Hi, I want to first start out by thanking you for putting so much information on your site. It has been so informative and helpful--more than I have gotten anywhere else I have looked! This will be my first time visiting Bermuda. I am traveling in a party of 3 (one 8 year old). We will be arriving to the island 10/17/12 at 8am and departing 10/19/12 at 4pm.
I am trying to prioritize and coordinate excursions and places to visit. I was hoping to get your feedback/suggestions on which activities I should do on certain days? And, also making sure that I am not trying to cram into too many activities in a day. We want to spend most of the time on the beach and in the water. None of us are very interested in seeing historical sites on this visit.
With that being said, must do activities on our vacation would be to see a few pink beaches, collect sea glass, visit dolphin quest, shop in Hamilton, snorkel, jet ski, and swim. We were planning the following activities on the following days:
Day 1: Go to snorkel beach after breakfast and return to the cruise ship for lunch. After lunch, go to visit dolphin quest. Then, take the #7 bus and venture out to Black Bay beach in search of sea glass. Will the #7 bus bring you back to Kings Wharf from Black Bay beach? I wasn't sure if the #7 ran both ways.
Day 2: After breakfast, taking the ferry to Hamilton. Do a little shopping there and then visit Horseshoe Bay beach, Church Bay beach for snorkeling, and return to the ship.
Day 3: Go on the Jessie James snorkel excursion and possibly go to another beach. Any suggestions on what other beach we should visit or that we would have time to visit?
I had a few questions that I could not find the answers to on your site so if I missed the information I apologize. Do all of the beaches in Bermuda have pink sand? If not, which ones do have pink sand? Will bus #7 take you to the dockyard from Hamilton and vice versa? Is Black Bay beach good for snorkeling? Are there any must see sights to the east of the island (near St George's parish) beach wise? Where is the best place to jet ski?
I know that I have asked you a lot of questions. I am really super excited to visit the island and just want to make sure that I am planning out my trip wisely to see as many thing as possible. If you can think of anything or suggest anything I do on a certain day instead of another I would so greatly appreciate your input. Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance for any answers/suggestions you can offer!
Melanie (September 2012)
Your over all itinerary looks good. Here are my comments:
1. Yes bus#7 runs both ways between dockyard and Hamilton. You can take that or #8 to get back from Black Bay Beach. Get a 2/3 day pass so that you get unlimited hop on/off access in both buses and ferries. You get the passes at the dockyard Visitors info Center.
2. Day-II: From Hamilton take bus #7 for Church bay and Horseshoe bay. These beaches will be on your way back to the dockyard and on the bus route.
3. On Day3 I doubt you would have much time left after the snorkel cruise. Ask them to drop you back at the dockyard. Depending on time left, take bus#7 or a taxi and visit Daniels Head (10-12 minutes). It's our favorite, not much known to tourists and a great snorkeling beach. You will find details of the beach in my site under "Best Bermuda Beaches"
4. Most Bermuda beaches have pink hues coming out of the sand. This is because of abundance of corals in Bermuda's water. The coral dust get mixed with the sand and create such hue. But the south shore has the best pink beaches of all. Check out this link to know which are those beaches.
5. I won't recommend that you snorkel at Black Bay Beach. It's possible and can be a good experience. But there are risks. The water here has many sharp and invisible rocks. Secondly there are no facilities here.
6. For great jet skiing water areas, check out Bermuda Water and Jet Ski
7. The best beach at the eastern end (in St George) is Tobacco Bay. You can take the orange route ferry from the dockyard and reach St. George in about 35 minutes. From there take a short minibus ride to the beach. It's a great snorkel beach as well. You can do that on day1 instead of the Snorkel Park beach (which is of course very close to the ship berth).
Alternatively on Day1, you can also consider Shelly Bay Beach in Hamilton Parish in the east ... a great family beach, shallow water and excellent for snorkeling. Go to Hamilton by blue route ferry and take bus #10 or 11. While snorkel park is convenient, keep in mind that it's a man-made beach and a commercial place.
PS: try to carry your own snorkel equipment since you plan to spend much time snorkeling. Rentals are quite expensive in Bermuda, particularly so at Snorkel Park.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) September 2012
I sincerely thank you for all of your time answering my questions. You are a wealth of knowledge and I so appreciate all of your input and suggestions. Thank you again!!
Have a great evening!
Melanie (September 2012)
Raj, thank you for all the wonderful, extensive, detailed information you present on your site. For long duration trips I always like to read several books on a location in addition to online info.
Using Bermuda-Attractions.com site exclusively, I created several daily itineraries which I executed based on weather and winter schedules.
FYI: Paget Marsh boardwalk is closed to pedestrians - rotten boards (February 2013). With knowledge I gained from your site, I was able to quickly get into Plan B mode.
"Butterfield Nature Reserve - that's where we'll go" I told my husband. Back on the bus (from the pink pole stop), a quick stop at Miles Market for a soup (lunchtime) and a short walk up Pitt's Bay Road...it is just as you describe!
