Bermuda day tour of
Lovely beaches, forts & caves
This is usually a full day self guided tour covering some lovely beaches and historic forts in St. George's, followed by a visit to the famous Crystal & Fantasy caves and then more beaches. To make it a half day tour, you can return after covering the sites (mainly forts and beaches) in St. George's.
If you are docked at Royal Naval Dockyard (i.e. Kings Wharf), a good option is to take the first orange route ferry in the morning and come directly to St George. You get a great view of Bermuda's north shore from the ferry. The ferry finally enters St. George's harbor through a narrow water channel called Town Cut and reaches St George's town taking a total time of about 35 minutes from dockyard.
Note that the Orange ferry operates during summer (April to November and on weekdays only). It has limited runs. Alternatively take a ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton (20 minutes) and then a bus to St George (#10, #11 are the fastest, about 52 minutes). You need to then start early.
There is a shuttle minibus service which operates in St. George. It starts every half an hour and completes a full circle around the eastern end of St. George. You will avail this minibus service to visit some of the lovely beaches and great forts in St. George. The minibus service is available all through the day (but usually during summer).
You can buy a day ticket for the minibus from the Visitors Information Center at Kings Square (St. George) and hop on and off any number of times during the day. You can board the minibus from a place near St. George's ferry dock, or Kings Square which is the town center and only few minutes walk from the ferry.
However you can also walk and cover this circuit. It will take about 1 hour 30 minutes of leisure walk plus the time you will spend at each place. During summer, carry an umbrella, a bottle of water and sun screen lotion.
The minibus will take the Government Hill Road, go past Somers Garden, make the first stop at Unfinished church and proceed towards Tobacco Bay Beach
. This is where you get off (unless you want to visit the Unfinished church
which itself is a wonderful edifice whose construction could not be completed mainly due to parish infighting).
It takes hardly 6-7 minutes from Kings Square to get to Tobacco Bay beach by minibus. It's a lovely small beach and great for snorkeling and swimming. You will notice many rock formations on the water, some looking like pillars. These are great places to spot colorful fish if you decide to snorkel. Snorkel gears are available on rent. The beach has rest rooms and other facilities including beach cafe and bar.
Next is the nearby Achilles Bay Beach
. You can walk (about 600 yards) or take the bus. This is another tiny and beautiful beach overlooking Achilles Bay. There is a restaurant here known as The Beach House at Black Beards
with lovely view of the water. Snorkel rentals are usually available on this beach as well.
On one side of the beach is the famous St. Catherine's Fort
. This fort was originally built by the British in early 1600s to defend against Spanish attacks. This is arguably the best fort in the island and very well maintained. You can see cannons mounted and lots of artifacts and exhibits of British military inside.
Achilles Bay Bermuda
On the other side of the fort is St Catherine beach
overlooking the lovely Gates Bay. This is a relatively secluded beach and you won't get any facilities here. Spend some time and then take the bus again, proceed along Barry Road to reach another fort known as Alexandra Battery
. It's about a mile from St. Catherine's fort. This is another British fort built in 1860s to protect the north shore. You can see Rifled Muzzle Loader guns mounted here.
Another great attraction is a small beach known as Building Bay right next to the fort. This is a sea glass beach and you can see lots of colorful sea glasses here. There is also a cave here at the beach. You can usually find lot more sea glasses inside the cave. You can spend about 45 minutes at the fort and the beach together, and move on.
Hardly 200 meters from Alexandra fort and further down Barry road is Gates Fort
. This is another historic fort built in early 1600s. It's purpose was to stop any enemy boat from entering St. George's harbor through the Town Cut water channel. View of Town Cut and north shore from top of the fort is awesome.
Barry road hereafter becomes Cut Road. From Gates Fort, the bus will take the Cut road and return to Kings Square. If you planned to spend only half a day for this tour, then this is where you can end it. Otherwise continue...
Part-II of Tour
Worked up your appetite by now? For quick lunch try out Gojo's Coffee Shop
located at Kings Square and right next to the Visitors Information Center. The sandwiches are really good, and so are the burgers and fries. Try out the Frappuccino. For a proper lunch you can consider the waterside restaurant The Wharf
on Water Street at a short walking distance from Kings Square or White Horse Tavern
located at Kings Square itself.
After lunch, take bus #1 or 3 to reach Crystal & Fantasy Caves
in about 25 minutes from St. George. Located at Hamilton Parish, these are the best caves in Bermuda with dramatic formations of stalactites and stalagmites. There is a crystal-clear beautiful lake inside the caves. You can avail guided tour of the caves complex. Spend about an hour and a half before you start for your next destination.
Continue on bus #1 or #3. You will pass through Tuckers Town. If you still have appetite left for more beaches, then get off at the lovely John Smiths Bay Beach
. This beach is a long and wide stretch of pink sand. The beach is located at Smith's parish and is excellent for snorkeling. You will mostly find locals here. This beach is seldom visited by the tourists because it's somewhat out of the way. Continue on bus #1 or #3 and reach Hamilton city.
Depending on the time left, you have two options now.
Stroll along Front Street
, take a look at the glittering stores inviting you or enter some of the alleyways to find some nice souvenirs to take back home. If you are returning to the Dockyard, you can later take the blue route ferry from Hamilton Ferry Terminal (takes 20 minutes to reach dockyard).
Take bus #7 from Hamilton which takes the south shore road and goes all the way to the dockyard. This option will be suitable if you are returning to your cruise ship docked at Kings/Heritage wharf. The bus will take the South Road and go past several lovely south shore beaches including Warwick Long Bay, Jobson's Cove, Chaplin Bay, Church Bay, Horseshoe Bay etc. It's a scenic ride and takes about an hour to reach dockyard.
Check out the page Bermuda Map
. It has maps of almost everything that you need.
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