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A Guide to Bermuda Beaches
So which one do you choose from the 34 fabulous beaches in Bermuda that together offer some 75 miles of dramatic coastline? All of them are so unique and beautiful in their own ways! Over the past many years, we have spent long hours at each one of those wonderful beaches. Some have long expanses of sand, while some are just tiny coves separated from one another by rocky cliffs, and several beaches have beautiful coral reefs surrounding them.
And Bermuda's sand looks pink. Is that true? Yes! Why? Because red tiny organisms grow under the coral reefs and die on the ocean floor. These along with bits of corals and shells get washed up, get mixed with sands and create a pink hue. And that makes the sand look pink in color. The South Shore has the best pink sandy beaches.
Note that over time these red particles in the sand keep moving up the beach through wave actions and get exposed to sun. The color then starts fading and the sand tends to lose the pink hue. So for the real pink sand, look near the water line or around one of the reefs at the edge of the water. The wet sand is far more pink than the exposed dry sand away from the waterline. If you want to collect a sample of pink sand to take back home as a great nature's souvenir from Bermuda, take some wet sand and put it into a plastic zip bag. Once that gets dried up, you will get a nice sample of pink sand.
While there are some private beaches in the island, most are public. The public beaches in Bermuda are open from dawn to sunset and entry is free. However you can not camp on the beaches or stay at night.
Here are the Top Public Beaches in Bermuda:
1) Horseshoe Bay Beach: This stunningly beautiful beach is a curved stretch of pink sand and located in Southampton parish. The beach has been consistently ranked amongst the top beaches of the world by various international magazines. No wonder this is by far the most popular and crowded beach. However the beach extends towards east a long way and there is a trail. If you walk towards east, you will find several sandy areas that are relatively quiet and beautiful. Horseshoe Bay Beach has all facilities including cafe, concession, toilet & shower etc.
2) Warwick Long Bay Beach: This wonderful & secluded beach is half a mile long stretch of pink sands and dunes. It's located at Warwick parish. The south shore trail here lets you explore several other wonderful beaches and coves. This is a great beach for snorkeling. A concession stand remain open during summer season (May to October) and you can rent snorkel gears.
3) Elbow Beach: This beautiful beach has a gentle curve resembling an elbow. It's located at Paget parish. There are reefs and even a shipwreck near the shore. The calm water here makes it great for swimming and snorkeling.
4) Tobacco Bay Beach: Located at St George parish, this beach is great for snorkeling and you get fascinating view of the colorful marine life along with corals.
5) Hog Bay Beach: Located in Sandys parish, this secluded beach is a hidden treasure. Not many know about this beach.
6) John Smith's Bay Beach: One of Bermuda's pink sandy beaches, it's a long and wide stretch of pink sand. The beach is located at the Smith's parish and is excellent for snorkeling.
7) Astwood Cove: This is a stunningly beautiful cove at Warwick parish. The cliffs here are home to many long white-tailed tropical birds.
The other great beaches
There are several other beaches in the island that too are beautiful. Here they are:
Jobson's Cove: This is a wonderful small & secluded cove with a beach surrounded by steep cliffs. Jobson's cove is located at Warwick parish.
Church Bay Beach: It’s a little cove formed by coral cliffs and located in Southampton at the western end of the south-shore beaches. Church bay is one of the excellent Bermuda beaches for snorkeling.
Daniels Head Beaches and Park: Located at the western remote corner of Sandy's Parish, Daniel's Head with its 17 acres of coastal area is one of Bermuda's best kept secrets and not widely known to the general tourists. The beaches (now only one remaining public) are great for swimming and snorkeling.
Chaplin Bay Beach: Quiet and ideal for relaxing, this beach stretches across the boundary between Warwick and Southampton parishes.
Stonehole Bay Beach: Located adjacent to Chaplin Bay, this exquisite and small pink beach is surrounded by rocky cliffs and offers a secluded piece of paradise.
Shelly Bay Beach: This is one of Bermuda's pink sandy beaches and is located at the Hamilton parish. Due to a long stretch of shallow waters, this is one of the great Bermuda beaches ideally suited for kids and families.
Whale Bay Beach: This beach is located at the western end of Southampton parish. During season, you can see schools of humpback whales migrate through the blue waters off the south shore, and hence such name of the beach.
Snorkel Park Beach: Located at Sandys parish, this beach is a great place for families and kids. This is a manmade beach and great for snorkeling.
Somerset Long Bay Beach: It's a beautiful secluded beach in the western Sandys parish. There is also an adjacent park.
Achilles Bay Beach: A tiny beautiful beach north east of St. George's town with calm serene waters and ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
St. Catherine Beach: Located north of the St. George's town, this beach is a wonder little stretch of white sands. You can see the St. Catherine Fort at a distance. If you are visiting St. George's town, you should not miss the fort and the beach.
Clearwater Beach & Turtle Bay Beach: Located in St. David's of St. George's parish, these picturesque beaches have calm waters and great for families and kids. There are ample facilities here making them popular spot for picnics.
... And more nice beaches, if you are still exploring.
Devonshire Bay: This is a National Park of Bermuda located on the south shore of Devonshire parish. It has a great combination of beach, fort, parkland and picnic areas.
Clarence Cove: This is a nice little beach on north shore road, close to Hamilton and ideal for snorkeling.
Deep Bay: East of Clarence Cove on the north shore road, there is an opening in the wall and steep stairs through a high cliff will take you down to this gem of a beach. There is no marked entry and tourists often miss out on this lovely little beach.
Bailey's Bay and Coney Island Park: Located in Hamilton Parish on the north shore, this is a picturesque area with small beach, beautiful landscapes and small harbors.
Bermuda Beach Map
I have created a small map so that you can get a snapshot of where most of our favorite beaches are located: Bermuda Beach Map.
Best Secluded beaches
Well, you want to escape the crowd and the tourists? Many eventually want to do so when they find virtually no space on the popular beaches are spared by the tourists, and they are mostly the cruise passengers visiting the island in summer. So where do you go to find a piece of secluded sandy cove or a beach where you can have some privacy and enjoy the beach and the water in exclusivity? Good news is, there are several of them. Check out Beautiful secluded beaches in Bermuda
Best beaches for snorkeling
Calm waters and reefs are the main considerations when you are looking for a beach in Bermuda which is great for snorkeling. That will give you the best chance to view many different colorful reef fishes and also corals. Check out the snorkeling section to know about the beaches that are our all time favorites for snorkeling.
Top Sea Glass Beaches
If you love sea glasses, that's another reason you should visit Bermuda. There are some great beaches where you can get lovely green, brown, clear and even the rare blue and red glasses. Know about the Great beaches to find sea glasses
Great Beaches for Kids & Families
In some beaches, water can have undercurrents or even submerged reefs. They are unsuitable for children. You will also look for facilities like bathrooms with showers, cafe or concession stand offering food, get lounge chairs & umbrella rentals, ideally a park for kids to play etc. Here are the Best Beaches for kids & families
Best Bermuda Beaches for Body Surfing
If you love to swim on rolling surf, then there are few beaches that you can consider in Bermuda. But remember that Bermuda has offshore barrier reefs keeping the waters relatively calm and you won't therefore get the real surfs in general. You will get more swells than waves. Exceptions are when there is strong wind or prelude of a storm that creates the rolling surfs. But such time is not good for swimming anyway. For body surfing waves, the best south shore beaches are the ones that have long expanse of sand, and they are:
1) Horseshoe Bay Beach, 2) Warwick Long Bay Beach, and 3) Elbow Beach.
I have described all these beaches in the sections above.
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By Raj Bhattacharya
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