In Association with Thomas Cook Airlines
Out of all the Caribbean islands, Barbados really does have it all. With paradise-like beaches, unique natural wonders, and of course, beautiful sunny weather, it’s no wonder many people fall head over heels with this tropical island nation. I definitely blame my first visit to Barbados for my ongoing love affair with the Caribbean.
So when Thomas Cook Airlines asked me to share why Barbados is a great holiday destination, I was happy to oblige.
With up to five Barbados-bound flights with Thomas Cook Airlines leaving the UK each week (including two direct options), it’s easier than ever to tick this island off your bucket list.
The airline has recently acquired a brand new fleet of aircraft kitted out in sleek grey and yellow seats, which give the cabins a spacious feel.
Foodies will be happy with the in-flight menus designed by celebrity chef James Martin.
Oh, and if you’re an aeroplane geek, their 10 swanky A330s fly from Manchester to Barbados and offer improved wider seats, a larger variety of refreshments and more legroom than ever before.
In economy, the seats recline an impressive 4.4” and if you upgrade to premium, this increases to 6”. So you can spend the eight or so hours in the sky in comfort and style.
Find more info about flying to Barbados with Thomas Cook Airlines here. But for now, here are those reasons you should get yourself to Barbados.
(Like you need persuading).
Reasons to Holiday in Barbados
Barbados has the most gorgeous beaches
It goes without saying; the beaches in Barbados are top class and you have around 100 to choose from. The south and west coasts of the island are blessed with blindingly white beaches and really calm water. In the east, you have the likes of Bathsheba, Cattlewash and Lakes Beach, which are great for walks and for watching the surfers. And we mustn’t forget Crane Beach, which has been dubbed one of the ‘Top Beaches in the World’ before. You’ll find all the best hotels are located directly on the seafront so it’s a mere stroll between your room and those palm-fringed sands.
Barbados is the birthplace of Mount Gay Rum
The day I fell in love with Barbados probably coincided with the day I discovered my favourite rum. Take a tour of the Mount Gay Rum distillery and you may well have a new favourite tipple too.
The tour takes visitors through the island’s complex history covering the slave trade and the origins of Barbados’ sugar plantations. You can then walk through the distillery past giant vats that fill the air with a delicious sweet aroma. Then it’s time for the best bit – sampling the many types of Mount Gay Rum that they offer. I dare you not to fall in love with this drink before you leave!
The island has many intriguing sides
For such a tiny place, Barbados has a surprising number of different sides to it – which makes it such a great holiday destination. Stay in super swanky hotels such as Sandy Lane and dine in upscale Daphne’s on the ultra-glitzy West Coast. Kick back in seaside boutique hotels in the east, or join the young crowds in lively St Lawrence Gap. There’s so much variety. When it comes to leisure and things to do, you’ll find high-end shopping in the west and more authentic shops in the capital of Bridgetown and the south. At just 21 miles long, this island is super easy to explore.
Barbados has plenty of cultural attractions
I love that each Caribbean island has its own character and quirks and Barbados is no exception. If you’re a bit of a culture seeker, Barbados has some great cultural attractions. Start in the capital of Bridgetown – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and explore its historical monuments, political buildings and interesting harbour. If you’re a horse lover, make sure you check out the Garrison Savannah Race Track, which has been here since colonial times in 1845. Nearby you’ll find the historic St Ann’s Fort and Matthias Church too.
Elsewhere, explore the Caribbean’s intriguing past in one of its historic plantations such as Sunbury Plantation House. Some of them offer dining experiences and tours of the original plantation owners’ rooms, complete with original antiques.
Barbados is home to beautiful natural wonders
Away from the beach, there are loads of natural attractions that are well worth a visit in Barbados. Discover the oasis of the Andromeda Botanical Gardens in St Joseph, drive up to St Lucy for whale watching and to see the famous animal flower cave. Or step into the enchanting Huntes Gardens in the heart of the rainforest. Oh, and then there’s the stalactite-filled Harrisons Cave and Welchman Hall Gully. Bring your camera, Barbados is beautiful.
Barbados is the home of the Oistins Fish Fry
The first time I experienced a real Caribbean ‘lime’ was in Oistins. This south coast fishing town is where the local fishermen bring in their latest catch. And by night, the market turns into a lively party spot where you can eat the freshest fish and tastiest Caribbean food. Make sure you try the flying fish or ‘mahi mahi’ with macaroni pie and wash it down with some rum punch. As the night goes on, the place fills with calypso and soca music. And locals show off their dance moves on stage as the party vibe and ‘lime’ continues into the night.