PS: wrote a short story of the mini adventure, if you're interested Thoroughly enjoyed our time in Bermuda; can see why you would fall in love with the island and it's people
Pat Johnston (March 2013)
My family and I will be visiting by cruise ship in June on the Breakaway. I have been trying to figure out what to see and do. But get so overwhelmed because I don't want to miss anything. We don't have tons of money to spend on excursions and kind of wanted tour on our own. I already know that we should get a ferry/bus pass but we were also thinking maybe just rent a scooter and tour around for a day. We will have our kids who are 16 and 13. We don't want them to be bored either. Do you have any suggestions as to what to see and do that will keep them entertained? They already said they didn't want to go to the caves. PLEASE HELP! Thanks so much in advance. We will be docked for 3 days.
Christine (May 2013)
There are plenty of attractions, activities and entertainment in Bermuda for families with kids. Visit Bermuda for Families and Kids and you should be able to make a good 3-day plan for yourself.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2013
My wife and I plan to arrive by air on Friday, Aug 30, and depart on Tuesday, Sept 3. Our hotel is a short walk from the Hamilton ferry terminal. We think the three primary days, S/S/M, will focus on Hamilton, Dockyard, St George area on a day. We also plan to have bus/ferry passes. With the weekend/Sunday schedule reductions what do you recommend each day?
Larry Markham (July 2013)
Almost all stores and shops in Hamilton and St George's remain closed on Sundays. So it's best to spend the day at the Dockyard and western parishes. The stores at Clocktower Mall (in dockyard) stay open until 6pm (on Mondays they remain open until 10pm because of the weekly Destination Dockyard Festival held at the dockyard). All restaurants and bars also remain open at the dockyard. From there you can easily access the south shore beaches (like Horseshoe, Warwick Long Bay, Jonbson's Cove etc ) by bus #7. So you can do a bit of beach hopping if that's what you like. Or choose one, relax, swim etc. Another option is to walk along the beautiful South Shore beach trail (do it from east to west). Check out the following:
Then visit the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in Southampton. The Dining Room at the base of the Light House is a great restaurant. You can plan your lunch there.
On Saturday and Monday, you can take the self guided tours of Hamilton City and St. George. Visit the links below for more information:
Note that in 2013 summer, the ferry service for the Orange Route has been changed. Now it only plies between Dockyard and St George, and no longer directly accessible from Hamilton. So from Hamilton if you want to take the Orange Route, then take a Blue Route ferry to Dockyard, and then the Orange route ferry. Do check out the schedules, or else there can be long waits in between. From Hamilton, it's worth taking the orange route only if you want to enjoy the north shore. Otherwise only to reach St. George, a bus from Hamilton would be more convenient and faster.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2013
Great super informative web site!! My husband and I are visitng Bermuda for the first time. It is our 40th b-days and 15 yr wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. We will be there for 3 nights 5/30-6/2/2014. All of the itineraries I see are for cruisers. We are flying in and staying at the Fairmont Southampton. We got a great air and hotel deal! So, we are interested in relaxing on a beach, Gibbs hill lighthouse, crystal and fantasy caves and of course restaurants on a budget. We were told we had to visit the swizzle in Warwick. I guess I am looking for tips on where to go when, where to eat (do we need reservations?) and what bus routes to take. Of course any other tips. Thanks in advance.
Melissa Quinn (January 2014)
You haven't mentioned the time you reach Bermuda and depart... so unable to comment on your itinerary on first and last day. Horseshoe Bay Beach and Gibbs Hill Lighthouse are in Southampton and near Fairmont Southampton (bus route #7). Visit both on 2nd day. You can plan to take your lunch at The Dining Room - a nice restaurant located at the base of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. In the late afternoon go down to Hamilton City, do some shopping along Front Street and then take a table on a harbor facing restaurant (like Pickle Onion, upstairs balcony) to enjoy some drinks and dinner.
On day-3 visit Crystal and Fantasy caves (bus #7 or 8 to Hamilton and then transfer to #1 or 3). Then have your lunch at Swizzle Inn located near the caves. This is the original and oldest pub in Bermuda which invented the island drink Rum Swizzle. They serve mostly pub fares in lunch though. But it's mainly the experience you go there for. The one at Warwick Parish is a newer branch. You don't need reservations for Swizzle Inn, but for proper restaurants, it's better to reserve a table in advance. After lunch, take a bus (#1, 3, 10 or 11) and visit the historic town St George.... get off at Kings Square, walk along Water Street, visit Somers Wharf shopping area, visit St Peter's Church etc etc.
Buy a book of 15 tickets ($30) from a nearby post office or Hamilton bus/ferry terminal or . That'll probably be most economical for two of you over 3/4 days. Buy two books if necessary (do your calculation of how many times you need to travel by bus and ferry. Bus transfers do not require additional tickets).
For eating cheap, go through Good budget restaurants in Bermuda. Note that Wok Express (mostly takeaway food, although they have few outside tables but no service) is within walking distance from Fairmont Southampton (just in case you want to avoid costly food in the hotel).
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) January 2014
1) Check out Bermuda in 1 day for great 1 day plan in Bermuda.
2) Check out Bermuda in 2 Days to know how to work out a great itinerary in 2 days.
3) Here is Bermuda 3-Day Itinerary to plan your Bermuda trip over 3 days.