21 Sep Discover Your Bahamas
The Islands Of The Bahamas has recently been honoured with many awards, including Beach Destination of the Year, Best Bridal Destination and Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination, so there is no time like the present for realising your dreams and aspirations.
Not only celebrities and travellers in the know have discovered that The Islands Of The Bahamas can fulfil every holiday desire and more. Now its time for you to discover your Bahamas. The crystal clear waters surrounding thousands of kilometres of accessible shoreline beckon divers and swimmers from around the world to luxuriate in the soft white, pink and golden sands. Sailors’ too flock here from all over to enjoy the shallow warm waters and its myriad of safe harbours.
Discover land attractions, too, a delicious first taster of Nassau is the Tru Bahamian ‘Bites of Nassau’ Food Tour that combines a walking tour of downtown Nassau with an insight to its history and exploration of the local cuisine.
Stay at Atlantis Paradise Island to experience all it has to offer, from the magnificent marine life to the Aquaventure Park, myriad restaurants and bars. Head for the casino if you fancy a flutter or simply marvel at the glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.
Dolphin Experiences, sea lion encounters, shark dives and personal submersibles are some of watery adventures available. PGA standard golf courses are scattered through the islands and those other stick wielding sportsmen – fishermen – delight in the world class sport-fishing and saltwater fly fishing facilities.
With a very healthy marine system it is no surprise that fish and seafood feature large on the menu. With a Fish Fry on every island these are a great fun and tasty social event for every visitor. Be sure to try the local grouper, conch salad, conch fritters and conch chowder – conch is a great seafood staple! Visiting the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay is a must.
Just half 500 metres from Atlantis, Paradise Island you can find the One&Only Ocean Club with an atmosphere and style of classical and refined elegance that you feel you could be light years away (was also the setting for the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale). The infinity pool overlooking the beach and ocean is the latest new delight at One&Only Ocean Club and you can dine al fresco at Dune the ocean-facing restaurant, created by international chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
A firm favourite for visitors looking for a peaceful base but still close to the action the Comfort Suites has the added benefit of access to the thrills and spills of the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis, just over the road.
A few all-inclusive resorts are dotted around the islands, such as the Meliá Nassau Beach, great for families or the famous Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island. The spectacular pool deck of the new Warwick Paradise Island Resort (opening October ’16), which is a modern and relaxed adults only all-inclusive, overlooking the harbour is also going to be hugely popular – you heard it hear first!
Exploration is a must in The Bahamas, beneath the exit of the connecting bridge to Nassau you will find Potters Cay, a hubbub of fresh seafood, fish and vegetable stalls. Further downtown the jewellery stores, designer clothes and bags draw shoppers to some retail therapy as does the genuine local craftwork found in the Straw Market on Bay Street. The Pirates of Nassau Museum brings to life the piratical history of the islands, as do the locally brewed craft beers and rum brands with names such as Long John Pilsner and Black Beer’d Stout. There’s lots to quench your thirst as the sun goes down!.
Island Hopping in The Bahamas
A spot of island-hopping is a must, if only for a day to feel the contrast of pace, atmosphere and scenery and what it really feels like to live like a Bahamian on one of what are known as the “Out Islands” or “Family Islands”. Take a trip over to Eleuthera by ferry and you will certainly want to return for a longer spell on its long pink sand beaches or the little bays of The Cove Eleuthera, with its cottages spread across the bluff.
A fifteen minute flight will take you over to South Andros, where the small but perfectly formed Tiamo Resort is reached by boat. Just 11 little villas set along the coast, some with their own pool, make this boutique all-inclusive a true haven of tranquillity with access to exceptional watersports and diving.
A fast boat excursion with Harbour Safaris or Exuma Escapes to The Exumas is a real once-in-a-lifetime experience. Home to the Swimming Pigs of The Bahamas this chain of islands boasts some of the clearest and most beautiful blue waters of the destination and The Exumas Land and Sea Park is the world’s first national park of its kind dedicated to the preservation of the valuable marine life and habitat.
Grand Bahama Island is one of the islands closest to Florida, just a half hour flight or a couple of hours by ferry and you hit Freeport, the second city of The Bahamas. Port Lucaya is known for its cluster of hotels across from the marina and the Port Lucaya Marketplace is a real centre of shopping, bars, restaurants and evening entertainment. The size of Grand Bahama Island delivers a contrast of busy resorts and adventures into the wilder ends of the island by jeep safari, or up close and personal with speciality dolphin and shark dives.
To experience the vitality of Bahamian culture and art you could time your trip to the islands to participate in Junkanoo – either the new Junkanoo Carnival in April and May, or the traditional Junkanoo Festival over Christmas and New Year period.
Junkanoo Carnival has developed from the spectacular Junkanoo Festival parades which occur in Nassau on St Stephens Day and New Year’s Day starting from around 1:00 a.m. until the last Junkanoo group completes its second circuit of Nassau, invariably long after the sun has risen and bouncing off the sparkling costumes. You can also experience it on Grand Bahama Island, Eleuthera, Bimini and Abaco. All are energetic, colourful parades of brightly costumed people gyrating and dancing to the rhythmic accompaniment of cowbells, drums and whistles.
Junkanoo is reminiscent of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival but this distinctly Bahamian form of carnival exists nowhere else. The Junkanoo World Museum & Arts Centre offers an insight into this fascinating cultural extravaganza and you can even find all the raw materials there should you be inspired to make your own costume.
You can’t hope to see and do everything in one, two or even three visits, but with 16 main islands to choose from there are plenty of reasons to come back again and again to The Islands Of The Bahamas to identify your favourites.
Hopefully you enjoyed our little taster of why the Bahamas are great. So if you want to discover more about this amazing destination then feel free to visit our preferred hotels on our Bahamas Holidays page or contact us with your enquiry.