5 Reasons to travel to Bermuda

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

This string of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, often mistaken for being in the Caribbean, beguiles visitors with multicultural heritage, pastel-coloured houses in an environment of lush flora and pink-sand beaches, and offshore reefs known for some of the best diving in the world.

The picturesque environment

With its idyllic coastline and surrounding turquoise waters, Bermuda draws widespread attention for its picture-postcard beaches alone. For many travellers to this island chain, the priority is placed on spending time seeking out the islands’ best beaches, sailing across its surrounding waters and diving beneath the surface for a close-up of its coral reefs and marine life. The archipelago consists of over 180 islands, all originating from an extinct and submerged volcanic mountain range, with the eight largest islands, including Main Island, clustered together and connected by bridges and causeways. These connected islands forming a fishhook-shaped landmass are fringed with a dramatic coastline of long sandy beaches, pink-sand coves and cliff formations.

Cultural insight

Britain’s oldest self-governing Overseas Territory, Bermuda fuses its Caribbean-like island-identity with British influence and the heritage and culture of African Bermudians. This history is seen across Bermuda, including within the 1612-founded town of St George, which along with several fortifications has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being ‘an outstanding example of the earliest English settlement in the New World’.

More insight into the cultural amalgamation stemming from Bermuda’s past can be found through following the African Diaspora Trail including heritage sites and exhibitions at institutions like The National Museum of Bermuda, as well as through annual events such as the Agriculture Show and Lord Holy Christ of Miracles Festival. In Hamilton, visitors can join a walking tour with the city’s knowledgeable town crier.

Exploration on and by the water

Seek out the half-mile pink-sand Warwick Long Bay on Bermuda’s South Shore and snorkel from the picturesque Jobson’s Cove east from there. Be in with a chance of spotting migrating humpback whales (in March and April) from West Whale Bay in Southampton parish and revel in the long stretch of white-sand at Clearwater Beach on the same peninsula as Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve. Tobacco Bay, close to St George, is popular for water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

A natural harbour bordered by land on three sides, the Great Sound is the setting for catamaran cruises and sailing – take a sunset cruise or book a private charter to explore. Dive centres are found across Bermuda with excursions taking in spectacular reef sites as well as some of Bermuda’s many shipwrecks – known throughout history for its treacherous waters, and mysteries surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, there are more than 300 wrecks to discover.

Culturally diverse food and drink

Also representative of Bermuda’s cultural diversity, the islands’ cuisine brings together British, African, Portuguese and West Indian influences while also showcasing Bermuda’s abundant seafood. Traditional dishes here span both British and Portuguese versions of the codfish and potatoes breakfast to pawpaw casserole and Bermuda fish chowder, which is flavoured with rum and considered the islands’ national dish. Try the local grilled rockfish or spiny lobster cooked in a number of ways and order a side of the island’s popular Johnnybread or Hoppin’ John black-eyed peas and rice dish with Portuguese sausage. Sweet specialties in Bermuda then include cassava pie and black rum fruitcake. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum is famously produced here and can be tasted in signature cocktails like the Dark ‘n Stormy and Bermuda Rum Swizzle.

A luxury stay on the waterfront

Bermuda’s landmark Hamilton Princess & Beach Club lies on the waterfront of the islands’ capital city, Hamilton. Dating back to 1885, this heritage hotel — also affectionately known as the Pink Palace — now pairs a privileged location and historic façade with storied but now renovated contemporary interiors home to a wealth of art from names such as Picasso and Matisse. This ocean-facing hotel’s 157 sophisticated guest rooms and suites are joined by a collection of restaurants and bars, from Intrepid Steak, Seafood and Raw Bar to 1609 Restaurant and Marina Bar and The Princess Beach Club. Time at the resort can be spent on the tennis courts, unwinding at the spa and on a private art tour giving insight into the hotel’s ever-evolving art collection. Princess Marina berths 60 vessels and is the starting point for boat charters and water sports tours from the hotel.

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