Bermuda Travel Tips
Located north of the Caribbean, and set in the Atlantic Ocean, lies the Islands of Bermuda. Even though Bermuda is usually referred to in the singular sense, it actually consists of almost 138 islands and inlets, with the islands running roughly 20.6 square miles in total.
This destination is known for its gorgeous beaches and beautiful crisp clear turquoise waters, but it also has many other interesting attractions to offer. With centuries of history and long experience catering to visitors, Bermuda boasts an abundance of natural and man-made attractions. This tiny island has 785 historic homes, crennalated forts, and natural caves that await your explorations.
Hamilton. Bermuda’s happening capital lies in the middle of the island and is a town of pastel-painted, Victorian buildings and good tax-free shopping. It boasts a large quantity of museums, some fine buildings and architecture. There are numerous forts, fortifications and bits of Royal Naval heritage. There are cinemas, a variety of shops, bars, hotels and restaurants. The city is also blessed with markets, gardens, stalls, beaches, squares and plazas with wide streets, boulevards and walkways.
Saint George. A scenic UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest, continually inhabited British settlement in the New World. It boasts small winding streets with typical British Colonial architecture with fountains, gardens and squares, cobbled streets and plazas.
In Bermuda there are many thing to do and places to see:
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish. Beautiful pink sand beach bordered by rocky areas suitable for snorkeling. Probably the most photographed Bermudan beach. The surf can get rough at times here. There are bathroom facilities, beach rentals, and food concessions. Lifeguards in summer.
Elbow Beach, Tribe Road #4, Paget Parish. Another beautiful pink sand beach between Coral Beach, Elbow Beach and Coco Reef hotels.
Tobacco Bay, St. George Parish. A boulder-sheltered sheltered warm-water beach which can become quite crowded with cruise ship passengers. Can be reached on foot from St. George square or shuttles are readily available. Another walk will take you to Fort St. Catherine. Rest rooms, food concession.
John Smith’s Beach, Hamilton Parish. Nice pink sand beach. Summer lifeguards. Usually a mobile food concession.
Shelley Bay, North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish. Lots of shallow water and a large playground make this great choice for families with small kids. Not far from Flatts Village and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. Restrooms, beach rentals, food concession.
Chaplin Bay / Stonehole Bay
Bermuda Maritime Museum in the old keep at the Royal Naval Dockyard.
Dolphin Quest, Royal Naval Dockyard. Learn about and swim with the dophins at the beautiful facility at the RN Dockyard (approximately BMD $175 for 30 minute swim).
Snorkel Park, Royal Naval Dockyard, Phone: 234-6989. A limestone tunnel through the keep’s wall puts you on the beachfront for snorkeling or water sports.
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo, 40 North Shore Road, Flatts Village, Phone: (441) 293-2727. Daily 9AM-5PM (last admission 4PM). Centerpieced by a 140,000 gallon replica coral reef, this one of Bermuda’s main attractions. Over three hundred birds, reptiles and mammals and 200 species of fish. Adults $10, Seniors $5, ages 5 to 12 $5.
Crystal and Fantasy Caves, Wilkinson Avenue, Bailey’s Bay, Phone: 441-293-0640. Daily 9:30AM-4:30PM (last admission 4:00). Two quite different caves to see.
Spittal Pond (This was heavily damaged by Hurricane Fabian in 2002 and the process of fixing the trails and trees is still ongoing.)
Devil’s Hole Aquarium, Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton, 441-293-2727. Small but fun. “Fish” for reef fish with bait, but no hooks. Daily 9:30AM-4:30PM. Adult $5, ages 5-12 $3, under 5 $.50.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Ln, East Broadway, Pembroke, just outside of Hamilton, Phone: 441-297-7219.
Bermuda National Trust Museum known as the Globe Hotel
Reefs that sunk ships in Bermuda’s clear waters offer some of the best wreck diving in the Atlantic. Snorkeling, fishing, and sailing are also popular pursuits and many well-maintained hiking, biking, and bridle trails loop through the island’s nature reserves. Golfers also flock here from around the world. Thanks, in part, to its gentle summer temperatures, Bermuda has more golf courses per square kilometer than any other country in the world, many with sweeping ocean views.
Traditional Bermudian fare was noted for being typically uninspiring, as are most Anglo-Saxon cuisines. The only two relatively uniquely Bermudian dishes were salted codfish, boiled with potatoes, the traditional Sunday breakfast, and Hop n’ John, a simple dish of boiled rice and beans.
Local specialties include:
Cassava pie. Farine is an alternate base. Normally only eaten at Christmas.
Bay grape jelly. Bay grapes were introduced as a wind break. Although, like Surinam cherries and loquats, they are found throughout Bermuda, and produce edible fruit, none of these plants are cultivated for agriculture in Bermuda, and their fruits are normally eaten from the tree, primarily by school children.
Bananas are often eaten on Sunday mornings with codfish and potatoes.
Restaurants can be found all over the island, with the largest concentraction in the city of Hamilton and St George town. Also, there are several at some of the hotels which are outstanding, although pricey. At Elbow Beach Hotel, Cafe lido is excellent, and Southampton Fairmont Waterlot Inn, although sometimes crowded and noisy, has excellent dining.
Bermuda is expensive. Because of Bermuda’s steep import tax, all goods sold in stores that come from off the island carry a significant markup.
The best time to visit Bermuda is from Spring through to Autumn. Although the island is an associate member of the Caribbean Community, it is not actually in the Caribbean Sea and has a different climate. It is much farther north, but the warm waters of the Gulf Stream help give it a quasi-tropical atmosphere. You won’t get blazing temperatures on Bermuda, but you will get warm breezes and pleasant temperatures. Even in the winter months, the weather is mild and there is a high proportion of sunny days. In January and December, average minimum night-time temperatures are 15°C.
The islands have ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes. As a result drinking water is collected on the roofs of all buildings (by law) and in special catchment areas, and stored in tanks under the ground for each home or property. Bermuda has a mild, humid subtropical maritime climate though gales and strong winds are common in winter. The hurricane season is from June to November.
Whether you want to indulge in outdoor adventures, explore cultural and historical sites, or do some shopping, you can rest assured that you will find a place that offers an exciting and memorable experience.