If you’re getting married in Barbados, you’ll want to make the most of the island while you’re there. If your guests are treating your wedding as the perfect excuse for a holiday, they’ll be looking for inspiration too. My family are from Barbados, so it’s a destination close to my heart. I’ve visited a few times over the years, but the island still fills me with wonder and excitement as soon as I arrive. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados is famous for its beautiful, pristine beaches, but there’s a lot more to it than simply sun, sea and sand. Read on to discover 5 things to do in Barbados…
Before we dive into the exciting things you can experience on the island, I want to share a few thoughts on where to stay. The west coast of Barbados is extremely popular with properties like Sandy Lane and Tamarind Hotel in St James. I also love the Miami Beach area in the south. With calm waters and brilliant views, it’s perfect for those who want to enjoy an early morning swim before the heat of the midday sun.
Barbados is relatively flat compared to other parts of the Caribbean. Much of the island is covered by a coral reef limestone cap, creating numerous caverns, caves, and grottos. I remember visiting Harrison’s Cave as a child. Located in the central uplands of Barbados, the popular attraction features flowing streams, deep pools of crystal-clear water and towering limestone columns – I found it fascinating!
Barbados is the birthplace of rum. Founded in 1703, Mount Gay Distillery is known to produce the oldest rum in the world. One of my maternal uncles was their Master Blender for many years before his retirement. Nowadays, you can tour the distillery, book a premium rum flight experience or attend various other workshops and tasting events, all of which sound like boozy heaven! You’ll find several other distilleries on the island and an estimated 1500 rum shops. If you happen to be visiting at the right time, don’t miss the Barbados Food and Rum Festival. Held once a year, the event attracts thousands who come to enjoy the unique taste of local cuisine and the joyful, rum-fuelled atmosphere.
Sea turtles are among the most beloved marine animals in the world. They’re adored for being friendly, photogenic and tame around people underwater. The hawksbill turtle, leatherback turtle and the green turtle are honorary citizens of Barbados. In fact, the island’s hawksbill nesting population is the second largest in the wider Caribbean. The top places to spot sea turtles include Carlisle Bay, Holetown, Dover Beach & Drill Hall. You’ll find many tour options available including snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking.
If you drive up the west coast of Barbados, just before you come to the island’s northern tip, you’ll find a charming town in the parish of St Peter – Speightstown. Named after the wealthy merchant who once owned the land in the 17th century, Speightstown is now over 350 years old. It’s one of the many areas in Barbados where old and new exist harmoniously. It’s a relatively quiet town and a lovely place to wander and explore.
Barbadian cuisine, also known as Bajan cuisine, is a mixture of African, Portuguese, Indian, Irish, Creole and British. Whether you book a dedicated foodie walking tour or head to one of the fishing villages like Oistins for traditional fresh fish on a Friday night, I’m sure you’ll enjoy discovering local dishes and learning more about Bajan food. From cou-cou and flying fish to pudding and souse – I’m hungry just thinking about the delicious things you’ll try!
The origins of the Crop Over summer festival can be traced back to the 1780s when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, a huge celebration was held to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest – the Crop Over celebration. Having been terminated in the 1940s, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were incorporated to create the extravaganza that exists today.
The festival ends with the Grand Kadooment, a vibrant carnival parade featuring large bands dressed in elaborate costumes. Accompanied by the syncopating rhythm of calypso music, revellers make their way to Spring Garden where the party continues with more music, lots of food and drink and, for some, a quick swim at the nearby beach. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!
Image from Visit Barbados.
Now you know what to do while you’re there, you can find more information about getting married in Barbados here. From unearthing the most unique locations to sourcing the very best international suppliers, Benessamy is committed to removing the stress associated with long-distance wedding planning. We can handle negotiations, assist your guests, confirm bookings and co-ordinate every aspect of your overseas wedding or elopement. Discover our Overseas Wedding Planning Services or get in touch to arrange a consultation.