Barbados is perfectly located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, making it the ideal location for any kind of beach lover.
The Caribbean side is home to many coral reefs, making the water calm and ideal for swimming. Along the Atlantic Ocean you’ll find strong waves, currents, and riptides that attract surfers and kiteboarders.
Regardless of which side calls to you, there are tons of beaches to choose from. Here’s a list of the top 12 beaches to help narrow down your search and get you out on the shore in no time.
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1. Bottom Bay
Hidden away between sea cliffs and towering palm trees, Bottom Bay is a pristine beach with its white sand and clear, aqua blue waters.
The beach sees fewer visitors than most Barbados beaches making it the perfect place to get away from some of the crowds. Lay out your towel and enjoy a day of sunbathing as you listen to the relaxing sound of waves crashing upon the shore. As tempting as the crystal clear waters may be, swimming is not advised due to the strong current and the lack of lifeguards.
There are no local amenities so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Pack yourself plenty of water and food for a picnic on the beautiful sandy shore.
Sea turtles and whales have been spotted on multiple occasions, so keep your eyes out for possible marine life sightings.
2. Gibbes Beach
Another hidden gem is the lightly populated Gibbes Beach. Located along the west coast of Barbados, the views are nothing short of extraordinary – and the vibe is as relaxing as it gets.
The soft, white sand makes sunbathing a dream, and the calm, clear waters invite swimmers of all ages. This part of the island has coral reefs that deter waves, making the waters here the calmest in the area – and perfect for water sports like water skiing. Spend the day taking in the sun and admiring the wave runners moving along the water.
Although there aren’t local amenities on site, the beach is close to towns like Holetown and Speightstown that are lined with restaurants, markets, cafes, and bars.
3. Walkers Beach
Located along the North East Coast, Walkers is a scenic beach surrounded by the lush greenery of rolling hills. The soft sand will feel great between your toes and you can easily spend the entire day sunbathing and walking along the shore’s edge.
The waves of the Atlantic are really aggressive, so swimming is not a recommended activity. However, the waves do make for great surfing for those who have experience. There are no amenities or lifeguards on duty so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Walkers beach is also connected to Morgan Lewis Beach and Lakes Beach, so you could spend the day beach hopping. The area has many nearby attractions, so if you need a break from the sun consider heading over to St. Andrew’s Parish Church or the Grenade Hall Forest.
4. Harrismith Beach
Tucked away under the ruins of what was once a thriving hotel, Harrismith Beach’s seclusion makes for a very tranquil setting. While the ruins are not safe to enter, you can feel free to venture around the grounds for a closer look before heading to the beach.
The beach itself is rather small, but its lightly trafficked nature will make you feel like you have the beach all to yourself.
Although Harrismith is just a stone’s throw away from Bottom Bay, the coral reef makes these waters safe to swim in. However, swimming out past the reef is highly discouraged and extremely dangerous. There are no lifeguards, or any amenities, so swim at your own risk.
Pack a bag with everything you’ll need for a day on the beach, enjoy the peaceful solitude, and stay late to watch the sun set over the sea.
5. Mullins Beach
As one of the most well-known beaches in Barbados, Mullins Beach tends to get crowded. Arrive early, enjoy the convenience of the on-site parking lot, and score one of the best spots to lay out your towel before things get busy. This beach has tons of amenities, including:
- Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent.
- Bathrooms and changing rooms make it easy to go about your day.
- Grab a cocktail and a snack or stay and enjoy a meal at the beach bar
- If the water is calling to you, rent a jet ski to get out and feel the wind in your hair.
- Spend the night at Bayfield House in a spacious and comfortable room.
There are lifeguards on duty, so feel free to go for a swim – but make sure to stay within the ropes.
6. Ginger Bay
Hidden in the shadows of the popular Crane Beach, Ginger Bay is a less populated alternative with the same great views.
Watch the waves crash up against the pink-tinted sand and enjoy a day of peaceful sunbathing. As tempting as the crystal blue waters may be, Ginger Bay’s location along the Atlantic Ocean makes it subject to harsh waves and an even harsher current. There are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is not recommended – even for those who are more experienced.
Walk along the shore and keep your eyes out for sea caves carved into the cliff sides that surround the beach.
This remote beach has no access to local amenities of any kind, so bring anything you might need to enjoy your day with you.
7. Miami Beach
Also known as Enterprise Beach, the Miami Beach of Barbados is popular amongst the locals and tends to get crowded on weekends and holidays. However, the vast sandy shore guarantees that you’ll find a spot to relax at any time of day.
