A Comprehensive Travel Guide For Bermuda
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What to expect?
Bermuda is one of the prettiest and the best island destinations in the world. More than 7,50,000 tourists visit the island annually by cruise and air. Over 80% visitors arrive from the US, while the rest mainly come from the UK, Canada and other parts of Europe.
The island is famous for its gorgeous pink sandy beaches
, warm subtropical weather, turquoise water that's ideal for swimming and snorkeling, great dive sites around the numerous reefs and shipwrecks that are teeming with stunning marine life. The island has magnificent landscapes, colorful architecture andápastel houses, a deep colonial history and a rich culture that has evolved through British, African, Caribbean and Portuguese influences.
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Bermuda is home to some of the best scenic golf courses
in the world with elevated tees and sweeping ocean views, and also offers a host of other activities including water sports, island andásailing tours, fishing and even horseback riding. St. George's town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in history. There are natural caves with stunning formations, a scenic 18-mile Railway Trail, forest with Blue Holes, as well as urban attractions such as quality museums, galleries, aquarium and more.
Bermuda is quite close to the US East Coast and much easier to reach than many Caribbean islands. It takes only 2 hours flight from New York to get to Bermuda, and there are frequent as well as low cost airlines that operate between Bermuda and several airports in the US. Numerous cruise lines too operate between various ports on the US East Coast and Bermuda. Many visitors also fly in from the UK, Canada and other parts of Europe.
Note that Bermuda is not a single island. It comprises of 138 islands that are scattered in close proximity on the North Atlantic and many are so tiny that they are suitable only for birds' nests. Only few larger ones are joined together by bridges forming the mainland of Bermuda, and this is where you arrive. You can see several of the other islands by taking a sightseeing boat tour
or alternatively by renting a boat to explore
on your own. The total area of Bermuda is only about 21 square miles. It is an autonomous country and a British Overseas Territory. Bermuda is not part of Caribbean.
Boats on anchorage, Bermuda countryside
Although vast majority of tourists come to Bermuda by cruise, unlike several popular Caribbean islands, Bermuda is far more than just a cruise destination. While Royal Naval Dockyard
which is the main port area in Bermuda, is a self contained commercial tourist hub offering many activities, attractions, shopping opportunities and even wining andádining experiences, Bermuda also promotes the places and attractions beyond the port area. And therefore you can find tourists all across the island.
Just go a few files out of the port area and you will find quaint eateries that are locals' favorite, where you can not only enjoy authentic local food but also be able to chat with friendly Bermudians. You will find many beautiful stores where artisans make authentic Bermudian products. You can experience the pristine beautiful beaches and coves that are free of tourists, walk nature's trails like the Railway Trail
and enjoy the wonderful landscapes and scenery.
Bailey's Bay Footbridge (part of railway trail)
of Bermuda has evolved since the 1600s and so has its dining and culinary diversity... there are several traditional food andábeverages
that are extremely popular in the island. Codfish based food that originated from the early inhabitants of the island remains popular and there are several restaurants that proudly serve codfish breakfast, codfish cakes etc. Island cocktails such as Rum Swizzle and Dark n' Stormy are overwhelmingly popular among tourists and locals alike.
Go down to Paget in the morning and experience the traditional Codfish breakfast at Paraquet Restaurant, a family run eatery in operation for over 50 years. Or go down to Hamilton City (the capital of Bermuda) and have Bermuda fish chowder at Lobster Pot or Hog Penny.
The tradition of elaborate English afternoon tea
complete with finger sandwiches and sweets is followed island-wide and there are several restaurants that offer such experience to visitors.
Although tee time in Bermuda is expensive, play a round of golf at Port Royal Golf Course
which has been a PGA Grand Slam venue and many celebrities and world renowned players have graced this picturesque course which offers lovely greens and sweeping views of the ocean.
Try to spare a minimum half a day to visit St. George
where the first ever settlement of Bermuda took place in 1609. Walk down the narrow alleyways that still bear the old names from the colonial days, look at the old yet charming architecture and the quaint shops... you will feel the time has come to a standstill here and can imagine yourself back in the historical days. There are numerous historical buildings, churches and museums in St. George. And there are of course nice eateries too.
Unfinished Church in St. George
Photo: Malcolm Manners/ flickr
You can get around the island easily
using air-conditioned and comfortable public buses and ferries. Privately operated taxis and minibuses are also popular transports in the island. Ample scooters, bicycles and even recently introduced battery operated minicars are available on rent to get around the island. However, there is no motor car rental in Bermuda
in order to control pollution.
Being a sub-tropical island, the weather in Bermuda
is pleasantly warm for most time of the year and people are even warmer. Bermuda never looks crowded. There are no billboards or neon signs, and relatively few cars to spoil the wonderful countryside. The houses with gabled limestone roofs and pastel colors fit beautifully into the landscape.
There are land tour operators who use vans or minibuses
offering group as well as private tours to show you around the island and visit several attractions. Even the taxis can also be hired by the hour and the taxi driver doubles up as your tour guide to take you around... a great tour option too.
