Barbados Region Overview
Welcome to the official website of the Ins & Outs of Barbados guide. Barbados is the Caribbean's most revisited destination. It is a vibrant, nearly 400 year old island community - one of the most beautiful little places in the world to live, with year round sunshine and pleasantly cooling tradewinds. Visitors soon realise though that the island's warmth has not only to do with the climate, but also the friendliness of our people.
It is our hope and intention that as visitors to Barbados you will not only feel welcome in our country, and enjoy your time spent amongst our people, but also that your Barbados experience will actually exceed expectations.
The 166 square miles of Barbados is made up of 11 parishes each one quite different from the other. The island is small enough to get anywhere in 45 minutes or less and big enough to never get bored.
St. James and St. Peter on the West Coast - known as the "Platinum Coast" - is home to many of the island's most luxurious hotels and private villas, chic polo clubs and golf developments, sprawling seaside mansions sitting on miles of powdery white sand beaches lapped by the calm, crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. This coast, with its dazzling tropical sunsets, is perfect for water skiing, smooth sailing on sleek catamarans with stops to snorkel over coral reefs with the sea turtles, or simply soaking in the warm, crystaline waters sipping on a delicious rum punch.
St. Lucy on the North Coast is referred to by Barbadians as being "behind God's back" - the quiet parish with the island's most northerly point, quaint island villages and remote bays with spectacular coastal scenery and huge Atlantic rollers pounding the sea cliffs.
St. George and St. Thomas are the lush central parishes of tropical forest, botanical gardens, rich farmland and three of Barbados' five polo clubs. These parishes extend from the commercial and residential suburbs of Barbados and lead out to the more rugged and green eastern countryside of St. Joseph and St. Andrew which are in The Scotland District.
The Scotland District also provides some great hiking territory - mile upon mile of deserted beaches and winding tracks through coconut groves that sweep up into the surrounding hills offering stunning scenic views in all directions.
The coast of St. Joseph sits on the dramatically beautiful, windswept, sparsely-populated Eastern shore of Barbados. Here the Atlantic Ocean runs swiftly up to meet the seaside villages of Bath, and Bathsheba which is renowned for having some of the world's best surfing conditions. St. John is the East Coast's gentler parish with charming fishing villages and rich agricultural land.
St. Philip's coastline in the South-East has some of the whitest sand beaches and striking blue sea, punctuated with the white caps of the fringing reef peculiar to that parish. In the South-East sits Barbados' only airport and The Crane - a fabulous development of hotel, shops, restaurants and private residences for timeshare or purchase.
Christ Church and St. Michael are the most populated and action packed parishes. St. Michael is home to the nation's historic capital and World Heritage site, Bridgetown, offering shopping of every sort, and Kensington Oval, the hallowed ground of cricket - the national sport of Barbados.
Some of the island's most popular beaches can be found in Christ Church, including Accra Beach, Sandy Beach, Dover and Miami Beach (also known as Enterprise). The splendid South Coast boardwalk runs for a mile or so, from Accra Beach in Rockley to Hastings. It was completed in 2009 and has gained tremendous popularity with locals as well as visitors who can be seen enjoying a leisurely stroll, a brisk walk or jog at all hours of the day. There are quite a number of bars and restaurants along the way where you can stop for happy hour or a bite to eat.
The popular South Coast strip runs from Bay Street (on the outer edge of Bridgetown) to the renowned St. Lawrence Gap which is lined with nightclubs, bars and restaurants of every sort. Further along the coast the little fishing town of Oistins is one of the best places in the island for a very casual local seafood meal.