In Barbados there’s plenty more than just sun, sea and sand, says Sarah Marshall.
Everyone knows Barbados has beautiful beaches, warm sea and lively nightlife. But what’s the point in following the crowd and sticking to the traditional itinerary?
Beyond the obvious box tickers, this Caribbean island – currently on the UK government’s green list – has plenty of unusual distractions.
Pay respects at the grave of a supersonic jet, sip rum in monastic cloisters or go underground by hanging out in caves.
1. Strut along the Barbados Boardwalk
Fringing 1.6km of beach front on the island’s south coast, running from Camelot to Accra Beach, Barbados Boardwalk is the Caribbean’s answer to the flashy promenades of LA and Miami Joggers run at dawn as waves slap the shore, and at night couples take a stroll in the moonlight.
2. Chill out at Harrison’s Cave
When the heat of the day becomes too much, a trip to limestone chambers below hills in the central uplands is a refreshing escape. Wander through a sculpture park of stalagmites and stalactites, listening to flowing streams and the echo of your voice.
3. Make believe at Farley Hill National Park
There’s not much left of this colonial mansion, once regarded as the finest building on the island. But where bricks are missing, imagination can easily fill the gaps. Trails wind through mahogany groves and the site is frequently used for theatre and music events.
4. Drink in the past at St Nicholas Abbey
Incongruously set between the fronds of palm trees, the ornate facade of this 17th century building is straight out of Downton Abbey. Sugar cane is still cultivated on site, and entry to the Jacobean building includes a rum or fruit punch.