Welcome to Barbados, this beautiful island is often referred to as the ‘Little Britain’ of the Caribbean because of its long association with the UK. Barbados is a gorgeous Eastern Caribbean island offering visitors an opportunity to explore beautiful beaches, enjoy delicious cuisine, great rum, and meet the charming locals.
The name “Barbados” comes from the Portuguese explorer Pedro Campos who originally called the island Os Barbados (“The Bearded Ones”), after the island’s fig trees, whose long hanging aerial roots resembled beards. Locals refer to themselves as Bajans. The Bajans are warm and friendly people, always ready to welcome you with a sincere smile. This beautiful island offers culture, history, loads of activities, beautiful scenery and a vibrant night life. But what makes Barbados so special, and why so many visitors keep returning to the island, is its gorgeous beaches.
12 Beautiful Barbados Beaches
Barbados is a coral island, it is mostly a flat with excellent beaches, but there are also rolling hills and many deep ridges and gullies, with an interesting variety of flora and fauna. Along the West Coast are the best beaches for swimming with gorgeous stretches of fine white sand, lapped up by the blue-green sea. Coral reefs fringe the coast providing excellent snorkelling and Scuba Diving. If lying on a beach is not your scene, the East Coast provides a lively surf fed by strong and constant trade winds providing picturesque scenery and a surfing paradise. The constant breeze of the trade winds gives the island a mild and pleasant tropical climate.
Barbados West Coast
- Mullins Beach This beach is one of the most popular beaches on the west coast of the island. This lovely Barbados beach offers inviting soft golden sand, ideal for a lazy day on the beach.
- Gibbes Beach The picturesque Gibbes beach offers one of the most picturesque beaches on the island. The pristine golden sand is framed with soaring trees on one side and a beautiful blue ocean on the other, simply gorgeous.
- Paynes Bay Paynes Bay offers safe swimming along a long stretch of fine white sand making this a popular beach. Add to that the possibility of enjoying a swim with turtles in the bay, and it’s a non-brainer. The southern half of the beach is busier, so if you want a quieter piece of paradise, head to the northern side of the beach.
Bridgetown & South West Coast
- Crane Beach A lot of Bajans will tell you that Crane Beach is the most stunning on the island. It is heavenly. The beautiful long and wide beach is framed by palm groves and limestone cliffs. The lovely pink- tinted white sand is arguably one of Barbados’ most stunning beaches.
- Brownes Beach Enjoy the calm, turquoise and crystal-clear waters of Browne’s Beach. This beach is very clean and well maintained. Brownes beach is a wonderful beach to just go and chill out. There is something so therapeutic about sitting on beach watching the sunset, listening to the waves lapping onto the beach.
- Pebbles Beach This is a beach destination in Barbados where you can easily spend the whole day. You must get to Pebbles Beach early, 6am, and share the beach with the local racehorses exercising on the beach and going for a swim with their trainers, it’s a stunning scene. At the end of the day be rewarded with a breath-taking sunset.
Barbados South Coast
- Carlisle Bay What an exquisite beach, gorgeous white sand leading into crystal-clear waters make Carlisle Bay an idyllic setting. There are loads of activities and plenty of awesome places to eat, great place to be.
- Enterprise Beach This stunning beach offers you a piece of paradise alongside the stunning south coast fishing village of Oistins. Also known as Miami Beach, this is a superb beach.
- Accra Beach The Accra Beach offers a long arc of spectacular white sand. This is one of the best beaches on the Barbadian south coast.
- Heywoods Beach There is a good chance of catching a whale breaching. This beach is stunning and offers calm, clear waters. Heywoods offers a quieter and more relaxing beach scene. The boats in bay provide a picturesque setting. The sunsets are epic. Wear your sandals when you wade into the sea, there are lots of rocks and reef with urchins in some areas.
This east side of the island is not just surfers paradise, it’s a stunning scenic part of the island. The huge waves smashing onto the huge volcanic rocks make for many a splendid photo opportunity.
- Bathsheba Beach This beach offers spectacular views of the island. Beware if you want to go swimming there are strong currents that can make swimming here really dangerous.
- Soup Bowl I love watching surfers, I can park off all day on the beach watching surfers practice their art. The Soup Bowl is surfers paradise, with huge, consistent waves breaking onto the shoreline. Apart from a surfing paradise, tourists looking for amazing photographic opportunities will be richly rewarded. This eastern side of the island is beautiful, dramatic and offers many scenic drives.
Barbados is Awesome
The COVID-19 Pandemic in Barbados
Updated 11 August 2021
The pandemic was confirmed to have reached Barbados on 17 March 2020 with the announcement of the first two cases.
Current Travel Status from UK
G+ – Green watch list
TQV – Test + quarantine excl. vaccinated
Vaccine rollout in Barbados
Partially vaccinated – 35%
Fully vaccinated – 28%
New cases per 100,00 people
Last 7 days – 22
Last 14 days – 52
Currently the Barbados Ministry of Health and Wellness has approved the following Covid-19 vaccinations. You need to have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel to Barbados.
- Astra Zeneca
- Johnson & Johnson
- Sputnik V
Children under 18
Some travellers may be travelling with children who may not have been vaccinated. Children under 18 years, travelling with fully vaccinated guardians will be allowed to adhere to the same guidelines as their fully vaccinated guardians.
Barbados quarantine for vaccinated arrivals
From 8 May a new protocol is in place for fully vaccinated individuals (2 doses administered more than 14 days prior to arrival) who have not visited high risk countries including India, South Africa or Brazil in the previous 21 days.
