The tiny Bahamian island is making a big name for itself thanks to its promise of rum, relaxation and Instagram-ready beaches
When I was 16, I went on holiday outside Europe for the first time. Destination? Tiny Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Sipping beers on the terrace of our hotel overlooking a beautiful, three-mile long, pink sand beach, turquoise lagoon and reef beyond, was idyllic enough, but then it happened. One morning, a famous fashion photographer, his assistant, a stylist and five spectacular models traipsed onto the beach before me and proceeded to spend the next three days cavorting around in the shallows shooting a swimwear special for an American glossy. Needless to say, I fell hard (in several manners of speaking) for Harbour Island, and so began my love affair with long-haul travel. And bikini-clad models on pink sand beaches. Nearly 30 (sigh) years on, the island may be more on the map — happily, the recent severe hurricanes in the region bypassed it without the appalling carnage meted out to many Caribbean neighbours — but it remains deliciously laid-back and the model quotient remains high. Go. Seriously.
Tom Barber is a founder of the award-winning travel company originaltravel.co.uk
See Harbour Island’s sunset from Pink Sands Beach, left, with a Goombay Smash cocktail, right, to hand — the official tipple of the Bahamas