Bermuda probably has the best location, weather and lifestyle of anyplace I’ve ever visited! Home to pink sand beaches, 75 miles of jaw-dropping coastline, picturesque harbours and gorgeous turquoise waters, this sun-drenched island in the mid-Atlantic is a paradise on earth. The island of Bermuda sits just 600 nautical miles, or a short two-hour flight, east of New York and is only an hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. It is so close to the U.S. but an entire world away!
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic. The island was originally discovered in 1503 by a Spanish explorer named Bermudez (hence the name of the island), but official settlement didn’t occur until 1609 with the English Virginia Company’s vessel, Sea Venture, was intentionally run aground during a storm with colonists headed for Virginia. Most of the colonists quite rightly decided to stay and create a colony on the uninhabited island.
Bermuda isn’t just one island; it’s an archipelago made up of seven main islands (and well over 100 islets), each connected by bridges. The main island is only 24-miles long and is home to islands’ current capital city of Hamilton.
Here’s a Pro Tip: The currency used is the Bermuda Dollar. About 1.5 Bermuda Dollars is equal to one British Pound, though the rate regularly fluctuates.
Unless arriving on a cruise ship, most travellers touch down at L.F. Wade International Airport, the only airport on the island. The airport sits just 15km north of Hamilton. Transferring to Hamilton, or other island destinations, from the airport, is by shuttle bus or taxi. A one-way group shuttle bus will cost around £25 per person and take roughly 30-minutes. In comparison, a taxi ride will take closer to 20-minutes and cost around £40.
Here’s Another Pro Tip: Car rental is banned on the island. The Bermuda government decided to protect the island and its infrastructure (imagine the chaos if 600,000 tourists a year tried driving around such a small island). Fear not, taxis and public buses are readily available.
While it’s ever so tempting to spend your entire holiday sipping cocktails by the pool, I highly recommend exploring the island and its many attractions. Below are some of my favourite things to do in Bermuda:
- Hamilton – Bermuda’s capital is the island’s beating heart, home to a picturesque harbour, art galleries and an abundance of shops. I’d recommend spending a day or two exploring on foot before visiting the wider island.
- St. George – The historic town of St. George was the first settlement on the island and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of traditional buildings to admire, each painted in eye-catching colours.
- Horseshoe Bay Beach – Conde Nast Traveller ranked Horseshoe Bay Beach one of the top 20 beaches in the world. There’s no way you can omit this pink sand beach from your Bermuda itinerary.
- National Museum of Bermuda – Learn about the islands’ dynamic history at the Bermuda Museum, located on the grounds of a former military fort. Make sure you visit the Commissioner’s House and the Royal Naval Dockyard while you’re here.
- Bermuda Botanical Gardens – The entire island of Bermuda might be beautiful, but a visit to the Botanical Gardens showcases the native flora and fauna. The aromatic garden was a real highlight for me!
- Crystal and Fantasy Caves – Head underground to see these astonishing caves where crystal clear ocean-fed lakes sparkle under a roof of crystalised stalagmites and stalactites.
- Go diving – National Geographic listed Bermuda as a diving destination not to be missed, and I can see why. With surrounding reefs of colourful fish and more ship wrecks per mile than anywhere else in the world, you’re in for a unique diving experience.
- Spittal Pond Nature Reserve – This lush and leafy sanctuary is teeming with birds and wildlife. Follow the marked trails through the park or take a guided hike to sok up the natural beauty.
- The Mid Ocean Golf Club – It comes as no surprise that Golf is a popular sport on the island thanks to the British influence. There are nine courses to choose from, but the Mid Ocean Golf Club is the most popular course with those in the know.
Bermuda’s restaurant scene is more dynamic than you might expect. The island has hosted a number of events over the years, including the 35th America’s Cup, which led local restaurateurs to up their game and new chefs to flock to the island. Below are some of my favourite restaurants in Bermuda.
- Mad Hatters – For a delightful evening dining on gourmet cuisine while wearing a silly hat, reserve a table at Mad Hatters. The quirky hats are optional, but a happy attitude is mandatory. The mussels here were voted the best on the island.
- Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio – For a low-key meal, head to Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio, a charming restaurant tucked down an alley in St George. Of course, the grilled wahoo is the best thing to order on the menu, but the Bermuda Lobster is also delightful!
- The Village Pantry – If you’ve strayed outside of St George and Hamilton, you might find yourself close to The Village Pantry in the middle of the island. This roadside restaurant serves wholesome meals made using local ingredients. Try the fish curry!
Get ready to enjoy the rhythmic sounds of the steel drum band! Refreshing drinks and live music go hand in hand with island life, and there’s nowhere better to enjoy this combination than Bermuda. Check out my favourite party places:
- Conservatory Bar & Lounge – If you’re looking to dress to the nines and enjoy a classy evening amongst Bermuda’s finest residents, head to the Conservatory Bar & Lounge at the Rosewood. The hotel’s refined gin bar has become a popular hangout spot with Bermuda’s rich and famous.
- The Dock at the Waterlot Inn – For a more relaxed evening watching the sunset through the palm trees, head to the Dock at the Waterlot Inn and take a seat on the terrace. You’ll literally be sitting by the dock of the bay!
- The Pickled Onion – While the decor at the Pickled Onion might be a little dated, there’s no doubt it’s one of the best venues on the island for live music. Head here any night of the week after 10 pm for be dancing the night away.
Private beaches, luxury spas and onsite restaurants that tempt you to never leave the hotel; check out my favourite accommodation options on the island:
- Rosewood Bermuda – Without a doubt, the Rosewood Bermuda is the best hotel on the island. This recently renovated 5-star luxury resort boasts a private pink sand beach, four swimming pools and an opulent beach club.
- Hamilton Princess & Beach Club – The Hamilton Princess is another of Bermuda’s 5-star resorts. You’ll likely recognise this one from its pink exterior. Guests enjoy a luxury spa, harbour views and an infinity pool.
- Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa – If you’re travelling as a couple, consider a romantic stay at the Cambridge Beaches Resort. This adult-only hotel has spacious rooms and suites offering ocean views and an array of onsite facilities, including a state-of-the-art spa, three restaurants and a private beach.
Imagine yourself walking hand-in-hand with your loved one on pink sand beaches of Bermuda. Just remember, Bermuda isn’t in the Caribbean, a popular misconception that’ll leave the locals (and fellow travellers) rolling their eyes!