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Bottom Bay, Barbados - Paradiesstrand auf der karibischen Insel Barbados., Bild: Simon Dannhauer/shutterstock

Barbados – between sugar cane and coconut palms

The island of Barbados, located about nine and a half hours flight from Germany on the eastern edge of the Caribbean , is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world and is the dream destination par excellence for every sun-hungry beach lover.

Compared to most other islands in the region, it has a fairly flat topography as it is not of volcanic origin and is therefore not only suitable for soaking up the sun, but also for activities such as cycling or hiking. Barbados is famous for its white sandy beaches, turquoise and clear waters, delicious coconuts and an unbeatable rum punch. Despite all these enticing features, Barbados is a relatively untouched island by tourism, with most visitors coming from the UK.

Facts and figures about Barbados

Red Clock Tower Barbados
Famous red bell tower on top of the main guardhouse in Garrison Savannah. UNESCO Garrison Historic Area Bridgetown, Barbados, Image: Filip Fuxa/shutterstock

The island of Barbados is a sovereign island state and part of the Lesser Antilles island chain, which also includes St. Lucia and Grenada , for example. Until 1966, Barbados was still a colony of the United Kingdom and the traces of colonial rule are still present in many places today, the majority of the population are descendants of former slaves and England is an important foreign trade partner.

The capital of Barbados is Bridgetown, where about a third of the almost three hundred thousand Barbadians live. The official language on the island is English and it is paid with the Barbados dollar. For one euro you get an average of about 2.24 euros, the price level for food on the island is about the same as our German one. The time difference to Germany is 5 hours. From German-speaking countries, Barbados can currently only be reached directly from Frankfurt am Main, otherwise a change is usually necessary, often in London or Miami.

Barbados has warm temperatures of around 26 degrees Celsius all year round, and due to its proximity to the equator, there are no classic seasons here. However, there is a rainy season that lasts from May to October, during which considerable precipitation can fall in a very short time. For tourists, the dry season is therefore the more attractive time to travel, especially since there is also hurricane season from June to September and the tropical cyclones, which regularly cause great damage.

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Rum and sea

Due to its flat topography without the mountain-like elevation in the middle typical of islands of volcanic origin, Barbados is ideal for the cultivation of sugar cane with its year-round tropical temperatures, and so the plantations in the interior of the island extend as far as the eye can see. On the roads that lead through the interior of the island, you will often find so-called rumshacks, small shops where the locals sell their home-distilled rum. If you don’t quite trust these often quite rudimentary-looking shops, or if you want to take a look behind the scenes of rum production, the Mount Gay Rum Tour is the right place for you. Here, visitors learn all about the path from sugar cane to rum and the extraordinary historical significance of rum for Barbados.

Port of Barbados
The port of Barbados, Image: Milan Portfolio

In the interior of the island you will also find the Harrison Caves, an impressive cave system with cathedral-like rooms, rushing waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes and otherworldly-looking rock formations.

Barbados is surrounded by white sandy beaches that defy description. Even though it’s hard to find a favorite among the beaches, Bottom Bay Beach is definitely one of the most beautiful of its kind, because here you will find everything you would expect from a Caribbean dream beach: white sandy beach, coconut palms that provide shade, crystal clear water and impressive rock formations.

An exception to these beaches are the so-called Animal Flower Caves, which can be found in the far north of the island. Here, the sea has washed huge caves into the karst rock, at the bottom of which sea anemones, the so-called animal flowers, live in the shallow water.

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Barbados active

Even though most visitors come to Barbados to forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life on the beach, there are some excellent things to do on the island. While snorkeling in the bathtub-warm water, colorful fish, sea anemones and sea turtles can be discovered. If you dare to go a little further afield while scuba diving, you will get to see the whole diversity of the Caribbean Sea.

If you prefer to stay on land, you can discover the island on a bike tour, small cafés and restaurants on the roadside invite you to linger in the shade of the palm trees if it gets too warm. A curious feature in Barbados is the so-called Rihanna Drive, the street where the world-famous singer grew up. Many fans come here and take pictures of themselves with the street sign to show that they were at the birthplace of their idol.

Culinary delights in Barbados

Rest and relaxation in Barbados, Image: Svitlana Minazova / shutterstock

The Caribbean island of Barbados has a variety of great food options in store for its visitors. The most authentic insight into the cuisine of the locals can be found in the small restaurants a little away from the big resort complexes and it often happens that the hospitable Barbadosians invite you to try the entire menu.

Those looking for an upscale experience will find it at the excellent seafood restaurants The Cliff, Daphne’s or Cin Cin, all of which offer freshly caught fish from the island’s waters. Travelers can get a different kind of breakfast at the Gospel Breakfast at The Crane Resort, one of the oldest resort hotels in Barbados. Every Sunday, local church choirs perform here during breakfast and present their gospel songs.