From diving with a yellow submarine to sailing around the island on a luxury catamaran, here is your ultimate one week itinerary for Barbados, one of the jewels of the Caribbean
There are a few places around the world synonymous with beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters a thousand shades of blue, glorious sunshine all year long and a level of luxury rarely seen anywhere else, yet Barbados has it all.
With hotels like Sandy Lane, without a doubt one of the most prestigious in the world, to fine dining at The Cliff restaurant, it’s easy to think Barbados is inaccessible to us mere mortals. Yet after spending a week here there’s a lot more to this paradise island than meets the eye – it really is feast for all five senses.
Not content sitting in a hotel or an all-inclusive for a week knocking back the cocktails, I wanted to experience as much of Barbados as possible.
I really wanted to immerse all my senses to get under the skin of Barbados and to see what this country is really like. I didn’t just want to see the country but I wanted to feel it too, to taste it and to hear it.
So, with that in mind, if you’re looking for that full body experience of this jewel in the Caribbean, here is a one week itinerary for Barbados. Just get ready for one of the best weeks of your life!
Morning – Take a long walk on one of the many beautiful beaches
To start your ultimate one week itinerary in Barbados, the first thing you’re going to want to do is head straight to the beach and see the colour of the sea. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen so many different shades of blue than in Barbados. The beaches are famous for a reason so get yourself down to Mullins Beach, grab yourself a sun lounger and feel yourself start to unwind.
Afternoon – Explore Harrison’s Cave and learn all about the history of the island
Right in the heart of the country, Harrison’s Cave is where it all began in Barbados. Located in the central uplands of the island, this crystallized, limestone cave is characterized by flowing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns of stalagmites and stalactites. At Harrison’s Cave you can learn all about how Barbados was formed as an island, and wandering around these caves really makes you feel like you’re an explorer for the day!
Evening – Head to the Waterfront Cafe and check out Bridgetown
Head on over to the Waterfront Café in Bridgetown for some of the best home cooked food in town. The food here is far from fancy but damn it’s good. The rum punch and piña coladas get a special shout out here too. Also, it’s great walking around the colourful capital of Bridgetown to get a feel for what this place is like. In one word – vibrant!
Morning – Jump in an island safari and drive around the island
Whenever I get to a new country I always like exploring it as much of it as possible to orientate myself so I know where I’m going. The perfect way to do this is with Dwayne from Island Safari. This is a safari tour all around Barbados where you’ll learn all about the history of the island and where some of the best spots are too. Dwayne, one of the tour guides, is the most enthusiastic person ever and he knows so much about his country. Also, as you’ll quickly find with all tours in Barbados, there’s an abundance of rum punch.
Afternoon – Step back in time at St. Nicholas Abbey
Continuing with the beautiful views, in the afternoon head up to St Nicholas Abbey in the north of the island. Dating back to 1658, this is one of the oldest properties on the island; it’s also one of the most beautiful too. Here you can have a sandwich and a rum punch on a quaint veranda on the edge of a forest – it really is like stepping back in time and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
Evening – Eat at Juma’s in Speightstown
Juma’s is the pick of the bunch when it comes to restaurants in Speightstown. Overlooking the sea, Juma’s is a cross between hearty classics like bbq ribs and chicken wings and amazing seafood with fresh fish every evening. Also, the wine selection here is top notch without being too expensive.
Morning – Go diving with a sunken yellow submarine
Barbados is renowned all around the world for it’s diving, so if you’re up for an underwater adventure then go diving with Reefers and Wreckers. There are no fewer than 17 wrecks all around the island, and even though I only managed to see three of them, one was the best I’ve ever seen – a sunken yellow submarine. How many places can you see that!?
If you’re not into your diving then there’s also some world-class snorkelling in Barbados too. Down at Carlisle Bay in the south of the island you can snorkel with turtles, and there are a number of wrecks there too. Either way, an underwater adventure is a must while you’re in Barbados.
Afternoon – Find a beach bar and relax for the afternoon
If you’ve been diving or snorkelling you’re going to be feeling pretty tired, so it’s best to find yourself a little beach shack for the afternoon and polish off a few rum punches. Mullins Beach Bar is one of the most popular on the west coast, and The Cliff is one of the most prestigious. Down south, Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar is a fantastic choice.
Evening – Eat at Fish Pot on the north west coast
Without a doubt one of the best restaurants on the island is Fish Pot. Located up on the north west coast, this is a really cute restaurant right on the water that specialises in fish and seafood (hence the name). One of their signature dishes is the tuna, and if you’ve got time then grab a drink on the veranda afterwards and take it the sounds of the ocean.
Morning – Start the day standup paddle boarding
Most hotels have their own standup paddleboards, so take one out for a spin in the morning before the sun gets too hot. I stayed at Port Ferdinand and they had free water taxis to St Peter’s Bay on the west coast. There you could use the paddleboards and cruise along the coast searching for wrecks and turtles. Honestly, it is such a relaxing way to start the day. Oh, and you get to work on your tan too! Win win!
Afternoon – Hear the waves crashing at the Animal Flower Cave
At the very north tip of Barbados you’ll find Animal Flower Cave. This place gets its name from the tiny Christmas tree worms (they look like Christmas trees) that live in the cave, but it’s more popular for the incredibly dramatic scenery where there’s a window to the rough seas beyond. This is wild Barbados and you really can hear the waves crash on the rocks right below you. Also, just above the cave mouth there’s a restaurant with some of the best views around – the Animal Flower Cave is well worth visiting for this restaurant alone!
