Bona Fide Barbados: The Real Island Deal

By: andrewbowman

August 19, 2010

Even amongst its Caribbean neighbours, Barbados is especially famed for its warm welcomes and beautiful beaches. It remains the first choice for many looking for the idyllic island getaway, but how can the adventurous, independent minded traveller find the ‘real’ Barbados?


Travel writer and editor Eva Holland has found that the genuine article is easy to find if you know how and where to look. In the second part of this post, she seeks out the unspoiled and authentic Barbados. We asked her how she came to ‘discover’ the island’s charms”¦

Overlooking Bathsheba, Barbados by jenschapter3 on Flickr

Overlooking Bathsheba, Barbados by jenschapter3 on Flickr



Don’t judge an island”¦

“When my Dad took a job posting in Barbados, I knew next to nothing about Caribbean travel. I didn’t know Barbados from Bermuda from Barbuda – and I was content to be ignorant, because, I assumed, there was nothing much in the way of authentic culture to be found in the islands anymore, anyway. It was all clogged beaches and generic all-inclusive packages – right?

Wrong. Three years and several visits later, I’ve come to know and love the island’s food and its music, its quirky fusion of British colonial traditions with modern-day Caribbean culture, the extraordinary beauty of its beaches – both developed and wild – and the fierce local pride of its citizens.


Going local

The good news for travellers with only a short time on the island? My assumptions about Barbados dissolved quickly and easily. It took only a day or two of exploring for me to see how wrong I’d been. The island’s local culture is readily accessible for anyone interested in seeking it out – locally-owned options and off-the-beaten-path alternatives abound for independent travellers.


I’ve been privileged to spend years falling in love with Barbados, but I suspect most visitors will manage to do the same in just a few days.”



Bajan boys on Carlisle Bay pier © Ramunas Bruzas |

Bajan boys on Carlisle Bay pier © Ramunas Bruzas |


Eva’s complete article can be seen here: Island Life: In Search of the Real Barbados.

Photos: jenschapter3 on Flickr, © Ramunas Bruzas | and © Grahamtomlin |

Visit Virgin Atlantic for the best deals on flights to Barbados.

Got any Barbados advice to add to this article? Share them with us in the comments below.

Categories: Our Places