With cars that drive on the left and place names you'll recognise from home, Barbados is often known as ‘Little England'. The reality is that this island in the sun is a world away from the UK. Encircled by miles of white beaches and bright topaz sea, it's a paradise for water sports, sailing, or doing nothing at all.
The west coast is a sophisticated haven lined with some of the Caribbean's most luxurious hotels, the south is buzzing with lively nightlife and the east is all dramatic scenery and rolling waves. Head inland to discover vibrant villages, cricket matches and famous rum factories.
Bajan food is delicious, the shopping top notch and the laidback atmosphere infectious. We've chosen some of our favourite beach retreats to make your stay on the island truly amazing. Go to Barbados and discover why it's first choice for so many in search of serious downtime – deluxe style.
Barbados' tropical climate means that temperatures are warm all year round, but the best time to visit is between November and April.
Apart from lying in a hammock and soaking up the sun, there's a wealth of wonderful experiences to be had on Barbados. The Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines are perfect for water sports – and there are plenty on offer: try snorkelling, jet skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, diving, sailing and even surfing in the east. On dry land, capital Bridgetown offers superb shopping and places to eat and drink. You'll find great sports facilities at most hotels and several world class golf courses throughout the island. Take a drive inland and discover rum factories, colourful culture and stunning tropical vistas.
As you'd expect from an island in the sun, seafood takes centre stage in Barbados. The local cuisine is spicy and flavoursome and the fresh tropical fruit has to be seen (and tasted) to be believed. Barbados hotels offer a plethora of delicious cuisine, from buffet restaurants to gourmet eateries, Italian to Chinese and much, much more.
Whether you're looking for a moonlit meal on the beach, a lazy evening listening to a steel band or an all night party, Barbados delivers after dark. St Lawrence Gap in the south rocks until sunrise with lively bars and reggae clubs. Over in the west, things are a little lower-key.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel insurance and vaccinations and / or special medication for your destination. Please consult your GP for advice at least one month ahead of travel. It is essential that you meet the visa and passport requirements for your chosen destination. Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (http://www.fco.gov.uk) website for up to date entry requirements listed by country.