We took this tour with our Emerald Princess Cruise. The tour started at the George Washington House and that is where we met Peter and James. This is a UNESCO site and is in the process of being developed as a tour and restoration of several places we visited is ongoing. James gave us a brief introduction and then Peter came live on the screen from the tunnels under the island and the garrison. We had a time for Q & - very different and interesting. From there Peter took us through the house where George Washington stayed for about 6 weeks when he was 19 years old. He came with his brother Lawrence who was suffering from Tuberculosis and was looking for a cure.
The house has a wonderful Caribbean interior and floor plan and is being beautifully restored. There is the usual kitchen that is separate from the house itself. The house was originally one story and now has a second floor that houses a neat little museum. The Stables Coffee Shop is across the street and is now open.
The latest addition to the Barbados National Trust, this is the home of Barbados' first Premier, Sir Grantley Adams, and the birthplace of his son, Tom Adams, who became the Island's second prime minister. Built in 1854 out of coral stone, it gives an insight into island architecture and life back then. It also houses the family's memorabilia- gifts from visiting dignitaries, etc.
Behind the house there is also the Heritage Village, a collection of authentic Chattel Houses which are now shops and workshops of artisans.
Although Tyrol Cot is open during the week, there is more activity and more of the shops are open and functioning on the weekends. There is a parking lot across the street from the entrance.
There are many options for catamaran cruises across the island. I went out with Rubaiyat Cruises and had a great time. It is one of the smaller boats which I liked. These cruises have free-running alcohol, which can lead to some unfortunate times depending on the group you are travelling with. Most operators take you out to the marine park for snorkelling, followed by some cruising around the south west and west coasts of the island.
Prices vary according to package.
UPDATE : SEPTEMBER 2012
I have just attempted to access the website listed below and notice it no longer resolves to an active website - it may be that this company no longer operates. Feel free to let me know if you have any further information with which I can update this tip further.
Many tourists visiting Barbados will be staying in St Lawrence Gap. Here you will find a large collection of the island's hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs - everything to suit all tastes.
For more information on St Lawrence Gap, check out my dedicated page on the area.
Dover rests at the end of Barbados' party zone of St Lawrence Gap. The beach is one of the most popular on the island and is surrounded by hotels - be sure to watch out for the public access signs which indicate the route to the beach. Dover playing field is home of the Congaline Festival.
Check out my Dover page for more information.
Bathsheba is on the east coast of Barbados. This coast has a wild aspect to it and feels totally different to the coast around the rest of the island. It makes a great place to spend a day during your visit to the island.
Check out my Bathsheba page for more information, including how to get there using public transport.
This is probably the best thing we have done on the island. Our guide was very entertaining and informed about the history and current events on Barbados. I was concerned about the heat but there was constantly a cool breeze blowing. We met some really terrific people on the tour and got to see some very special places that otherwise we would have never found. Great value, great fun. Don't miss this excursion!
Comparing the west to the rest of the island is inevitable in geographic and social terms. This is where the sheltered beaches are and the first place to develop into a tourism Mecca. Important detail is the fact that this is the old tourism for the really rich folks who could afford these escapades long time before the masses could follow. The area has probably less hotel rooms but they are certainly posh. Architecture and landscaping are of different era with styles evoking images of Hollywood glory. If being star-struck is one’s favourite pastime, sticking around these quarters might end up rewarding.
South shore of Barbados is where the masses are. They are air-lifted in by the thousands on huge planes landing at the close by international airport practically every hour. Half an hour later the masses are on the beaches or rather 30cm above them since nobody wants to get sandy when multitudes of chaise-lounges are available. Now they can watch the sea and the next planes landing in their turn. And so on till the season is over. The chain of hotels is almost unbroken from the airport area to Bridgetown and in some locations it doubles and triples using available space further inland. All these investments have to be taken care of and the mass tourism is the only way to achieve this goal. So more mass tourism for Barbados is the bright future no matter how self contradictory this might sound.
Going east is an essential experience. The rough windward shore is completely different from the placid leeward side. The surf is huge and unrelenting while the hills are practically in their original garb – something impossible to see in the southern part of the island. Bathsheba is an easy pick considering its bus connections with Bridgetown. Plus, the area has some refreshment facilities with distinction and views that make a day outing most pleasant. The beach is not prime property but has some architectural wonders such as eroded rock formations, very photogenic indeed! Surfer shows are on display as well.
