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  • Coastline Wild east, chilled west
  • Coast life Cricket on the beach, cocktails at sunset

On Barbados – arguably the most charismatic of Caribbean islands – you’ll live like the locals do, eat with them, chill with them and most definitely party with them.

Get lost in the middle of the island and you’ll be set back on the right track by friendly residents before you can say ‘SatNav’. Drive around for an hour or two and you’ll pass cricket matches with players turned out in full whites, locals chilling outside wooden shops and bars with painted Banks beer slogans and, on Sundays, churchgoers walking to prayer in their Sunday best, babies in finest bib and tucker. The south and west sides boast the usual gorgeous tropical-beach scenes; the east is an unexpected surfer’s paradise – wild and untouched, with white sand and natural rock formations.

Do go/Don’t go

The weather is great all year round. December to Easter is the height of the season; when it’s scorching in July and August, you can get great deals.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes Fly direct with British Airways ( or Virgin ( from Gatwick; or bmi ( from Manchester. First Choice ( also has direct flights.
  • Boats You can organise a variety of seafaring vessels (enquire at your hotel), either for the day or overnight, if you’d like to visit the Grenadines.
  • Automobiles Ask your hotel to arrange a car for you before you set off on holiday. You will be given a one-year Bajan driving licence.
  • Taxis You’ll be able to grab a taxi on the main restaurant streets in Holetown and in the south of the island, but it’s safer to call a driver or firm you’re familiar with. Your hotel will give you a good contact when you arrive – you’ll probably have the same driver for the entirety of your stay.