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Barbados holidays

There’s a reason Barbados is Britain’s favourite Caribbean island. Each coast tells a different story, from the wild, surfy Atlantic side to the dazzling ‘platinum’ west – with the sugar-soft sand, blue-as-can-be sea and lofty palms that dreams are made of. It all trims an island small and friendly enough to fully explore - fishing villages, plantations, ports and all. Speak to one of our holiday experts to start planning your Barbados holiday.

  • Flight time
  • 9h
  • From London
  • Currency
  • BD$
  • Barbadian dollar
  • Time zone
  • GMT -4h
  • Capital
  • Bridgetown
  • Language
  • English
  • Religion
  • Christian

Package holidays to Barbados

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5 facts about Barbados

  • Barbados is the birthplace of rum.
  • The only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches.
  • The national dish of Barbados is Cou Cou served with Flying Fish.
  • Mount Hillaby is the highest point on the island at 1,115 ft, located in the parish of St Andrew.
  • One of the top attractions is Harrison’s Cave, a maze of underground caves and streams.
White sand beach with turquoise sea at Brownes Beach, Carlisle Bay The Platinum Coast
2 cocktails at a Rum Distillery Sample the finest Bajan rum
View of Farley Hill National Park in Barbados Pack your hiking boots
Colourful buildings near the Promenada at Bridgetown marina Colonial buildings & buzzing local culture
Couple watching a bbq chef at Oistins Fish Fry Culinary capital of the CaribbeanPhoto credit: Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

Where is Barbados?

Barbados is an island nation located in the southeastern Caribbean, northeast of Venezuela and to the east of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Barbados is the easternmost island of the Caribbean and is entirely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, untouched by the Caribbean Sea.

Airports in Barbados

Grantley Adams International (BGI)

How to get to Barbados

A typical flight time from London to the Barbados is 8.5-9 hours. We have holidays with direct flights from London and Manchester. You can also fly indirectly from Edinburgh or Belfast. Call us for other flying options.

When to go to Barbados

Barbados gets over 3000 hours of sunshine each year, with average temperatures between 26 and 35°C and cooling trade winds. Peak season covers the driest months from December – April, where the temperature tends to be a degree or two cooler than the rest of the year. March is usually the sunniest month. Though hurricane season is officially between June and November, the island is rarely directly affected due to its easterly location outside of the main string of Caribbean islands. Rainfalls are heavy but short-lived and soon followed by sun, referred to by locals as ‘liquid sunshine’. In the sea, water temperatures are nice and warm, averaging around 25°C. Our best time to visit guide can help you decide when is best to visit Barbados.

Best hotels in Barbados

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Average weather in Barbados

Jan - Jun
Jul - Dec
  • Temperature (°C)*
  • Rainfall (Inches)*
*Daily average based on previous 5 years

Barbados culture & holiday FAQ

There’s a buzzing festival culture over here, with the biggest event being Crop Over – a summer celebration of music, food and Bajan heritage that climaxes with the Grand Kadooment street carnival on Emancipation Day: calypso and soca pump from speakers, colourfully costumed dancers parade down the street and the atmosphere is absolutely electric. The Holetown Festival in February is also worth experiencing, marking the anniversary of the first settlers on the island with music, sport and food and events. Barbados Reggae Festival has been making an annual appearance for over a decade, with beach parties, cruises and the famous Reggae on the Hill night at the Farley National Park.

Calypso music has been passed down to Bajans from African slaves and has its roots in Trinidad. It was revived here when the Crop Over Festival started up in the seventies and you’ll find it booming from beach bar speakers and filling the streets during festivals. Soca and reggae can also be heard all over the island, with ragga-soca being a fusion of the two (not as fast as soca, but a not as slow as reggae).

Look out for the huge Reggae Festival that takes place every year with events all over the island. There’s also ringbang, which is mixes music from all over the Caribbean and tuk bands play rukatuk, which takes influence from British regimental folk songs and African heritage and is played on drums and a whistle – often heard at festivals and the Oistins Fish Fry.

Served in restaurants and beach shacks all over the island, cou cou and flying fish is the national dish made from cornmeal, okra and flying fish stewed in gravy. Flying fish features heavily in Bajan cuisine, as do wahoo, snapper, tuna, mahi-mahi (sometimes called dolphin), often deep-fried in breadcrumbs with spicy seasoning. There’s also a lot of traditional West Indian rice and peas on the menu, as well as the famous Barbados macaroni pie. Look out for cutters, too – a salt bread bun filled with fish, ham or egg, often served in rum shacks and beach huts.

Sweet treats include Conkies – traditionally served on Independence Day and made with cornmeal, sweet potato, pumpkin and coconut, wrapped up in banana leaves. Around Christmastime, Bajan black cake stems from figgy pudding, adapted with Bajan twists like a good glug of rum. Lemon meringue pie, cheesecake and Bajan custard are other favourites, and you’ll also find a lot of fresh fruit including coconuts, mangoes and passion fruits.

Mauby is the ultimate refreshment on a hot Barbados day, made from Mauby tree bark, cinnamon, orange peel and nutmeg and served with ice. Some like to mix it with coconut water, rum punch and beer. The beer of choice is Banks, which is brewed in Christ Church and has been a Barbados staple since the sixties.

Gallons of rum punch is mixed together daily, incorporating fresh juices and rums like Mount Gay, which is made on the island. While Mount Gay is the most famous Bajan rum, having been distilled here since the beginning of the 18th century, other local brands include St Nicolas Abbey and Rum Sixty Six from the Foursquare distillery.

Coconut water, mango juice and ginger ale are among the favourite soft drinks, and the drinking water here is some of the cleanest on the planet. Owing to the big British influence on the island, afternoon tea is a big thing in the hotels and plantation houses here, which import the best teas and coffees from all over the world.

Cricket is Barbados’ great love and national sport, having been introduced by the English and played here since 1892. Village greens dotted all over the island host local club matches, families play beach cricket in the evenings and international test matches take place in Bridgetown’s Kensington Oval throughout the year. Herbert House Fontabelle in Christ Church is home to the Cricket Museum, where you can see memorabilia from the early 20th century and learn just how important the gracious game is to this island.

Another Brit-influenced sport is polo, with clubs at Apes Hill, Holder’s Hill and Lion Castle. The season runs from December – May with a number of national and international events including the Mount Gay Regatta Polo, the Cheshire Tour and International Ladies. Horse racing is popular too, having been based at the historic Garrison Savannah near Bridgetown since 1845.

From high-end boutiques to the fish markets up in St. Peter, there are all kinds of shops to explore around the island. The hub of designer stores is Holetown, where the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre has big brands like Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and Michael Kors, as well as some fantastic art galleries and jewellery shops. The Cave Shepherd department store is an excellent spot for duty-free bargains.

For hand-crafted souvenirs, head to the Chattel shopping villages in Holetown and Saint Lawrence Gap, where brightly painted Barbadian huts stock t-shirts, ornaments and art. Farmers markets are hosted all over Barbados, with favourites including the Holders Market in St. Michael and the Hastings Market in Christ Church. To support local artists, look out for the Best of Barbados Gift Shop and the Earthworks Pottery shop in Saint Thomas where you can buy paintings and ceramics created by some seriously talented Bajans.

Our destinations in Barbados


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