Evening – Try affordable luxury at St Peter’s Bay
Forget Sandy Lane where you pay $2,000 a night just to stay there; head to St Peter’s Bay instead. Again on the west coast, St Peter’s Bay is affordable luxury. The restaurant is set in gorgeous gardens right on the beach and the food is top class too. The seared, herb-crusted tuna was one of the best meals I had in Barbados and that’s really saying something!
Morning – Get lost in Hunte’s Gardens and feel like you’re in a Dickens novel
Mr Hunte is a genius, because either knowingly or unknowingly, he has created a real-life time machine. Stepping into Hunte’s Gardens is like stepping back in time, and here you can walk around an old 17th century style garden with lots of little hideaways where you can pause and watch the world go by. At the top of the gardens in the house where Mr Hunte lives and he’s an antique himself. Just ask him to join you for a glass of rum (he has his own rum of course) and listen to his stories from a bygone era. Like is like stepping straight into a Dickens novel!
Afternoon – Learn all about liquid gold on the Mount Gay Rum Tour
You can’t come to Barbados without trying a few different types of rum, but by far the most famous is Mount Gay. At the Mount Gay Distillery you can learn all about how they make this liquid gold. As soon as you walk through the door they hand you a rum punch (as they do everywhere here) and then they take you through their range of rums. Be warned: you will have a very good time here!
Evening – Immerse your senses at Oistins Fish Fry
Oistins is like nowhere else in Barbados. Every Friday the place comes alive with everyone on the island heading here for Ostins Fish Fry, a huge grill party right by the beach. With extremely cheap fish and dangerously strong rum punch, Oistins is a hit with locals and tourists alike, and it was an amazing experience immersing myself in the festival atmosphere with live music and dancers.
Morning – Smell fresh chocolate being produced at Agapey’s
Even though Barbados isn’t known for producing chocolate, at Agapey they’re breaking that mold by creating some of the finest chocolate in the whole Caribbean. You can pop in and buy a few bars, or you can book a tour and learn all about how they go from bean to bar. It’s kinda a given, but their best chocolates are the ones with a liquid rum centre (trust me on that one!)
Afternoon – Live the life of luxury on board the Seaduced catamaran
Do you want to go on the boat party to end all boat parties? Then make sure you check out Seaduced! They run luxury catamaran trips and while you’re on board you’ll be treated like you own it. This is one of the best ways of seeing Barbados from a different perspective and it’s a great way to meet some fellow sailors. While on board Seaduced we stopped off at a couple of places to snorkel just as the sun was setting before enjoying the free bar long into the night.
Evening – Watch the sunset with a gin and tonic in hand
With Seaduced the party goes long into the evening too. As the sun sets, grab yourself a G&T and really feel yourself start to unwind. Not only did I enjoy the amazing free bar (the guys at Seaduced make a damn good cocktail too), but the food is surprisingly good too – better than some restaurants in fact! This really is an amazing way to end the day and was by far one of my highlights on my one week itinerary in Barbados.
Morning – Have a breakfast like nowhere else in the world
If you’re in Barbados over a weekend then make a reservation for the gospel breakfast at The Crane Hotel. The Crane is the oldest continually running hotel in the whole Caribbean and it is just simply stunning. Every Sunday morning, from 10am till 11am, they have their gospel breakfast, a breakfast buffet with gospel singers serenading as you eat. It’s very unique and an amazing way to start the day!
Afternoon – Relax and reflect on the perfect week
As I’ve already mentioned, The Crane is one of the most beautiful hotels in Barbados – the views from the balcony overlooking the beach are just to die for. As you’re already at the hotel, spend some time down on Crane beach soaking up the sun or by the five-tiered pools. Very luxurious without costing you an arm and a leg. In my eyes, this is such a wonderful place to end your stay in Barbados and to reflect on that perfect holiday in paradise.
Places to Stay in Barbados – Port Ferdinand
While I was in Barbados I stayed in the beautiful Port Ferdinand. Located on the north west coast of Barbados, this is the perfect place if you’re looking to get away from it all.
At Port Ferdinand you can rent one-bed, two-bed or three-bed apartments and each comes with stunning views overlooking the port. Also, there is a swimming pool with beach bar, restaurant on site, kids and adults games rooms, and a gym too.
One of the best things about staying at Port Ferdinand was the free water taxi along the coast to St Peter’s Bay. This was always a highlight of the day and such a good way of getting around! Also, Port Ferdinand was perfectly situated near to the Animal Flower Cave in the north and St Nicholas’s Abbey with some of the best views of the east coast of the island too.
Barbados really is a place that has it all and more. The thing is, even though I’ve written about my perfect one week itinerary in Barbados, I could’ve easily made it two weeks – there really is so much to do on the island!
Whatever you decide to do, whether that’s relax on all the beautiful beaches or pack in as much as I did, you’re guaranteed to have a holiday to remember!
If you’re looking for more information on Barbados then check out Wanderlust Chloe’s amazing travel guide to Barbados to help you out.
My trip to Barbados was in association with Visit Barbados flying with British Airways as a part of their ‘5 Senses Campaign’ truly immersing yourself in all the country has to offer. As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.
Have you ever been to Barbados before? Is so, what did you think of it and what are some of your favourite things to do on the island? Let me know what you got up in the comments below!
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