Fancy exploring talcum powder sands and perfect swell? How about a deserted beach with palm trees arching in the warm wind, and nothing but the sound of the crashing waves? With Barbados flights leaving from many British airports daiy, such paradise is easily reachable.
Barbados is known as a colonial outpost and later playground for the rich and infamous like Simon Cowell and Rihanna, who talk fondly of the place. The island fills these boots well, with manicured estates and immaculate golf courses.
The Holy Wave
The polished side of Barbados is only one part of the story. With excellent fifteen footer swells that tear up the shoreline, the eastern side features a reef and shore line that one would expect on the surf coasts of Northern Queensland in Australia or Oahu in Hawaii. Barbados is an alluring fixture on the surfing calendar for surfing pros, enthusiasts of all levels and beach bums. Pro-Surfer Kelly Slater rates it as one of the best swells in the world. The beaches on the eastern side feature undisturbed sand dunes, sun-bleached trees, sly monkeys and most importantly – not many people.
Camping in these areas is an enticing and affordable option for sun-chasing travellers who want to escape the winter blues of the UK. So too is living their simple, sustainable lifestyle, and dropping in on some waves.
The Laid Back Life
With a modest influx of people to surf, this area is still an undiscovered secret, waiting for the big explosion. One day it may well become just like the surf coasts of Mexico, Fiji and Costa Rica, places now heaving with visitors.
The eastern part of the island has makeshift bars selling cheap beer, street food vendors and cheap and cheerful guest houses replete with peeling blue paint and Spartan provisions. This could make it a strong attraction for backpackers in search of a hassle-free, anonymous life. Indeed, the eastern side of the island and the major town there, Bathsheba, has a small community of friendly locals who welcome surfing visitors. Unlike more popular surfing destinations, the locals actually want the big boom to happen.
Cheap and Cheerful Barbados
On the more affluent side of the island, there are still plenty of natural wonders to explore and enjoy that are as cheap as chips. Harrison’s Cave is worth checking out, with a dark obsidian underground chamber that looks like a playground for mythical creatures with thundering waterfalls and deep, vivid rock pools.
Travel should come with a warning – those with a blue crush on the surfing life may get waylaid here for a long time.