The small island of Barbados is home to more than 80 beaches that offer thrilling waves for water sports, craggy rock formations and soft, white sand to sink your feet into. While each beach has its own merits, here are six that really stand out.
For experienced surfers: Bathsheba Beach
Located in St. Joseph, Bathsheba Beach is widely considered the best beach in Barbados for surfing. Its mineral-rich waters and foamy surf are known as the “Soup Bowl,” and they are the site of this year’s Barbados Independence Surf Festival (November 3 to 5). The festival will have live music, food and, of course, surfing competitions. Take a stroll down the beach to see the rugged rock formations, including one known as the “mushroom rock,” so named for its capped shape.
If you want to try a new water sport: Silver Sands Beach
If more relaxed water sports are your thing, you’ll want to check out Silver Sands Beach along Barbados’s south coast in the parish of Christ Church. While you could just go swimming there, the waters are particularly ideal for visitors of all skill levels to try activities such as surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. There are a handful of shops that provide rentals and lessons in the area, including Zed’s Surfing Adventures and renowned windsurfer Brian Talma’s deAction Surf Shop.
For beach dining: Mullins Beach
If you plan to be at the beach over lunch or dinner, head to Mullins Beach in St. Peter. The west coast beach is home to the popular Mullins Beach Bar & Grill, located just steps from the water. Grab a seat on the open-air verandah as you indulge in dishes such as coconut shrimp, West Indian roti or the blackened or grilled catch of the day. On select days, there are also live local bands playing reggae, roots and rock. Following your meal, try to snag one of the handful of white lounge chairs and blue umbrellas set up in front of the eatery for some lounging in the sun.
For families: Accra Beach
The lifeguard-protected Accra Beach in Christ Church is a popular destination for families. The waters are calm enough for swimming, but there are also enough waves for enjoying water sports like bodysurfing. Beachfront outfitters conveniently offer water-sports equipment, chairs and umbrellas. Plus, there are plenty of additional activities around the beach in case the kids start to get restless. Go for a stroll on the South Coast Boardwalk or walk just a few minutes to nearby shopping centres and restaurants.
For relaxation and privacy: Archers Bay Beach and Fitts Village Beach
If you came to Barbados to reset and relax, you may want seek out one of the quieter beaches on the island. At the north-west end in St. Lucy, you’ll get almost total privacy on Archers Bay Beach, which only has room for around 10 to 15 people. For something a bit bigger, but with a similar vibe, drive around 30 minutes south to Fitts Village Beach along the west coast in St. James. Its calm waters and powdery, shady beach are ideal for those in need of some quiet time.