Barbados Beach Guide
Barbados is ringed by a series of gorgeous white- and pink-sand beaches. The sheltered west coast (sometimes referred to as the Gold Coast or Platinum Coast) offers kilometres of unbroken sandy beaches featuring occasional rocky promontories or clusters of soft coral jutting out into the Caribbean Sea.
East coast beaches are pounded by the Atlantic – a favourite coast for surfers, while the few north coast beaches are found edging secluded cliff-framed coves.
Note: All beaches in Barbados are open to the public, including those fronting private resorts, where access via pathways or through hotel entrances must be provided. There are no nude beaches on this conservative island and vendors are banned from all beaches.
Crane Beach (Southeast Coast) – Dip your toes into the powder-soft pink-hued sand of this gorgeous 300m-long beach. The calm turquoise waters here are protected by an offshore coral reef making the beach perfect for swimming and bodysurfing.
Edged by low, rugged cliffs indented with soaring palm trees and framed by imposing cliffs at one end and a rocky outcrop at the other end, picture-perfect Crane Beach is often voted by travel magazines as Barbados’ most beautiful beach. Sunbathe on the beach, swim in the calm waters or stroll past the rocky outcrop to find a stunning, pristine beach that continues for around 500m.
Come for a day or stay longer at the luxurious cliff-top Crane Residential Resort. The resort first opened in 1867 and has been a favourite of honeymoon couples ever since. Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire from the resort. The resort also provides amenities such as changing rooms, restrooms, a bar and restaurant for non-guests at a small fee (which you can apply toward drinks or a meal at the restaurant). A lifeguard is also on duty.
Access to the beach is through the hotel via a cliff-side elevator or 98 steps. Crane Beach is located on the south coast, around 23km east of Bridgetown.
Bottom Bay (Southeast Coast) – Sunbathe on the gorgeous soft white sand of this idyllic 200m-long beach dotted with tall wind-swept palm trees and framed by soaring cliffs facing the seemingly endless turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
This wide beach is popular for fashion and travel industry photo shoots, but is not safe for swimming. Instead, relax with a picnic lunch and savour the atmosphere. Bottom Bay is located near the south-eastern tip of Barbados.
Carlisle Bay Beach (Southwest Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this 1.5km-long crescent of soft white sand that lies adjacent to the Hilton Barbados and Grand Barbados hotels, just south of Bridgetown.
The beach is divided into named sections, including Yacht Club Beach, Burke's Beach and Browne's Beach. Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire as well as beachside snack bars. Resorts offer a range of amenities for guests.
Rockley Beach (South Coast) – Unwind on the soft white sand of this 400m-long palm-fringed beach that shelves gently into turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and bodysurfing. Facilities on this popular beach, also known as Accra Beach, include umbrellas, sun loungers and water sports equipment for hire, a lifeguard, a children's playground and nearby restaurants.
Come for a day or stay longer at the Accra Beach Hotel. Rockley Beach is around 3km east of Bridgetown.
Miami Beach (South Coast) – Sunbathe and swim on this picturesque, palm- and casuarina-fringed white-sand beach facing calm turquoise waters framed by low cliffs. Facilities on this popular 250m-long beach, also known as Enterprise Beach, include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire and snack carts.
Come for a day or stay longer at the nearby Little Arches Hotel. Miami Beach is located around 6.5km from St Lawrence Gap and 20km from Bridgetown.
Worthing Beach (South Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this 700m-long white-sand beach fringed by palm trees and shelving into the calm and shallow waters of a reef-protected lagoon that provides ideal swimming for families with small children.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, with plenty of food stalls and restaurants nearby. The nearby Sandy Bay Beach Club resort offers additional amenities should you decide to stay longer.
Silver Sands Beach (South Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this 700m-long white-sand beach fringed by native bush and shelving into beautiful turquoise waters. A stiff breeze makes this beach ideal for kite and windsurfing; equipment can be hired from the beachside store. Later, cool off with a drink at the Silver Rock Bar.
Almond Casuarina Beach (South Coast) – Relax on the soft white sand of this gorgeous 600m-long beach that stretches in front of the Casuarina Beach Hotel and Southern Palms Beach Club. Pick a spot to sunbathe on the wide stretch of sand, also known as Dover Beach, and enjoy the cooling trade winds that can make this beach good for kite and windsurfing.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire from the beach club and hotel, where you can also find restrooms, bars and restaurants.
Sandy Lane Beach (West Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft golden sand of this 600m-long tree-lined beach that shelves into the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Relax on the beach and people-watch celebrities. Come for a day or be pampered in style at the world-famous 5-star Sandy Lane Hotel, which offers a range of beachside facilities including umbrellas, sun loungers and water sports.
Brighton Beach (West Coast) – Unwind on this gorgeous, palm-fringed, white-sand beach that stretches for more than 1.5km along the west coast of the island just north of Bridgetown. Boasting clear and calm water, this is a perfect spot to sunbathe and swim.
Come for a day and relax in comfort at the beachfront Malibu Beach Club, where you can enjoy facilities such as umbrellas and sun loungers for the price of lunch at the beachside grill and bar. Various water sports are also available at this lovely stretch of white sand, a section of which is also known as Brandon's Beach.
Mullins Beach (West Coast) – Relax on this tree-fringed white-sand beach that lies south of Speightstown. This gorgeous 400m-long beach is perfect for swimming in calm waters and snorkelling above underwater reefs that jut into the sea from both ends of the beach. Unwind with a drink at either Mullins Beach Bar or Mannie's Suga Suga restaurant, where you can also hire sun loungers and umbrellas.
Paynes Bay Beach (West Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft, white sand of this lovely 500m-long tree-fringed beach located just south of Sandy Lane. Come for a day or stay longer at one of the nearby 5-star hotels. Go swimming in the calm waters or snorkel the offshore reef.
Facilities include sun loungers, umbrellas and various water sports. Apart from at the nearby resorts, you can also find good food and cold drinks at the beachside Bomba's Beach Bar.
Cattlewash Beach (East Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe or catch a wave to surf on this wild and wind-swept, golden-brown sand beach that is pounded around the clock by magnificent surf. While not safe for swimming, you can find the occasional sheltered areas and rock pools for a cooling dip.
The southern section of the beach facing Tent Bay features enormous nature-sculpted, mushroom-shaped boulders. Backed by palm trees and rolling green hills, this several-kilometre long beach is ideal for walking, beachcombing and surfing – expert surfers from around the world converge here each November for the Independence Classic Surfing Championship.
Cattlewash Beach stretches along the rugged Atlantic east coast north of Bathsheba, where you can find a range of accommodation options.