If you swim carefully then you might spot a sea turtle around Batt’s Rock

The Caribbean islands are all magical in their own right, but there’s something really special about Barbados. With it’s crystal clear waters, soft white sands and stunning tropical foliage, this island really is as close to paradise as it gets. If you’re lucky enough to be holidaying here then wherever you go is sure to be a wonderful adventure, but it always pays to have a few insider tips. Here are some of the ‘must see’ sights in beautiful Barbados.

Watch the Racing at Garrison Savannah

A day at the Garrison Savannah racecourse is an absolute must for sports fans. In Barbados the only betting option available is with the Tote, so if you’d like to ensure you know your odds then it pays to place your bets online. Oddschecker give their picks, as well as searching for sites that have live signup offers, so it’s worth checking them out to get a little more bang for your buck.

If you’re feeling flash then you can treat yourself to an exclusive ticket, which will give you access to the premier section of the grandstand – the food here is particularly good and you get an uninterrupted view of the winning post. On the other hand, if you’d like a no frills sort of day (and to save a little cash) then the usual grandstand seating is still a good view, made up for in places by screens, and the on course catering is simple and unfussy, but still delicious.

Caption: Horses are exercised in the sea on most mornings on Pebble Bay


True horse racing fans should make a point of getting up early one morning to watch the horses exercising. If you head down to the nearest bit of beach to the racecourse, Pebble Bay, then you’ll see the horses swimming out to see with their handlers. This happens just as the sun comes up and it’s a magical way to start the morning. One group of horses will go swimming, whilst the others breeze around the track with the course jockeys. Whichever option you pick, there’s something quite special about seeing them out and about on a day to day schedule.

Eat Great Seafood

Foodies will be in heaven on a Barbados holiday. The big benefit of being an island is that you’re surrounded by fruitful fishing waters, which means that every day there is a fresh catch to be enjoyed. If you have the luxury of a kitchen, then cooking your own is always rewarding. There are a few small fish markets dotted around the island, including one in Payne’s Bay, which is particularly good. At these markets the fish is always extra fresh and they’ll sell bags of wild herbs to cook with it.

If you fancy having somebody do the hard work for you then there are also plenty of options to choose from. Those who are happy to ‘splash the cash’ a little should head to The Fish Pot. This establishment has been running for some years and is a real favourite with the discerning foodie. Book yourself a table on the deck and look out over the pristine bay. The menu here is short but sweet and always features plenty of delicious fresh fish.

For those looking for something a little less costly, the Oistins Fish Fry is the place to be. Every Friday night the town of Oistins comes alive with the sound of live music and the smell of fresh frying fish. If you’re after a low cost, high fun meal then this is the place to be. A great big plate of home style fish with rice and peas and plantain will cost you around ten dollars; at that price, you can’t go wrong.

Find Your Favourite Beach

Of course, this one goes without saying, but finding the beach for you is actually a harder task than it might at first seem. Barbados is full of fantastic beaches, so picking your favourite can be a tough choice. Those who are strong swimmers and want to surf should head to the east coast, where you’ll be met with the formidable waves and strong currents of the Atlantic.

If you’re more into sunbathing and dipping in calmer waters, then the west of the island is the place for you. Good snorkelling spots tend to be clustered around the central east of the island. You’re likely to find turtles around Batt’s Rock if you swim in the rocky shallows. The turtles enjoy grazing on seaweed which clings to the rocks, so if you’re lucky and don’t splash too much, then you might be able to see them without the help of a guide.