a picnic spot with both locals and holidaymakers alike.
East Coast Beaches
The east coast is the place where surfers head. The strong current does mean that swimming is not recommended, however. As with the north coast, what many east coast beaches have are great views and good picnic spots.
Cattlewash Beach (St. Joseph) has huge waves for experienced surfers but it isn’t a good place to swim. It is a wonderful place to take a long walk, however, as the main stretch is a few miles long.
Bath Beach (St. John) is an excellent spot for taking photos or enjoying a picnic. The best thing about Bath Beach is that it is considered one of the few places along the east coast where swimming is feasible. Nearby there is a pretty waterfall.
South Coast Beaches
The beaches along the south coast are a happy medium between the rugged extremities of the north and the east and the calm crystal-clear waters of the west. The waves are medium in size and suitable for surfing and many other water sports are popular here, such as diving, windsurfing and snorkelling.
Silver Rock Beach (Christ Church) is the place to head for windsurfers and kite surfers. Although the beach is quite popular, the sand dunes and bays give it a sense of seclusion.
There is a beach for everyone in Barbados, whether you want to languish in the sun and swim in the shallow waters along the west coast or try some water sports on the south coast. The north and east are ideal for those who prefer to walk, take in the scenery and hunt out breath-taking picnic spots.
If you ever tire of the beaches there is plenty more to do in Barbados, which is an island full of history, culture and great food. The stunning beaches, however, are the reason the island is so hugely popular.
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