The beautiful beaches of Barbados

By: Sarah Woods

July 24, 2015

Though only slighter larger than the Isle of Wight, pear-shaped Barbados offers plenty of choice for beach lovers. With 97 km of coastline, the beaches of Barbados range from peaceful soft-sand coves and intimate palm-fringed stretches to dramatic rugged coastlines strewn with giant rocks and boulders.

The beautiful beaches of Barbados
Sunset on a beautiful Barbados beach © Tyler Brown/Thinkstock/iStock

As the easternmost isle of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados boasts Martinique, and Saint Lucia as its neighbours to the northwest, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela to the southwest, and Guyana to the southeast. It’s characteristically blessed with one beautiful beach after another – and all of them wholly unique. First time visitors will quickly lose their hearts to the quintessential Caribbean sands set on the calmer west coast, where rustling palms sway gently on powdery sands. These relaxing beaches offer pure clear waters with languid shallows that are perfect for young children. Further out, calm conditions make for ideal kayaking, catamaran cruises, swimming and snorkelling, as well as adventurous open water diving.

The beautiful beaches of Barbados | Batts Rock
Take a boat trip to see Barbados’ gorgeous white sand beaches from the water © Barbados Tourism Authority

Beach babies keen to find the most flawless sands should delve into the southern beaches of Barbados, where idyllic shores are protected by coral reefs. Outlying deep waters offer divers a scuba experience to remember amongst underwater rainbows of tropical sponges. Conditions are exceptional in the island’s gin-clear sparkling waters, and plenty of dive operators run PADI courses or half/full-day dives. Be sure to visit the stunning powdery sands of Foul Bay and Bottom Bay for a typical Caribbean utopia.

The beautiful beaches of Barbados
Soak up the sun on paradisiacal sands in Barbados © Barbados Tourism Authority

The surf becomes more lively as you skirt the coastline to the southeast, with numerous beaches perfect hosts to year-round adventurous water sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing and boogie boarding. For gentler waters try Oistins, Maxwell or Silver Sands beaches and for more exciting surf opt for the reliably named Surfers Point.

The beautiful beaches of Barbados
There are plenty of places to try surfing in Barbados © Barbados Tourism Authority

Over on the east coast, sandy swathes are pounded by the crashing waves of the wind-blown Atlantic: a powerful and dramatic venue for world-class surfers who arrive from all over the world, their boards tucked under their arms. The most famous beaches are Bathsheba, Tent Bay and Conset Bay.

The beautiful beaches of Barbados
Barbados is also home to some dramatic beaches strewn with giant rocks © Barbados Tourism Authority

Equally as dramatic are the coral and sandstone cliffs on the northern coast, soaring over a hundred feet in height from the seabed up towards the clouds. Jagged rocks and coral formations conspire to offer the occasional sheltered cove around tiny patches of arc-shaped sands, while bizarre, wave-carved boulders, weathered by the ocean surf, form other-worldly sculptures – some like twisted spires and pointing fingers shrouded in foaming sea-spray. Though not recommended for swimming, this area is home to some of the most beautiful and atmospheric beaches of Barbados, and a firm favourite among artists and photographers – especially Maycocks Bay and Cove Bay.

Looking for the perfect beach retreat? Book your flights to Barbados today with Virgin Atlantic.


Sarah Woods

Award-winning travel writer, author & broadcaster Sarah Woods has lived, worked and travelled in The Caribbean since 1995. She has visited resort towns, villages and lesser-known islands where she has learned to cook run-down, sampled bush rum, traded coconuts, studied traditional medicine, climbed volcanoes and ridden horses in the sea. Sarah is currently working on a travel documentary about the history of Caribbean cruises.

Categories: Our Places