Discover Bermuda: underground grottos, pink-sand beaches & high-adrenaline watersports
Looking for idyllic beaches, calm blue seas and a temperate year-round climate? Then you should consider Bermuda – a hibiscus-scented Atlantic archipelago where neon lights and restaurant franchises are rarely seen – for your next island escape.
The treacherous reefs that lurk under Bermuda’s cobalt-blue waters are home to more than 300 wrecks, some dating back to the 1600s, giving the island the name of shipwreck capital of the world. These wrecks, which include Spanish galleons and 18th-century war ships, are now covered in coral that form the largest and most northerly reef in the Atlantic, making it one of the best spots on the globe for diving.
But it’s not just eerie long-forgotten wrecks that give Bermuda its mystery. You can head below the surface of the island to the Crystal Caves, where icicles of white limestone drip from the ceiling and a floating bridge crosses a crystal-clear underground lake, or visit Tom Moore’s Jungle in the Walsingham Nature Reserve, where you’ll navigate lush forest trails and explore translucent blue mangrove ponds that lead to secret grottos.
Bermuda’s year-round sunshine makes it the perfect destination for outdoor adventure. You can traverse the length of the island on foot or by bike – the Railway Trail follows an abandoned rail bed, winding through tranquil landscapes and along stunning rocky coastlines for 18 miles.
While exploring the island, also make time to check out the local wildlife. Cooper’s Island – a salt-marsh area with a boardwalk network – is perfect for spotting giant land crabs and kingfishers. Bermuda is also situated along the migration route of over 10,000 whales, so if visiting in spring, head to West Whale Bay Beach and prepare to say hello to 40-ton humpback whales as they head to their regular feeding grounds.
Bermuda’s history is deeply rooted in its position as a British naval stronghold and defensive military station, and the island is dotted with historic forts. Though they no longer serve their original purpose, many have been well maintained and remain open for tourism. Fort Hamilton, in Pembroke Parish, and Fort St Catherine, in St George’s Parish, are two of the most popular to visit, while the Royal Naval Dockyard has developed into a complex of landmarks, restaurants, cruise-ship docks, museums and shops.
However, it’s the dance and music of the island’s African heritage that permeates the streets, particularly on Bermuda Day (24 May), when the Gombeys – dancing and drumming troupes – fill Hamilton with their rhythm and colours.
Flavours of Bermuda
The real star of Bermuda is the seafood, especially their renowned fish chowder – the island’s national dish. The signature recipe consists of fish, tomatoes, and onions seasoned with rum and sherry pepper sauce, a local favourite for adding flavour. Local spots like Hog Penny Pub, Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio and Lobster Pot serve up steaming-hot bowls, as well as a variety of other seafood delicacies.
Of course, you can’t travel to Bermuda without trying the island’s signature cocktail, the Dark ‘n Stormy®, at least once. The name was coined by Bermuda-based Gosling’s Black Seal rum, which was able to get a rare trademark on the cocktail’s ingredients — down to the measurements. You’ll find this cocktail served at virtually every bar across the island, and it goes down perfectly whether you’re lunching on the seafront, lounging poolside, or watching the sun go down next to a crackling beach bonfire.
Wet and wild
Plunge into Bermuda’s deep-blue waters from the rocks on Clarence Cove, hydrobike (a traditional two-wheeler attached to 10-foot-long catamaran floats) the shallows in search of parrotfish and turtles, or zoom across the waters on a jet-ski tour of deserted islands and sheltered coves. And you don’t have to be a diver to experience Bermuda’s underwater worlds. Instead, try your hand at helmet diving. Just pop on a bell helmet and walk right into the water to take some snaps with the local sealife.
If all that sounds a little strenuous, there is over 75 miles of coastline in Bermuda that is perfect for relaxing, including South Shore’s crescent swathes of pink-sand beaches – formed by beautiful crushed coral.
Need more inspiration?
Bermuda is only seven hours by direct flight from London. We’ve found a few deals to get you there, both including British Airways flights: