Visit Eleuthera & Harbor Island
Eleuthera is located about 50 miles east of Nassau and is the longest island in Bahamas (110 miles north to south) and surrounded by a chain of small islands. The main island is razor thin ... hardly wider than a couple of miles at any place.
Harbor Island, known as one of the best and fondly called as Briland by the locals is located at the north east of Eluthera mainland and separated by a narrow channel. It's about 3.5 miles long and about 1.5 miles wide. Harbor Island too is part of Eleuthera chain of islands and a magnet for luxury class tourists loving the pink sands, diving, snorkeling and fishing. It's also home to many rich and famous.
Life at Eleuthera is much slower than what you may imagine, cell phones and internet won't work for most part of the islands ... making it an ideal haven for those who want a vacation to simply chill amongst miles of undeveloped nature away from touristy crowd and at times indulge in mind blowing diving, snorkeling, fishing and exploring coral reefs and caves. Note that there are no cruise ships operating to Eleuthera making it an island chain free of swarming cruise passengers.
The major settlement at Eleuthera mainland is at Governor’s Harbor located centrally which has an airport. There are two other airports, one at Rock Sound in south Eleuthera (another major settlement) and another one at North Eleuthera.
Both mainland Eleuthera and Harbor Island have miles of beaches, several of them have pink sands. In fact the Pink Sands Beach at Harbor Island which runs across the entire stretch of its eastern coast has the pinkest sands of all and has been voted as one of the 10 best beaches in the world. And the Harbor Island itself was listed the best island in the whole of Bahamas, Caribbean and Bermuda.
The Queen's Highway, which is the main road of mainland Eleuthera, runs across the full length of the island. There are taxis available all across the island. Golf Carts which are the main personal mode of transports are available on rent from several ferry docks. From North Eluthera, there are regular ferries that connect the Harbor Island taking tourists and residents across.
Map of Eleuthera
So why should you visit Eluthera?
Eleuthera was one of the first islands in Bahamas where a permanent settlement began when a group of British Puritans (known as 'Elutheran Adventurers') landed here from Bermuda in 1648. They named the island 'Eleuthera' which in Greek means Freedom. The entire island still reflects the rich architecture of the period... colorful pastel houses lining the streets with flowering plantations, palms swaying... all somewhat replicating the New England scene.
The North Eleuthera is full of high cliffs and coral reefs. Visit the Glass Window Bridge here (about 3.5 miles north of Gregory Town) along Queen's Highway and you can see steep drop of the rocky land here meeting the ocean below. On one side of the Bridge you can see the deep blue waters of the Atlantic while on the other side the turquoise water of Great Bahama Bank.... awesome sight.
Little off Spanish Wells in North Eleuthera are the shallow coral reefs that were responsible for numerous ships getting wrecked here. But such ill fate of the ships have created one of the best sites for diving here. The Current Cut, a narrow channel only 100 yards wide has tremendous turbulent waters due to changing tides making it a fun diving opportunity for the divers.
The central Eluthera mainland has many farming lands .... lots of vegetables and fruits including tomato are cultivated and harvested here. However the Pineapple production here has been famous as it produces one of the naturally sweetest types and in large quantity. Annual Pineapple festival is held at Gregory town to celebrate Eleuthera's domination in pineapple production.
The South Eleuthera has a cluster of quaint villages and full of greenery.
And when it comes to Harbor Island, it's all about sleepy elegance, tree lined streets with pastel houses, wonderful casual friendly beach bars & restaurants, horse riding on the beaches and swimming & snorkeling off the pink sandy beaches.... many celebrities including the Royal Family often frequent Harbor Island. It's known for its elegant luxury yet intimate resorts for the affluent as well as fishermen's lodges that many budget tourists prefer.
There are regular flights from Nassau to all three airports of Eleuthera and international flights from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) to both Governor's Harbor and North Eleuthera airports. Regular fast ferry connections exist between Nassau to all these places (takes about 5.5 hours one way).
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