Experience Bermuda: Why this Atlantic Archipelago Should be Your Next Island Escape
Looking for idyllic beaches, calm blue seas and a temperate year-round climate? Then you might want to consider Bermuda - a hibiscus-scented Atlantic archipelago, where neon lights and restaurant franchises are non existent - as your next island escape.
It’s only seven hours on a direct flight from London to Bermuda and less than 90 minutes from the east coast of America. In fact, as well as being a holiday destination in its own right, its close proximity to the USA’s eastern shore also makes it an ideal twin-centre destination with New York, Boston or Washington DC.
Bermuda’s first people were the shipwrecked survivors of the Jamestown-bound Sea Venture, and this has developed a unique mix of island soul and British charm. Soak up the colonial heritage in the town of St George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its 18th-century pastel cottages, picturesque lanes and military fortifications. You'll also find red phone boxes at the Royal Navy Dockyard.
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.
Thanks to Bermuda's British roots, it’s no surprise islanders take golf very seriously. Bermuda is said to have the highest concentration of courses per square mile anywhere in the world. There are six to choose from, all with panoramic views of the Atlantic. Next year, the island will also host the America’s Cup – the oldest international sporting trophy - presented by Louis Vitton, which attracts the world's top sailors and most prestigious yacht designers. Watch the action from the historic Royal Naval Dockyard.
Bermuda’s cobalt-blue waters are home to over 300 wrecks, some dating back to the 1600s, and is known as the shipwreck capital of the world. These wrecks include Spanish galleons and 18th-century war ships, and are 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.
Bermuda packs 75 miles of dramatic coastline around the 181 islands, islets and rocks that make up this island paradise. From the South Shore’s crescent swathes of pink sandy beaches – formed by beautiful crushed coral – to sheltered coves, there’s something for everyone. Visit Horseshoe Bay Beach to see the island’s famous rose-hued sands, Tobacco Bay Beach for parrotfish and unusual limestone formations, or West Whale Bay Beach, where you might glimpse migrating humpbacks in April.
And yes, it’s not unusual to see dapper businessmen wearing the island’s ultimate fashion statement, Bermuda shorts. You may have even spotted Bermuda's athletes kitted out in them with knee-length socks and blazers at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.