Best beaches in Bermuda for swimming
When I classify a beach as a great swimming beach, it is mainly based on the pleasure and ease of swimming. Which means we are essentially looking for beaches which have calm and shallow waters, and not necessary the ones that offer great snorkeling opportunities.
Photo: Captain-tucker, CC by SA 4.0
We do not often carry snorkel gears with us and therefore exploring underwater corals, fish and marine life are not the options then. We just want to enjoy the swims, the overall settings and views around the beach.
But for sheer swimming pleasure, here are our favorite beaches:
This is a south shore beach and located in Paget parish. There is an offshore reef line in the water close to the beach which acts as a barrier to the wave action and therefore the water near the beach usually remains calm and great for swimming.
Although a part of the beach is private to a few resorts, rest of the beach is open to public. A shipwreck lies close to the beach making it an excellent snorkeling beach as well.
Bus #7 that operates between Hamilton and Dockyard has a stop on South Road. From the bus stop, you need to walk for about 500 yards to get to the beach.
Note that there are currently no facilities at Elbow Beach, not even a public washroom. There used to be a beach bar and restaurant
here run by Elbow Beach Hotel, however it is temporarily closed at the moment because the hotel is apparently up for sale.
This lovely beach is located in Hamilton parish and between Hamilton city and St. George's. The water is quite calm and shallow for a long way offshore, and its gradual slope makes the beach excellent for swimming.
In fact it is one of the most popular beaches for local families who come here with their kids. The beach has lots of tree shades at one end. There is also an adjacent children's playground. Toilet facilities are also available at the beach park.
There are however no other beach amenities here like beach rentals, food stalls etc. However, the grocery store Shelly Bay Market Place
is located nearby and you can stock up deli food and other essentials from here if you want.
There is a boardwalk along the shoreline at Shelly Bay which leads all the way to the wonderful Railway Trail
which is a great trail for walking and cycling.
Bus #10 and 11 that operate between Hamilton and St. George have stops next to the entry of Shelly Bay Beach. From Hamilton, it takes about 25 minutes to get to the beach by bus. While coming from the Dockyard, take a ferry to Hamilton and then a bus.
This beach is a bit far and located at St. David's Island at the eastern end. You will need to first get to St. George's and then take a bus to get to the beach. But it will be absolutely worth the effort you take.
Although this is a manmade beach, it's beautiful. The water here is calm and shallow, and ideal for swimming. No wonder you will find many local families here on the weekends.
Clearwater Beach Imagery
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There is a children's playground here. Other facilities include public restrooms, concession stands and a beach bar and restaurant. Life guards are on duty during the summer.
This is another beautiful beach with pale pink sands and great for swimming. It's located at Smith's parish. From Hamilton city you need to take a bus to reach the beach. There is a reef line about 200 yards away which keeps the high waves away and the water calm.
The beach is also nice for snorkeling. Toilets are available. A food van sells snacks and ice creams during summer. Life guards are on duty during summer.
Bus #1 and 3 have stops next to the entry at the beach. Bus takes about 25 minutes from Hamilton City. While coming from Dockyard, take the direct Blue Route Ferry to Hamilton (takes 20 minutes) and then a bus to the beach.
This is a small but very popular beach located at the outskirts of St George's. With many rocks on the water, the beach looks very pretty.
The large rock formations keep the water calm near the beach and ideal for swimming. The beach is great for snorkeling as well, particularly near the rocks where you can see many colorful tropical fish.
This is a full facility beach... there is a beach cafe and a beach bar. They also offer beach rentals such as beach chairs and umbrellas. You can also get water sport rentals here including snorkel gears, kayaks, etc. There are bathrooms as well as locker facility.
If you are here in the afternoon, then do not miss out on the wonderful sunset view from the beach... on the summer weekends starting on Fridays, the cafe organizes sunset campfire with live music, and you can enjoy all that while sipping a cocktail.
It requires a 25-minute walk from the St. George's town square to get to the beach. You can also take a mini bus from the town center to get there.
This is a picturesque half-a-mile long beach located in Warwick parish and is easily accessible by bus from both dockyard and Hamilton city.
The water is relatively calm and good for swimming. The beach also offers many secluded spots where you can lounge in privacy. There are many jagged rocks fringing the beach making it look beautiful. There are also several offshore coral reefs. You can get into the water practically from anywhere on the beach.
Toilets are available near the western end entrance. A food van is usually available during summer that also offers snorkel rentals.
Bus #7 has a stop at the western entry of the beach on South Road. From Hamilton it takes about 20 minutes and from Dockyard about 40 minutes to get to the beach by bus. From the bus stop it's a short walk to the car park and then a few steps down to the beach.
This is another picturesque cove on the south shore and few steps away from Warwick Long Bay and to its west. The cove is surrounded by large rocks making the water calm. The shallows here are excellent for swimming as well as snorkeling.
However, do not go through rock openings into the open sea... there can be water current there and it may not be safe for swimming.
In order to get to Jobson's Cove, take bus #7 and get off at the western entry of Warwick Long Bay Beach, and come down to the car park. Now, instead of taking the steps to go down to Warwick Long Bay, take the trail to the right. Jobson's Cove is a short walk away.
Last but not the least is Horseshoe Bay Beach located in Southampton. This is the busiest beach in summer and undoubtedly draws maximum number of tourists. And there are good reasons for that. It's a picture perfect beach with pink sands.
The beach has full facilities... there is a beach cafe and a beach bar. Beach rentals are available as well. There are changing rooms with showers. Life guards are on duty during the summer time. It's generally a great beach for swimming.
Occasionally however, there can be large ocean swells when the beach is not suitable for inexperienced swimmers.
Adjacent to the main beach and a few steps away to the west is Port Royal Cove, a picturesque cove surrounded by large rocks. The shallow and calm water here is great for swimming for families and kids.
Bus #7 has stop on South Road. From the bus stop, you need take the approach road and walk downhill for a few minutes to get to the beach. During summer when the cruise ships are in port, there are regular minibus shuttle services between Dockyard and Horseshoe Bay Beach.
By Raj Bhattacharya
Raj, a seasoned travel writer and Bermuda destination expert, has extensive global travel experience. This website reflects his profound insights, garnered over nearly two decades of dedicated findings and research on the island. Raj has assisted countless Bermuda-bound visitors by providing direct, personalized responses to their queries and imparting his wealth of knowledge through this platform. This site serves as an indispensable guide for those seeking informed and reliable insights into Bermuda's treasures.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
Karen (May 2016)
Hi Raj, I am going on a cruise, docking at the Royal Naval Dockyard in a couple of weeks with my mom and 2 sisters. My mom has a hard time walking too far, but wants to go to some of the beaches that are great for swimming with calmer waters. What beach or beaches do you recommend?
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2016
If you are not ready to walk, then you need to travel some distance... for example John Smith's bay beach is a nice beach for swimming and very close to the bus stop, but located in Smith's parish. It requires a ferry from dockyard to Hamilton and then transfer to a bus. Similar with Tobacco bay beach which is also easily accessible, but located in St. George. Even Elbow beach and Warwick long bay are easily accessible from the car park, but you need to take a taxi. From the bus stops, it requires some walk for both. Snorkel Park is anyway inside the dockyard premises and you can easily walk down to the beach from the cruise berth (6-7 minutes).