When you glance from your window seat above, you notice a beautiful tropical island. What you don't yet know is that this tiny island below has so much to offer. And it has gained its reputation for good reason. As soon as you touch ground, you sense something special immediately.
The island is quietly nestled right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea. Most people often confuse the two. A short flight from Toronto, New York and many other North American cities will bring you to a place you never really knew existed so close to home.
As Mark Twain once quoted " You can go to heaven if you want. I'd rather stay in Bermuda".
There are hundreds of reasons why we love Bermuda. But rather than focusing on the aesthetics for now, we will share Bermuda's greatest gift: the people. The warmth of the people was truly an experience in itself. Bermuda is known for being the friendliest place in the world. This tight knit community is kind and helpful. They treat all tourists as their own and this is no exaggeration. Everyone you pass on the street will greet you with a kind “hello or how are you?". Though inconceivable to city people like ourselves, you get the feel of old where respect and decency is the Bermudian way.
Bermuda's an island with much to offer. It's very safe to travel and you can visit the entire island in just under two hours. Tourists are not allowed to rent cars but rather mopeds. If you don't feel safe, they have an excellent bus and ferry system that we personally used for most of our trip. Once you arrive on the island, ask for a map, buy some tickets and you're on your way.
Let's begin by describing Bermuda's best feature: its BEACHES. The waters are calm and the sand has a pink hue. It's quite marvelous to see the turquoise waters surrounded by the coral reefs. We took the time to visit many beaches on the island. Although each was different from the other, we always remained impressed.
If you're arriving by cruise (a very popular option during the summer) and spending a couple of days on the island, then you absolutely need to visit Horseshoe Bay, a world renown beach. This beautiful pink sand beach is very popular, therefore be ready for the large crowds. You can also do as we did. Walk a little further from the crowds and you will find a nice quiet spot. If you love to explore, we strongly suggest to walk along the coves and follow the trails until you reach Warwick Long Bay. This little adventure will not disappoint. Warwick Long Bay is another beautiful pink sand beach, but it's far less crowded. Bring your camera as the coves along the way are truly breathtaking.
What is a trip without food? This island might be small in size, but it's huge in flavour. Every single meal we ate here was absolutely amazing. The island is most famous for their Wahoo fish sandwich. This sandwich consists of local fish, tartar and your choice of bread. The best way to have it is undoubtedly the Bermudian way, with raisin toast. This may sound strange but believe us, the flavours combine well together. You will find this sandwich all over the island, but Art Mel's is surely the place to go, hidden deep in the city of Hamilton. Another great option is found at Woody's, near the Dockyards.
You will need a drink to go along with your Wahoo sandwich and Bermuda's signature drink, the Rum Swizzle, is a must. This drink consists mainly of rum and it's quite strong. If you can't handle your alcohol, then one glass is just enough. The drink is found all over the island, but visiting Bermuda's oldest Pub at the Swizzle Inn is a must stop.
Since you're planning a visit to the Swizzle inn, you might as well walk a few steps and visit the nearby Crystal and Fantasy Caves, Bermuda's most famous land attraction. These beautiful well kept caves are worth the tour. Their funny guides will definitely keep you entertained. Once you have completed the tour and are craving something sweet, please visit Bailey's Bay Ice Cream Parlour next door for their delicious homemade ice cream. Yes, they also serve alcoholic flavours such as the rum swizzle which are just as popular here.
There's so much to do on the island, but reserving a whole day or two to visit St. George's Parish is a very good recommendation. This little section of Bermuda will definitely charm you with its cute little shops and quiet little streets. We found the best way to visit this area is by getting lost in its alleys. Aside from shopping in the boutiques, there's St. Peter's Church and the ruins of the Unfinished Church to visit. Running low on energy? Grab lunch at the Wahoo Bistro and something sweet at Sweet Saak to fill the void. A day is not truly fulfilled in Bermuda without visiting a beach. Start or end your day by taking a swim at Tobacco Bay beach. It may not be a signature pink sand beach, but it's just as beautiful. If your day allows you a little more time, visit Achilles Bay and the Fort of St. Catherine, which are only a few minutes away.
Hamilton is Bermuda's capital city and part of the Pembroke Parish. Once you arrive here, you will notice quite a difference from the rest of the island. Although the city is more active, it's still not as commercial as you might think. Another reason why we love Bermuda so much. Did we mention there's no Mcdonald's or Starbucks in sight? Not to worry, there are many great restaurants at your disposal. Breakfast at Tribe Road Kitchen and dinner at Devils Isle are always a good idea. A visit to the city must be on your list especially on Wednesdays nights during the summer months, where you can enjoy Bermuda's most popular festival: Harbour nights. Arrive on time to watch the Gombey dancers and enjoy the rest of the evening by eating at the many food stands or browse for some souvenirs on Front Street.
Finally, if you're into adventure, get to see a different part of the island on foot. Bermuda's Railway Trail is an old railway track along the coast now reserved only to pedestrians and cyclists. You can admire all of Bermuda with it's 18 out of 22 miles of accessible paths by bike. You can definitely walk or jog, but to complete the entire trail will require some time and determination. A more popular option is to visit a part of this beautiful nature trail just as we did. Be aware that the trail can sometimes cut off and the entrance can be rather difficult to find. But not to worry, it's all part of the adventure!