Details of what the Barbadian authorities will accept as proof of vaccination can be found on page 6 of the Barbados Travel Protocols. If you are unable to provide sufficient proof that you have been vaccinated, then you will be treated as if you are unvaccinated.
On arrival, you will undergo a rapid PCR test either at the airport or at your government-approved accommodation. You will need to remain on the premises of your accommodation and follow the quarantine rules until you receive the results of your second test. The government aims to return results within 24 hours, but it is recommended that you book two nights’ accommodation. See the Barbados Travel Protocols for further details.
Further information is available from the UK Foreign Travel Advice for Barbados
Immigration / Customs arrivals form
BIMSafe is the new, easy-to-use app designed to simplify and expedite the travel experience to Barbados. The app can be downloaded prior to travel to Barbados from Google Play and the Apple Store.
BIMSafe includes links to the online ED form required for Customs and Immigration. It also allows you to upload your negative Nasopharyngeal or Oropharyngeal COVID-PCR test results and complete their health questionnaire, all from one centralised place.
The App also provides capabilities for monitoring temperature and symptoms during the 7 days after a traveller’s arrival. The BIMSafe app will be accompanied by a state-of-the-art monitoring bracelet which will be worn during the quarantine period. This water-resistant and tamper-resistant bracelet keeps travellers and locals safe by ensuring visitors remain within the designated quarantine location.
Download the BIMSafe App here
Covid-19 Health Protocols for Barbados
ALL travellers into Barbados, inclusive of those deemed fully vaccinated, are asked to review, and indicate their acceptance of the following:
ALL travellers must travel with a valid negative Standard COVID-19 PCR test result.
With specific reference to the type of PCR test required and accepted for entry into Barbados:
The specimen taken must be a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab (or both) taken by a healthcare provider
The sample must be taken within 3 days (72 hours) prior to arrival.
The laboratory performing the test must be an accredited, certified or recognized facility
Please note that the following will NOT be accepted:
Nasal swab samples
Self-administered tests (even if the sample was taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider)
Rapid PCR tests
Approved Quarantine Hotels in Barbados
Vaccinated travellers will need to quarantine in their approved hotel until they receive their test results. Different quarantine rules may apply for various properties. However, use of the property does not include access to the beach, gyms, spas or butler services while awaiting the return of the Covid-19 PCR test results. The use of the pool may be permissible based on the rules of your chosen accommodation.
- Accra Beach Hotel & Spa
- All Seasons Resort Europa
- Atlantis Historic Inn
- Barbados Beach Club
- Beach View
- Blue Horizon
- Blue Orchid Beach
- Bougainvillea Beach Resort
- Butterfly Beach
- Cobblers Cove
- Coconut Court Beach
- Colony Club
- Coral Mist Beach
- Coral Reef Club
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Crystal Cove
- Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
- Dover Beach
- Fairmont Royal Pavilion
- Golden Sands Apt.
- Hilton Barbados
- Infinity on the Beach
- Island Inn
- Little Arches
- Little Good Harbour
- Maxwell Del Mar
- Mango Bay
- Ocean 15
- Palm Garden
- Palms Resort/Travellers Palm
- Port Ferdinand
- Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados
- Royal Westmoreland – Golf Cottages # 1-6
- Royal Westmoreland – Lancaster Drive # 12 & 20
- Royal Westmoreland – Royal Palm Villas #1-7
- Royal Westmoreland – Sugar Cane Mews # 2 & 3
- Royal Westmoreland – Sugar Cane Ridge #5, 7 & 14
- Royal Westmoreland – Royal Apartments #114, 123, 132, 211, 212, 213, 214, 221, 224, 231, 233, 311, 312, 313, 314, 321, 322, 324, 331 & 333
- Saint Peter’s Bay
- Sandals Barbados Resort & Spa/ Sandals Royal
- Sandy Lane
- Sea Breeze Beach House
- South Beach
- South Gap
- Southern Palms Beach Club
- Sweetfield Manor Hotel
- Sugar Bay Barbados
- Sugar Cane Club & Spa
- The Abidah by Accra
- The Crane
- The House
- The Sandpiper
- The Sands
- Time Out
- Treasure Beach
- Tropical Sunset Beach Apartment
- Waves Hotel & Spa
- Worthing Court Apartment
- Yellow Bird
Barbados Travel Bubble
The travel bubble went into effect from 17th July 2021, allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Anguilla, Montserrat, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands and Bermuda who present a valid pre-flight negative PCR test, to be exempt from further quarantine or testing upon arrival in Barbados.
If you’re travelling abroad, it’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance before you go. You need to have travel insurance in place from when you make your holiday booking. A good travel insurance policy will cover cancellations and mishaps that might occur in the run-up to your trip. But you need to have the cover in place before these events occur.
Shop around for the best deal, but never buy a policy based on price alone. The cheapest policy may not cover all your needs. Check that the policy you purchase provides appropriate cover for your pre-existing medical conditions and any activities or sports you’re planning to do. Most importantly ensure that you read the terms and conditions and ensure that it provides sufficient cover and that it covers for Covid-19.
If you already have a travel insurance policy, you should check what cover it provides for coronavirus-related events, including medical cover and travel disruption. If you are choosing a new policy, make sure you check how it covers these issues.
When you travel, make sure you take details of your insurance policy with you, including your policy number and the emergency assistance telephone number provided by your insurer. Give a copy of your policy details to the people you’re travelling with and friends or family back home, in case they need to contact your insurance company on your behalf.
Many travel insurance policies will not cover you if you travel to a high-risk destination (often defined as a place where the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all but essential travel or all travel), so make sure you check your policy wording and the relevant country travel advice pages for updates when booking your trip and buying insurance.
For more advice visit the Guidance for Foreign Travel Insurance