As our British winter weather makes me want to snuggle under a blanket with a big cup of hot chocolate my mind keeps wandering back to an amazing few weeks spent on the beautiful isle of Bermuda. Bermuda is a little gem in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is of course well known for its magical triangle, mysterious disappearing ships and knee length shorts, but what I’d love to tell you about is its hidden treasures. The little known private beaches and the way to spend an hour just watching dolphins play.
Landing in Bermuda is a treat in itself, you fly in over the crystal clear turquoise water as it shimmers and sparkles in the sun. But you can find the real magic just a little way off the beaten track. While the tourists flock to Horseshoe Bay, which has been voted the 8th best beach in the world, I have always preferred finding the quieter, lesser known beautiful spots.
FINDING THE BEST BEACHES
I have been lucky enough to visit Bermuda a few times and my favourite beach was a little cove at the north point of the island called Tobacco Bay. There’s a small beach bar, the crystal clear water stays at waist height long enough for you to wade out to the rocks, and just beyond the sand the snorkelling is incredible. BUT on my last visit my little bay was pipped to the post and a new little gem was found. If you carry on walking past the entrance to Tobacco Bay, towards the Fort of St Catherine, and St Catherine’s roaming beach, just to the left down some little uneven steps is an even tinier alcove, by the name of Achilles Bay. It is small enough to only fit a few chairs and sun loungers and has a tiny ramshackle wooden bar at one end, which if you’re in need of rehydration makes the best frozen Daiquiri I have ever tasted.
This beach was my perfect little slice of paradise. Nothing but clear water, conversation and the baking Bermuda sun. To get to these pretty havens, take the bus to St George. Once off the bus they are about a ten minute walk uphill past the old ruined church, past a golf course and then you will round a corner to the view of Tobacco Bay. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
DOLPHIN WATCHING IN BERMUDA
One of my favourite hours last summer was spent sitting watching beautiful dolphins play and show off. A short ferry ride from Bermuda’s capital Hamilton takes you across the blue water to Royal Naval Dockyard, home to the historic national museum of Bermuda and Dolphin Quest.
Of course you can pay a fair few dollars to partake in one of the trainer programmes or dolphin encounters, but you can also see them for a lot cheaper. If you pay the US $15 entry fee to the museum and Commissioners House you can wander into the Dolphin Quest area, pick a bench and observe these beautiful creatures for as long as you like. I happened to be there over the lunch break from activities so got to chat to one of the trainers and hear all about the gorgeous mammals she works with every day, about their characters and quirks, all while watching them flip and play.
AN UNUSUAL BUS STOP
I can’t write about Bermuda without telling you about my favourite bus stop in the world…..yes you did hear that correctly, this girl has a favourite bus stop! Almost bang in the centre of the island sits Flatts village which is home to my bus stop, the Bermuda Aquarium and some of the most beautiful little boats you have ever seen! The aquarium itself is most definitely worth a visit- there is a turtle pool before you even pay your entry fee and it is home to so many beautiful creatures.
Just next to the aquarium is a bridge that sits over the entrance to Harrington Sound, a big lake like body of water. Right beneath this bridge is where the currents from the ocean and the Sound meet, so you can literally see the tide change direction and everything that is in the water move with the current. So while waiting for your bus, which is by the turtle pool, you can lean over the bridge in the glorious Bermuda sunshine and watch all sorts swim by. I have seen beautiful turquoise parrot fish, big hogfish, the prettiest angel fish and even a few big rays pass by.
Other Bermuda treats include getting on a boat from St George’s all the way around the north side of the island to Hamilton to see the perfect pastel coloured houses from a distance (ferry schedules). And if you happen to be in Bermuda over the summer try to get tickets to Cup Match, the annual cricket game between the two sides of the island. I’m not a big cricket fan, but the Bermudans are wonderful hosts with an insane amount of fried food, rum and fun! The game gets quite competitive, but pick a team and get yourself comfortable with a ‘dark and stormy’ cocktail.
Of course there are so many other beautiful little spots I’d love to write about, lots of incredible things to do and see as well as more beautiful beaches to lay on. But these have been a few of my jewels, and my secret to discovering Bermuda is to venture just a little further away from the pages of your guide book.
Have you ever been to Bermuda? We’d love to hear your stories, tips or questions in the comment section below!
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