Travel Dream - Winter 2017/18

A former British colony, Barbados is the most ‘British’ of all the Caribbean islands. Her friendly people may have just celebrated 50 years of independence, but many a colonial tradition thrives like driving on the “wrong” side of the road, red post boxes, the taking of afternoon tea, a genteel chukka or two of polo and of course! A perfect location in the southern Caribbean The most westerly of the Windward islands, Barbados is a tropical paradise, with beautiful white sandy beaches, azure waters, and of course great weather. Below the waterline there is superb diving, with vibrant coral reefs home tomany species of marine life and several shipwrecks. The western, sheltered coast, with its shallow and calmwaters is home to some of the most spectacular and luxurious hotels and villas in the entire Caribbean occupying prime position along the aptly named “Platinum” coast. This glittering series of sandy bays stretches from the northern suburbs of the capital, Bridgetown, all the way to picturesque Speightstown in the northwest. Colourful legacy of the plantations Outside Bridgetown, the island is dotted with sleepy villages and some beautiful botanical gardens as well as the plantation houses of the centuries old sugar cane industry. The pretty chattel houses, which originated on the many plantations across the island, have become an architectural feature, strikingly painted in primary colours and pastel shades, with intricate fretwork around the windows. An island for sports and outdoor activities Barbados is sports mad. From January to March and again in October and November, there is high-class cricket to watch. Golf is popular and keen players will be drawn to prestigious courses like Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland or Apes Hill. The best horseback-riding is across the central highlands and down to the east coast, and as you would expect, there’s a wide array of watersports to enjoy including paddle surfing on the west, kite surfing on the south and surfing on the wild rollers that sweep onto the rugged, east coast. A people who like to party There is a vibrant year-round festival calendar celebrating food, the island’s favourite beverage “Rum”, agriculture, surfing, music, golf, car racing, and culture. The Crop Over Festival from late June to early August is notably one of the biggest Caribbean festivals. Four spectacular sun-drenched weeks filled with exciting events, dancing, live music, and of course, legendary Barbadian rum! For the people of Barbados, it’s a cultural celebration that has hallmarked the end of the sugar cane growing season for over 300 years. For visitors, it’s a unique opportunity to become truly immersed in the dynamic culture of the island culminating in carnival style Kadooment on the Monday at the end of July/beginning of August. wonder people want to come back What is most enduring about Barbados is the loyalty of its visitors, many of whom return year after year to their favourite haunts, some of which we feature in the course of this special feature. 16 ...the most British of Caribbean islands Bridgetown