With spectacular beaches, great restaurants and a warm Bajan charm, Barbados is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean.
When I think back to my adventures around the globe, there’s one part of the world where some of my happiest memories were made - The Caribbean. After previous trips to Antigua, St Kitts and Cuba, I was excited to escape another painful UK winter and touchdown in sunny Barbados.
Many visit the island for its beaches and guaranteed warm weather, but rather than R&R, I wanted to explore as much of the island as I could. I wanted to snorkel in the crystal clear waters, explore the caves, venture to the rugged east coast, sail into the sunset, learn about the island’s history, sample the local rum and eat where the locals eat.
Unsurprisingly, it turned into a busy week, packed full of highlights. In terms of views though, there’s one place in particular that I keep thinking back to - Crane Beach.
Located on the southeast of the island, Crane Beach is my favourite beach in Barbados. So what makes it so spectacular? A combination of its dramatic cliffs, tropical palm trees, beautifully soft white sand, bright turquoise waters and impressive rolling waves.
While Barbados has plenty of great beaches for swimming, the waves and strong currents at Crane Beach make it better suited to bodyboarding. When I visited I was mesmerised by the daredevils clambering up the rocks to one side and hurtling themselves into the water from a great height. The cliff jumping looked exhilarating to say the least, but I decided to opt for a more relaxing activity – sunbathing on the beach with a pina colada in my hand!
Temperatures were around 28 degrees when I visited, so kicking back on a sun lounger with the incredible view of the bright ocean, the sounds of the waves crashing down and the taste of a tropical cocktail seemed perfect to me!
While you can reach Crane Beach via a path, it’s also accessible from The Crane Beach Resort - the Caribbean’s oldest continually operating hotel. Perched on the cliff, with gardens, swimming pools and a great spa, this hotel is ideal for a special trip to Barbados. I’d book it for the views of Crane Beach alone!
I timed my visit to Crane Beach for a Sunday, and was lucky enough to experience the hotel’s Gospel Brunch. Hearing the voices of a group of gospel singers at breakfast time was a memorable experience. Along with a standard buffet of pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast, I loved listening to some gospel anthems, and couldn’t resist clapping along.
Although there’s a section of Crane Beach for hotel guests, you can still turn up on the day and rent sun loungers and umbrellas. Plus there’s the option to order cocktails or food from the beach bar. If you’re on a budget, you could drive there and take a picnic to eat on the beach. It felt like there were lots of locals doing exactly that! They were having a great time, enjoying fresh pineapple and snacks, before nipping into the water to cool off!
If you are looking for other things to do near Crane Beach, I’d recommend Ositin’s Fish Fry. Each Friday, the small fishing village of Oistins is transformed into a mini festival. You’ll smell the scent of tasty grilled seafood in the air from the moment you arrive, and be amazed when you see the mountains of grilled tuna, flying fish, swordfish and other ocean delicacies being BBQed.
While most people travel there for the food (which is cheap, delicious and plentiful!) there’s a party vibe too. I loved watching singers and rappers take to the stage, and I’ll admit I threw a few shapes to some classic tunes pumped out by the local DJs too.
I’d also recommend driving to the island’s capital, Bridgetown, to experience one of Barbados’ main treasures (other than Rihanna) - Mount Gay Rum. Any trip to the Caribbean is likely to involve a fair amount of rum, but to learn about this world-class rum in its homeland is very special! You can book onto a tour where you’ll learn about the brand’s history, how the rum is produced and of course sample plenty of varieties too. On the tour I did, we started with rum punch and ended with tastings of three of the distillery’s top sellers. It’s the perfect way to truly soak up Barbados’ spirit.
From mornings on the beach, to afternoons sipping rum punch and evenings enjoying the local food scene, these tips will make your holiday to Barbados truly unforgettable.
About the author
With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the pint-sized Brit behind top travel blog Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the most incredible spots on the planet. Her favourite thing about travel blogging? Inspiring others to follow in her footsteps!