Island safari's 4 x 4 Land Rovers take you on a tour to places that most tourists to the island miss. Their entertaining drivers/guides have an incredible knowledge of the area including places such as Cove Bay, Edge Cliff and Joes River Forest and Bathsheba
Lunch with a glass of wine.
Along the way.: Soft Drinks, Juice,
Rum Punch (aka jungle juice) and snacks
8:00/8:30 am - 2:30/3:00 pm Daily
Adult - US$64.50
Children (12 yrs and under) - US$45.00
It's always impressed me that a remnant of the empire founded by Julius Caesar and Augustus survived until just 39 years before Columbus "discovered" America. The Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire ceased to exist only in 1453, when the Turks conquered its capital, Constantinople (today's Istanbul).
The last Roman emperor died on the city walls fighting the barbarians. But many of his close relatives made it out of the city. One brother got to England; and his grandson, the emperor's grand-nephew, ended up on Barbados.
He, Ferdinand Paleologue, was active in the community and in the Church of England. He's buried on the grounds of St John's, his parish church.
The church itself is an interesting example of faux Gothic architecture and well worth a visit.
Farley Hill National Park and its "great house" ruins are a few miles away fromSt. Nicholas Abbey. The National Park consists of several beautiful acres of tropical trees and plants on a cliff 900 feet (275meters) above the sea and overlooks the entire Scotland District.
The Mansion was built 200 years after St. Nicholas Abbey, on the grand scale of the 19th Century plantation houses. The great house was built in sections beginning in 1818. During the late 1800's it was owned by Thomas Graham Briggs. Farley Hill gained a reputation as the most lavish of the old Barbadian merchant palaces, and included a billiard room, library, oversized dining room and several reception rooms.
They filmed sequences of "Island in the Sun" here
In 1965 the Barbados Government bought the Farley Hill property and declared it a National Park. It was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 on Feb 15th l966.
As we were only able to spend a week on the island, two days of which were taken up with the wedding and its organisation, we felt that the best way to see as much as we could in a short space of time was on an island tour. We took our trip with Sean of Bajan Tours, who picked us up from our villa and returned us at the end of the day. Although we could have visited many of the places he took us by ourselves, we would have missed out on his wonderful commentary and insight into Bajan life. We travelled in a comfortable mini-bus as there were nine of us taking the tour (he'll take tour parties in his own car if they are smaller), and the day tour, which included lunch, was an incredible bargain at around BDS$120.
Sean tailors his tours to meet the needs of the group. We saw the Earthworks Pottery, Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Foul Bay and Bathsheba Bay and the many towns and villages around the island.
I am sooooooooo tempted to put this under tourist traps, BUT.... while super cheesy and touristy, it was (gasp) quite fun, and the perfect "first night" experience...
Okay, so we arrived on Barbados on a Wednesday, exhausted, but not wanting to waste the night. We didn't feel like getting gussied up for a fancy restaurant, and we didn't want to hassle with transportation or anything... as it turned out, Harbour Lights highly recommended dinner show has been extended to Monday AND Wednesday night, and since we were quite fond of a drinks free thing at the time, we said, what the hell.
As it turns out, it was quite the convenient choice. You call and make a reservation and show up at your hotel's lobby to be picked up. That's the hardest part. When you get there, you pay your $35 US entry fee, indicate steak chicken or fish, and then work your way to the bar, enjoy the show, enjoy the bajan buffet, go to the bar, and enjoy the show :)
THIS IS NOT A "NICE" PLACE. Don't expect fine dining. But it is very fun and laid back. The show IS at times a bit cheesy, but come on, who doesn't (perhaps secretly) enjoy a fire eater?
All in all, FOR ME, it was a good place to go on a "first night" but not for another night. Don't know if that makes sense to y'all, but there it is nonetheless.
Enterprise Coast Rd, , Barbados, Caribbean
Good for: Business
Rockley Beach 1, Christ Church, Caribbean
Good for: Solo
Tent Bay, St. Joseph, Bathsheba, Barbados, Caribbean
Good for: Business