Friday - - Travel -

Bar­ba­dos has some of the most beau­ti­ful beaches in the Caribbean and although in re­cent years ero­sion has taken its toll, there are still many un­spoilt gems. The key is to choose a beach based on what you want to do, or not do.


The west coast of Bar­ba­dos is fringed by the calm Caribbean, so is ideal for re­lax­ing. I have a few favourites here, but Par­adise Beach is my top pick. The beach gets its name from a ho­tel that was here un­til the 1980s. With its clo­sure, and ef­forts to open an­other ho­tel stalled for years, it’s an oa­sis of peace, in­ter­rupted only by the oc­ca­sional boat or jet ski. Most vis­i­tors have no idea the beach ex­ists – you get there by walk­ing south from neigh­bour­ing Batts Rock Beach – but it’s a won­der­ful place for re­lax­ing, swim­ming and en­joy­ing the peace.


This is a great place to try jet ski­ing, sail­ing and wa­ter­ski­ing, and for find­ing a boat to go swim­ming with tur­tles. There are or­gan­ised tours from Dh380, but the many lo­cal op­er­a­tors will do deals for around half that for a 30-minute ex­cur­sion, in­clud­ing snorkelling equipment. Paynes Bay is a short walk from the Sandy Lane Ho­tel beach, for some dis­creet spot­ting of celebri­ties such as Gwyneth Pal­trow and Naomi Watts.


For a more med­i­ta­tive beach ex­pe­ri­ence head just south of Bridgetown. The wa­ter is quite still, mak­ing it an ex­cel­lent place for standup pad­dle­board­ing (SUP). Pad­dle Bar­ba­dos of­fers classes at Dh240 for a 90-minute group class, and SUP Yoga at Dh140 for a 75-minute class.


Wa­ter sport lovers have a lot of op­tions on Par­adise beach (above) and Paynes Bay

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