Read: Tours in Bermuda
to know all options of touring Bermuda on land and water.
Nightlife in Bermuda is far from being sedate. There are numerous bars andápubs (mostly concentrated in Hamilton and also in Dockyard and St. George) that serve amazing cocktails and some of them stay awake until the wee hours. When it comes to pubs and bars, Swizzle Inn
located in Hamilton Parish (island's oldest pub), Hog Penny in Hamilton City and Frog and Onion Pub at the dockyard are some of the forerunners. Hamilton city also has a few night clubs that offer live music and dance.
There are ample opportunities for Shopping in Bermuda
and you can take back home some unique souvenirs, gifts and keepsakes. There are local artists and artisans in Bermuda who make amazing handmade products including glass-made and other jewelry, pottery andácedar art works, paintings, and even perfumes. Hamilton City
is the main shopping hub of the island although there are shopping malls and stores in Royal Naval Dockyard as well as St. George and few other places.
originated in this island and are still worn by men for official purpose. There are stores in Hamilton that offer authentic Bermuda shorts. And there are numerous other stores and even vendor stalls selling accessories, branded stuff and lot more.
Read: Why you must visit Bermuda
to know of many other reasons why Bermuda remains as one greatest island destinations in the world.
The Top Attractions
There are numerous lovely beaches in the island and some of them have amazing pink sands and rock formations. The south shore of Bermuda is home to the best pink sandy beaches including the famous Horseshoe Bay Beach
which is the most popular and photographed beach here.
There are also several quiet and stunning coves along the south shore. Walk along the South Shore Trail
and discover secluded and picturesque gems like Chaplin Bay, Stonehole Bay, Jobson's Cove
and even half a mile long Warwick Long Bay Beach
where you will hardly find any tourists.
Tobacco Bay Beach
in St. George is another popular beach with its own beach cafe and water-sports and has great rock formations.
and Scuba Diving
are two favorite water sports here and for good reasons... there are numerous underwater shipwrecks
(some of which are in shallow waters), colorful coral reefs
(many in shallows) and stunning marine life around the island. While you can snorkel from several beaches, there are snorkeling cruises
that take you offshore to snorkel over coral reefs and even ship wrecks. There are over 300 shipwrecks around Bermuda many of which are excellent diving sites. There are several PADI certified dive operators offering both reef and wreck dives
Catamaran sightseeing tour with snorkeling
Photo: Restless Native
And there are several private operators who offer glass-bottom boat tours
to show the marine life and corals from the comfort of a luxury boat while you can enjoy some snacks and drinks on board and listen to a live narration. And some offer sailing tours showing wonderful sunset while on sail
and others combine various water-sports such as swimming, kayaking, paddle-boarding etc while anchoring near an offshore island with its own lovely beach where you can relax.
However, Bermuda's attractions are not limited only to water based activities. The land attractions are equally great... the National Museum of Bermuda
located at the dockyard is home to a myriad of exhibits and artifacts that capture the history of Bermuda over the past four centuries including its maritime trades, dark history of slavery and evolution of its culture andáheritage.
The Crystal andáFantasy Caves
are two fantastic subterranean caves with their own large underground lakes... walk along the pontoon bridge over the lakes and experience stunning limestone formations hanging from the ceiling and rising from the bottom.
is the place to go and see the vast array of marine creatures and corals that are found in the Atlantic surrounding Bermuda. It also has a museum and a zoo. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
is one of the oldest cast iron lighthouses in the world and was once used to navigate the ships several of which had fallen prey to the treacherous reefs near Bermuda. Climb up the stairs and get a wonderful panoramic view of the parishes and Ely's harbor from the circular open balcony on top.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Tom Moore's jungle
is a lush forested land with walking trails and you can find beautiful blue holes, hidden caves and explore many flora
of Bermuda. There are many other excellent nature reserves andáparks in the island where you can blend yourself with the nature. South Shore Park
has a 1.25 mile sandy trail along the south shore and is home to several fabulous beaches and coves.
Years back Bermuda had a railway track covering almost the entire length of the island and it was laid mostly along the north shore. Railway was abolished and the track route was converted into a wonderful walking andácycling trail
which now spans across 18 miles of the island. Not only can you explore the old railway route and trace the history, it is also one of the mostáscenic trails to enjoy wonderful views of the water and landscapes of Bermuda.
If you are visiting Bermuda, take a look at the Bermuda eBooks
that can help make a great vacation plan as you get to know about the best attractions, guided and self-guided tours, water sport andáother activities, great dining andáshopping options, vacation tips and lot more.
Raj is an avid traveler, a travel journalist and a blogger. As an author of this website, he shares deep insights on Bermuda and related areas of interest. Since years, he has been helping countless viewers by posting quality articles, answering questions and sharing experiences on this website. Launched in 2008, this website is Bermuda's one of the leading sources of information since many years.