Bermuda: what to see and do. It’s all about pink sandy beaches, five-star resorts and colonial charm
December 4, 2015 | By: High50
Bermuda pink beach. Photo Bermuda Tourism 620

Bermuda’s beautiful pink beaches

Why go

Bermuda is a British colony in the North Atlantic, an archipelago of islands boasting a balmy all-year-round climate. Its famous pink sand beaches and old-world charm, glammed up with five-star American-style resorts, golf courses and spas, has made it an attractive high-end destination. Bermuda is surrounded by a coral reef, and its rich marine habitat, numerous shipwrecks and a network of caves make it one of the world’s best spots for diving and snorkelling.

The island has also long been a celebrity favourite: Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have a home there, the Clintons and Beyoncé have been spotted on vacation, Mark Twain called it heavenly and John Lennon decamped to Bermuda to write Double Fantasy. You’ll find it safe, welcoming and laidback, discreetly affluent with a hint of English eccentricity. And the fresh fish, seafood and signature rum cocktails are out of this world.

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What to do
Horseback riding. Photo bermuda Tourism 620

Horseback riding along the beach

Relax on those pink sand beaches by all means but make time for activities because the watersports – on the calm, warm azure sea – are unbeatable. Try parasailing, waterskiing and paddle-boarding, especially from the beaches of Southampton Parish.

There’s also fabulous hiking and horse-riding (try Spicelands Equestrian Centre in Warwick for dawn and sunset beach rides). Seek out beautiful St Catherine’s Beach on the north-eastern tip. Hidden in a coral-ringed cove, it’s so quiet you can spend hours there without seeing another soul.

Where to stay
Bermuda. Cambridge Beaches pool

Cambridge Beaches, a collection of beachside cottages with infinity pools

The five-star resorts are world-class. Try the pink-hued Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Elbow Beach, which has an oceanfront spa, or Tucker’s Point, with its croquet lawn and infinity pools.

Want something quirkier? Cottage Colonies are a Bermudan tradition: small resorts with clubhouses, pools, private beaches and cottages in landscaped grounds. They have kitchenettes and housekeeping service, where a maid prepares breakfast for you, setting out flowers and daily papers before you get up. Some offer spa facilities and evening entertainment, with live music, outdoor movie screenings and dancing. Cottage Colonies worth a try include Cambridge Beaches, The Fourways Inn and The St George’s Club.

Where to eat

Food is excellent on the island and you can expect lots of fresh fish and seafood. Dine with your feet in the sand at the many beach bars, cafés and restaurants: grab a wahoo fish sandwich at The Beach House at Blackbeard’s (off the beaten track in a secluded cove but worth it) or posh it up at Café Lido at Elbow Beach, which has one of the best sea views anywhere on the island.

Getting around

Car hire is not allowed but mopeds and bicycles can be rented, taxis are plentiful and the public transport system is easy and super-efficient (you’ll appreciate the fierce aircon on the buses and ferries).

When to go

Bermuda is blessed with almost year-round sunshine but April, May, October and November are the best months, with temperatures in the mid to high twenties and almost zero chance of rain.

ermuda. Port Royal golf course. Photo Bermuda Tourism

Port Royal golf course, overlooking the ocean

Three things we like
  • Bermudans are friendly and hospitable, sure, but what really stands out is their exquisite – and very British – manners. Despite the fact that tourism is 85 per cent American, you’re more likely to hear a crisp ‘good morning’ than ‘have a nice day’.
  • Proper afternoon tea is popular. Climb Gibbs Hill Lighthouse for sweeping views then enjoy lavish cakes in its elegant Tea Room.
  • No trip would be complete without a boat excursion or five. Sailing, powerboats, fishing charters, catamarans, glass-bottomed reef explorers – there’s even a nosy-parker tour boat star-spotting the homes of the rich and famous. A boat trip is the best way to experience the beauty of Bermuda.
Something we don’t like

Watch out for Portuguese Men o’ War. These nasty jellyfish get cleared from the resort beaches but not the public ones, so beware. One more thing: most groceries are imported so there high prices in the supermarket on everything from toothpaste to apples.

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Don’t miss

Take time to wander. Bermuda is home to gorgeous architecture including white-washed colonial buildings, pastel-painted cottages and crumbling forts. Tropical hibiscus blooms everywhere in vibrant red, pink and yellow.

The capital, Hamilton, is worth a visit for a look around the historic settlement of St George, Britain’s oldest surviving town in the New World, now a World Heritage site. There’s also a cathedral and a cenotaph. And did we mention the shopping? The boutiques and galleries are utterly charming.

Clear a day for the Royal Naval Dockyard in the West End: swim with dolphins, see the maritime museum, dine al fresco and shop in the craft market selling art, pottery and handmade jewellery by Bermudan artisans.

Once the only way to get around, horse-drawn carriages are a romantic way to tour the island by night. Trips take about 30 minutes: hop on at Front Street in Hamilton.

Travelling with family

Kids will love the watersports and caves and Ferry Reach Park offers plenty of exploring with old forts, woodland, nature trails, a lake and a shallow bay that’s great for snorkelling.

Pink House. Photo Bermuda Tourism 620

Pretty pastel-painted houses are typical

High50 insider tips
  • Cricket may be the Bermudan pastime but golf is huge and every course has stunning sea views. There are several public courses and most of the hotel resorts have them too. The Mid-Ocean Club is ranked among the top 50 links in the world.
  • Christmas is a fantastic time to visit. The weather is warm, the decorations are up and there are lots of festive events, including a spectacular boating parade.
  • Bermuda is dotted with ‘moongates’: semi-circle sculptures and doorways thought to bestow good fortune and happiness on couples who walk through them.
  • Dress code is beachy-casual but some of the restaurants and resorts can be smarter in the evening, so think smart-ish resortwear: collared shirts, dresses and absolutely no flip-flops.
Need to know
  • The language spoken is English, though you may hear a smattering of Portuguese.
  • The currency is Bermuda dollar (BD$).
  • Flight time is six and a half hours from London.
  • No visa is required, but accommodation must be booked prior to arrival.
  • There’s no sales tax so it’s a shopping paradise.