With the long winter months coming to an end (and what a long winter it was!), now is a good time to start thinking about the warm reprieve of lazy summer holidays spent basking in the sunshine. While many people might be lucky enough to expect gorgeous weather in their hometowns, others might need to look further afield to get that their fix of vitamin D. And where could be better than soaking up the warm sunshine on the aptly named Paradise Island? With plenty of exciting activities for the whole family as well as increasingly low airfare to the Bahamas, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most coveted holiday destinations on Earth.
The crystal clear turquoise waters, old-world colonial charm and bustling towns mean that the Bahamas are perfectly equipped to provide unforgettable holiday memories. From mysterious underwater wrecks to stunning national parks, there is something for everyone on these beautiful islands.
If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, then the beautiful Pink Sand Beach on the east coast of Harbour Island offers the quintessential Caribbean experience with none of the hustle and bustle of the bigger towns. Considered one of the best beaches in the Bahamas, the pale pink sand stretches for more than three miles and is home to microscopic pink and red coral insects known as Foraminifera, which gives the beach its famous hue. Spend your afternoons sipping fresh juice under the shade of palm umbrellas while the sea gently laps the shore or head out for a horseback ride as the sun sets to get the best view of the famous pink sands.
For wildlife seekers, the national parks of the Bahamas have it all. From wild mangrove swamps and stunning beaches to lush pine forests and underground cave systems, it is no wonder why the parks are protected. One of the most famous is Lucayan National Park, located between Freeport and Freetown at Gold Rock Creek on Grand Bahama. Consisting of 40 acres of land, the park is home to all six of the Bahamas’ vegetation zones, giving it a rich diversity of flora and fauna as well as the tallest sand dunes on the island.
With water temperatures of 27°C (80°F) year-round, the Bahamas also offer a wide selection of water sports. Grab your swimsuit and go snorkeling near one of the many underwater wrecks off the islands or fulfill one of your wildest dreams by swimming with one of the pods of dolphins in the area. Fishing, kayaking, windsurfing and freediving are all widely available, but if you fancy something a little more relaxed, why not take a cruise around the islands as you sunbathe under the sails. Bliss!
Of course, no trip to the Bahamas would be complete without checking out the first-class casinos on the islands, especially the world-famous Atlantis Resort on the northern fringes of Nassau, which provided some of the backdrops for the James Bond film Casino Royale. After a few spins on the roulette wheel, head to the resort’s Paradise Island Water Park to wind your way down the miles of water slides, lazy rivers and splash pools.
If you’re traveling with fussy eaters, it is worth knowing that the cuisine in the Bahamas is mostly centered on the delicious fresh seafood, which is so abundant on the islands. Conch is a staple of the Bahamian diet, which means it is widely available almost everywhere you turn! Try cracked conch, conch salad or conch burgers from one of the many markets stalls or satisfy pickier palates with fresh BBQ food from the amazing restaurants with sea views.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what is!