The further west you go along the beach, the calmer the waters will be. You’ll most likely find families splashing around in the waters on the western end. If you want to add some thrill to your swimming experience, the waves tend to be a bit larger near the eastern sea cliffs. You can also rent lounge chairs, umbrellas, and boogie boards on-site if you want to shake things up.
Regardless of which end you choose, there will be a lifeguard on duty to ensure you’re having fun and staying safe.
The beach is peppered with food vendors, so feel free to eat your fair share of fish cakes and enjoy a few drinks throughout the day.
8. Rockley Beach
Also known as Accra Beach, Rockley Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Barbados.
The beach attracts families with small children, so as nice as the beach is, go elsewhere if you’re looking for peace and quiet. Arrive early, as the beach gets crowded quickly and tends to stay that way throughout the day.
If you have small children, set up on the southern edge of the beach where large rocks create a calm pool of water, free of any waves.
Enjoy a day with the family, taking in the sun, and swimming in the calm waters with just enough waves to hop on a boogie board.
Walk over to a few of the local vendors selling vibrant clothing and handmade jewelry. You’ll also find stands selling fried fish cakes and local beer to enjoy on the beach. If you’re looking for a sit-down lunch, there is a tiki bar along the southern edge of the beach and the Quayside Centre right across the street. At Quayside, you’ll have access to a variety of different restaurants, local shops, and ice cream parlors.
After you’ve finished eating, walk off your meal by heading up the boardwalk and enjoy stunning views every step of the way.
9. Paradise Beach
Once home to the thriving Cunard Paradise Resort back in the 1980s, Paradise Beach used to be packed with people year-round until the hotel closed – leaving this beach nearly deserted. Paradise Beach has lost none of its charm but just about all of its crowds.
The sandy shore is perfect for sunbathing, and the calm waters allow swimmers to float around in peace with active lifeguards on duty.
Water-based activities like jet skiing and snorkeling are common in the area, but with such a small selection of local amenities, you’ll need to bring the gear yourself. Changing rooms, restrooms, and a children’s playground are available on site.
Construction of the Four Seasons Hotel Resort at Paradise Beach is still underway and, once completed, the beach will see an increase in traffic.
10. Shark Hole
This is Barbados’s ultimate hidden gem, that even takes some navigating to find. Although not many people know about it, its raw beauty has a way of drawing people in – so don’t expect to have the beach to yourself (but don’t worry; there are no sharks in the area!).
Since it is so hard to find, we recommend following step by step directions to get to Shark Hole. A good starting point is at the famous Sam Lords Castle. Arrive early, and plan to visit during a weekday to score a few hours alone before a few of the locals join in.
The beach looks like it was carved out from a giant chunk of coral, creating some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll find in all of Barbados.
The waters right off of the cove are protected by a coral reef, making swimming an enjoyable experience. But, like all waters in Barbados, make sure not to travel out past the reef because of the strong current and riptides.
11. Dover Beach
Not many beaches in Barbados have access to local amenities, and when they do they are usually pretty crowded – but not Dover Beach.
This south coast beach doesn’t see nearly as much traffic as others, but it’s an awesome place to enjoy a relaxing day with everything you may need at the tips of your fingers. Popular activities include sailing on a Hobie Cat, boogie boarding with the waves, and wind surfing.
In addition to the lack of crowds, the beach is extremely wide and seems to go on forever. Walk out as far as you’d like to find the perfect spot to lay out your towel and watch the water sports in action. Lifeguards are on duty, but the waves can be quite strong – so it is important to swim with caution.
All along the beach you’ll find stands selling tons of things you might need, including food, drinks, clothing, sports gear, and sunglasses. Across the way at the Dover Playing Field, it is common to see locals playing a friendly match of cricket.
12. Maycock’s Bay
Hidden below the sea cliffs along the northwestern coast of Barbados, Maycocks Bay is easy to miss. But, when you find it, you’ll be instantly rewarded with beautiful views and a tranquil setting.
When you arrive at Maycocks Bay, give yourself a few minutes to take in the views from the clifftop overlooking this little paradise before making your way down to the shore. The stairs that take you to the beach are pretty steep, so pack your sandals in your bag and take to the steps in sturdy footwear.
Feel free to spend the day sunbathing and admiring the waves. Swimming is not advisable due to the intensity of the waters. If you’re really feeling the need to cool off, River Bay is just down the way and is protected by a coral reef, making it a great alternative for those looking to swim.
Although the beach is usually empty throughout the day, arriving early is still recommended to get a glimpse of marine life including whales.