If you’re visiting or living in the eastern U.S. or Canada, one of the most convenient ways to escape to paradise is to plan a trip to beautiful Bermuda. Its close proximity, lying exactly east of the state of South Carolina in the U.S., makes it a great destination for vacationers looking for a tropical island of convenience!
Bermuda isn’t its own independent country (unfortunately for the Road Warrior, as we love adding new countries to our list!). Bermuda was discovered in early 1500 by the Spanish, but is now an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. In fact, it became a British colony in early 1700 and has since become the oldest remaining British Overseas Territory since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997.
Bermuda is said to consist of over 100 different islands (in some reports, there are over 180 different islands!), but the largest island where the airport is located is the “main island” and is often referred to as “Bermuda”. This is a relatively small island that is approximately 21 square miles. Bermuda is divided into nine parishes and two municipalities. The international airport is located in St. George’s Parish, and we spent the bulk of our time in Hamilton Parish which is around 10 minutes drive from St. George’s Parish.
Map of Bermuda Parishes – From Embassy World (www.embassyworld.com)
Pink sand on the Bermudan beaches
Bermuda has some of the most beautiful beaches we have seen in the Caribbean. It is well-known for the pink sand beaches, which are so spectacular when seen in person. We took the photographs in this blog post with an old and very low mega-pixel point-and-shoot camera. They don’t do justice to the beauty that we saw when we visited the various beaches around the island…the beaches were simply breathtaking!
Beyond the amazing beaches, if you’re in Bermuda for more than a few days, here are some ideas of what to do — the Road Warrior’s Best of Bermuda:
1) Marine museum in Sandy’s Parish – visit to see a fantastic collection of historical artifacts and learn a lot about the island’s history.
2) Aquarium/Zoo – a small zoo but a nice collection of marine life (large aquariums!) and a great way to spend an afternoon if you have children
3) Hamilton Parish for some good eats – head to “downtown” Hamilton for some fine dining. There are a variety of restaurants to suit all palates and all budgets, from seafood restaurants to international cuisine (yes, you can even find Indian and Japanese food here!)
4) Scuba dive! – We hear that there is world class diving in Bermuda, including many good wreck dives. We didn’t have the chance to dive here but will definitely be back to see if the underwater experience is just as good as the above-water experience! The summer months apparently cause a lot of algae to form which decreases visibility, so many divers suggest that the fall months (September/October) are the best for diving as the water is warm and the visibility is good.
View of the water below from a rocky cliff, Bermuda
One tip that we recommend if you are visiting Bermuda is to take advantage of the public transportation system. Given that the island is so small, navigating the public transport system is very easy. It is a fantastic service — clean, cool (air conditioned!), convenient, very accessible and quite reliable. In fact, we ended up using the bus system throughout our trip, including for transport to and from the airport. The transport system is not only on land with excellent bus service, but there are a variety of ferry services that take visitors from port to port (or to different islands!). The transport system is well routed throughout the islands and there are detailed schedules that are available on the internet or at various stations. We recommend purchasing a multi-day pass which will allow you to hop on and off at your convenience. If you are planning on taking the transport to the airport, be aware that there is a luggage maximum for all passengers on the public transport system, so if you have many bags you will not be allowed on to the bus.
View of a pink sand beach, Bermuda
Bermuda is notorious for its association with the “Bermuda Triangle”, the “paranormal” area in the Atlantic ocean where various ships and aircraft have mysteriously disappeared. The actual definition of the Bermuda Triangle is contentious — some define it as the triangle created with the verticies of the main island of Bermuda, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Miami (Florida, USA). Regardless of its definition, more recent studies on the area have shown that historical reports were embellished or exaggerated (or even inaccurately reported) which may have contributed to the myth of the Triangle. In fact, the area is one of the most traveled shipping routes for cargo that passes through the Caribbean from the U.S. and Europe.
Endless blue skies of Bermuda
Here’s to an amazing journey on a gorgeous island so close to the U.S…Bermuda…with its pink sand beaches and endless turquoise waters, we wish you Happy Travels!
Road Warrior Tips from the best travel adapter: Road Warrior travel adapter