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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 south shore 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. 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. It's about 35 minutes by bus (#7) from dockyard (Kings Wharf cruise port) and 25 minutes from Hamilton city.
2) Warwick Long Bay Beach: This is another wonderful south shore beach & relatively secluded. It's half a mile long stretch of pink sands. It's located at Warwick parish. A trail from the beach going by the cliff side and through dunes towards Horseshoe bay beach lets you explore several other lovely beaches and coves. You can also walk along the waterline and sand to reach the other beaches. This is a great beach for snorkeling. A concession stand usually remains open during summer season (May to October) and you can rent snorkel gears. Public toilets available. It takes about 40 minutes by bus (#7) from dockyard and about 20 minutes from Hamilton City.
3) Elbow Beach: This beautiful south shore beach has a gentle curve resembling an elbow and hence such a name. It's located at Paget parish. Although there is a private section of the beach that belongs to Elbow Beach Hotel, the public section is also excellent. The calm water here makes it great for swimming and snorkeling. There are reefs and even a shipwreck near the shore. There is an on-beach bar & bistro run by Elbow Beach Hotel. It takes about 50 minutes by bus (#7) from the dockyard to reach the nearest bus stop and about 10 minutes from Hamilton.
4) Tobacco Bay Beach: Located at St George parish, this small beach is great for snorkeling and you get fascinating view of the colorful marine life along with corals. There are lots of rock formations on the water which make them ideal home for the fish. While this is not a pink sandy beach as the other south shore beaches are, the setting is perfect. There is cafe & bar, snorkel rentals, changing and bathroom facilities here. From Kings Square (at St George), it's about 20 minutes walk to the beach. You can also take a mini bus ride from Kings Square (5-6 minutes).
5) Hog Bay Beach: Located in Sandys parish, this secluded tiny beach is a hidden treasure. Not many know about this beach. You will need to hike through the Hog Bay Park to reach this beach at its western end. The beach is usually available only during low tide. So tide timing is important if you plan to visit this beach. But once there, you can enjoy almost exclusive privacy. From dockyard, it takes about 12 minutes to the nearest bus stop by bus (#7 or 8) and then a 10 to 12 minute hike through the hog bay park to get to the 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 in Smith's parish and is great for snorkeling. There is a reef line only 200 yards offshore that keeps the water calm and boats away from the beach. It's a good family beach and has toilet facilities. Life guards are on duty during summer. You will also find a lunch wagon here during summer time selling snacks & beverages. From Hamilton City bus terminal, it takes about 25 minutes to reach Devil's Hole Aquarium stop (bus #1, 3). From there, it's a short walk.
7) Astwood Cove: This is a stunningly beautiful cove at Warwick parish. The cliffs here are home to many long white-tailed tropical birds. It takes about 45 minutes by bus #7 from dockyard to get to the nearest bus stop. A steep trail through cliffs leads down to the lovely beach. There are no facilities here though. Above the beach, there is a wonderful green park which is a very popular wedding venue and a picnic spot. The view from the park (overlooking the rocks, the beach and the ocean) is awesome.
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 and can be easily accessible from Warwick Long Bay beach along the beachside trail. Although there are no faciclities here, you can walk down and avail the facilities at Warwick Longh Bay. From dockyard, bus #7 takes about 40 minutes to the nearest bus stop on south road.
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 a great beach for snorkeling and one of the locals' favorites. However the beach quite small and not suitable for sun bathing due to many rocks scattered around. Toilet facilities are available on the park above. Takes about 30 minutes by bus (#7) from dockyard.
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. On beach facilities include toilets, changing room, operators offering snorkeling, kayak, paddle boarding etc. There is also a cafe here. It's also a nice place for picnic. Best is to access the beach by a scooter. Otherwise you need to walk for about 700 meters from the nearest bus stop (bus #7 and #8). From dockyard, the nearest bust stop is few minutes ride.
Chaplin Bay Beach: Quiet and ideal for relaxing, this beach stretches across the boundary between Warwick and Southampton parishes. It's another south shore beach. The walking trail from Horseshoe Bay Beach passes through Chaplin Bay and goes all the way to Warwick Long Bay. You can avail facilities such as toilets and summer time concession stand at Warwick Long Bay. Bus #7 from dockyard takes about 38 minutes to reach the nearest bus stop.
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. You can take the trail and walk down to Warwick Long Bay beach for facilities. Most visit both Chaplin Bay and Stonehole Bay together.
Shelly Bay Beach: This is one of Bermuda's pink sandy beaches and is located at Hamilton parish. Due to a long stretch of shallow waters, this is one of the great beaches ideally suited for kids and families. It has a children's playground. Facilities include cafe with changing rooms & toilets, snorkel and other beach rentals etc. A boardwalk along the coastline leads to the famous Railway Trail. From Hamilton City main bus terminal, take bus #10 or 11 for the beach (takes about 20 minutes). The beach is located at the north shore.
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. There is a small fort on the grounds here. The beach offers excellent sunset view. It's a popular picnic spot as well. There are toilets but no other facilities. Bus #7 or 8 takes about 10 minutes from dockyard to the nearest bus stop. Then walk for about 10 minutes to 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. It is more like a complex with a beach. So as expected, it has all facilities like restaurant & bar, toilets and changing facilities, beach and snorkel rentals, jet ski & other activities, and even a night club. There is an admission fee to Snorkel Park. It's located in the dockyard complex and only 6-7 minute walk from the cruise berths.
Somerset Long Bay Beach: It's a beautiful secluded beach in the western Sandys parish at Somerset. There is also an adjacent nature reserve & park which is full of birds and different types of plantations including Bermuda cedars. Picnic and toilet facilities are available at the park area. Bus #7 or 8 from dockyard takes about 7 minutes to the nearest bus stop at Somerset. It's then a 6-7 minute walk.
Achilles Bay Beach: A tiny beautiful beach north east of St. George's town with calm serene waters and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The bay offers stunning view of sunset. There is a restaurant & bar above the beach. From Kings Square of St George, it takes about 20 minutes by walk. You can also take a minibus or taxi service.
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. It's located quite close to Achilles Bay. Take a short minibus ride from Kings Square or walk.
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. There is a beach bar & restaurant, as well as bathrooms. From St George, bus #6 has services.
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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Bermuda Beaches Reviewed by Raj Bhattacharya Rating: 5.0
By Raj Bhattacharya
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