Luxury Multi Centre Holidays
The Caribbean, studded with hugely varied islands, is an ideal place for two-centre or three-centre holiday. The lovely island of Barbados pairs perfectly with the more sedate spice island of Grenada, St Lucia with its fabulous natural landscapes, or the laid-back charm of Antigua. Alternatively, you can enjoy a fantastic city-and- beach combination, pairing the relaxed scene of Barbados with the exciting and vibrant sights and shopping of New York City, or the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas.
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Featured Hotels in Barbados
Luxury Barbados Holidays
Barbados, with its azure seas and powder-white beaches, lives up to everyone's image of a tropical Caribbean island. Yet, gorgeous as its beaches are, the island has so much more to offer than sun, sea and sand. With its rich cultural history, and dramatic interior landscapes, there is more than enough in Barbados to keep visitors entranced for days or weeks on end.
Of course, for many, Barbados will always be about the beach, and it is no surprise that most first-time arrivals head straight for the sand and surf. The magnet for most visitors is the legendary Platinum Coast to the west, the haunt of the rich and famous, lined with luxury hotels, spa hotels and sophisticated restaurants. The smooth, soft sands of the narrow but pretty beaches are lapped by the tranquil, millpond-calm waters of the Caribbean Sea, perfect for swimming.
Each Coast is Different
In fact, however, each of the island's coasts has its own character, and many prefer to follow the local people to the wild beauty of the rugged east coast, buffeted by Atlantic breakers and ideal for surfers. The crashing Atlantic surf has eroded the shoreline, forming steep cliffs, and exposing prehistoric rocks shaped like giant mushrooms. A particular surfing paradise is Bathsheba, where the legendary waves on the boulder-strewn shore have given rise to the name Soup Bowl.
The south coast, like the west, has calm bays with fine beaches, but here there is more development, and the seas can get crowded with surfers. The towering cliffs of the north coast make the beaches less accessible -- to reach most of them it is necessary to climb down a cliff. When you do get there, you find most beaches are deserted and peaceful, and the crashing waves make the coast superb for experienced surfers.
Stunning Coral Reefs
whole island is surrounded by stunning coral reefs, so wherever you are, you will find wonderful diving and snorkelling, to experience the spectacular marine life. If you prefer to stay dry while exploring the under-water world, you can take a submarine trip from Bridgetown, the capital, either by day or by night. The day dives enable you to see an amazing variety of fish and reef life, while the night dives, although there is less marine life, are an even more romantic and awe-inspiring experience, with the submarine lights bringing out the resplendent colours of the reef.
However, the natural beauty of Barbados is certainly not confined to its beaches, and there is plenty to explore inland, notably the Scotland district, in St Andrew's Parish bordering the east coast, so-called because it reminded the early planters of the Scottish Highlands. This district is actually the summit of a long mountain range stretching from Trinidad to Puerto Rico, and this is the only place in the Caribbean where the range rises above the water. It is shaped like a half-bowl cut in half by the Atlantic Ocean, covered with a dense, jungle-like vegetation quite unlike the rest of the island, and bordered by a steep cliff face.
Close by, in the neighbouring, equally mountainous St Thomas Parish, is Welchman Hall Gully, an enchanted glen which was formed by the collapsed roofs of a cave system, of which huge stalactites and stalagmites remain. It is filled with a tangle of exotic vegetation, including the few native Barbados plants that survived the clearances for sugar plantations, and with sightings of wildlife including green monkeys. Just before leaving, visitors can climb the steps of the nutmeg grove to the lookout, and marvel at the magnificent panoramic view across the highlands to the east coast.
Connected to Welchman's Hall Gully is probably the island's top visitor attraction, Harrison's Cove, a jaw-droppingly spectacular stream cave system. A solar-powered tram speeds you through awesome caverns and crystal rooms, past clear subterranean streams and cascading waterfalls, allowing two stops to inspect the stunning features at close range. Highlights include the Great Hall, a colossal cave displaying astonishing stalactites and stalagmites, and the Rotunda Room with its beautiful cream-coloured formations.
Safe and Peaceful
This glorious island, lying furthest to the east of the Lesser Antilles group, escapes the hurricane problems experienced by other Caribbean islands, giving it a year-round appeal. Its stable and law-abiding infrastructure and relaxed, welcoming ambience make it one of the most peaceful and safe islands in the Caribbean, so it's ideal for the independent traveller to explore. Whether you are seeking adventure and excitement, or simply a tranquil island escape, Barbados certainly has it all.