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

5th gear to E brake. Playing at the Bowl, last Friday in Barbados. ? @blakemichel_

A post shared by michael dunphy (@michaeldunphy) on

Located in St. Joseph, Bathsheba Beach is widely considered the best beach in Barbados for surfing and it’s not uncommon to stumble along a local or international surfing competition here. Its mineral-rich waters and foamy surf are known as the “Soup Bowl.” 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 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.