What do you imagine when you think of Bermuda? I bet you’re thinking of the Bermuda triangle. Legend has it, this part of the North Atlantic Ocean hosts a whole load of stories related to ships and planes mysteriously vanishing into thin air. This seems to be what Bermuda is best known for. When I tell people I’m going to Bermuda, they often don’t know where it is, they mistake it for islands in the Caribbean, or they ask about the Bermuda triangle.
Bermuda: Not just a tax haven for the wealthy
Over the past few years Bermuda seems to have gained some exposure. A tax haven for the rich, it was named by Conde Naste as the number one most expensive place to live in the world. Money Supermarket named Bermuda’s famed Horseshoe Bay as the 3rd most beautiful beach in the world and it made Travel and Leisure magazine’s list as the 3rd most friendly country.
Bermuda: British, American, Caribbean?
An overseas British territory in the Atlantic Ocean, north of the Caribbean and nearly 1.500kms off the coast of New York, Bermuda has quite the eclectic combination of British, American and Caribbean vibes. With its signature pink sand, turquoise waters, traditional Gombeys (a folklife tradition of colourful dancing and drumming), lush green vegetation, British country roads and American party vibes, Bermuda is quite the dream holiday destination and totally worthy of all the titles it holds, despite the price tag.
Today Bermuda is a stunning collision of cultures, people and languages. Heritage from every part of the globe makes this fantastic island, not only visually beautiful, but it’s soul glows with personality and charm.
Bermuda also known as Somers Isle
It’s extensive combination of cultures started in the 1500’s when it was apparently discovered by the Spanish and went on to be colonised by the British following a shipwreck during a particularly bad storm in 1609. Admiral Sir George Somers had set sail from Plymouth, England and was heading to Jamestown when he got separated from the rest of the fleet. Sir George gave Bermuda its original name, Somers Isle, a name still wildly used today. Sir George died on the island in 1612. A memorial statue still stands of him today in the town of St George, named not after himself, but after the patron Saint of England.
West Indians were added to Bermuda’s vast heritage list in 1809, when many migrated to the island to join the Royal Navy at the Royal Dockyard. They would come to call Bermuda home.
Starting in 1617 an unfortunate history of slavery would commence. Many were brought to the island by the British from Africa, India, the West indies and the Caribbean. Thankfully in 1834, slavery was abolished and onwards, many Portuguese came to settle on the island and during World War II, many Americans and Canadians would fall in love with Bermuda.
Make sure you greet a friendly Bermudian
This colourful history has today resulted in a rich and open culture and become home to the friendliest people in the world. It is widely thought of as common courtesy to address everyone you meet, or even pass in the street with ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good evening’. Bermudian’s traditional manners and smiling faces are just a few of the reasons that keep tourists go back year after year.
Flying into Bermuda is a treat in itself. The beautiful contrast of turquoise sea, pink sands, bright green, lush vegetation and colourful houses is sure to entice the imagination. The famous pink sands of Bermuda are often top of everyone’s Bermuda to do list. The pulverized coral mixed into the Atlantic sand gives Bermuda’s notoriously crescent shaped beaches a picturesque, salmon pink hue that you must see to believe.
Bermuda’s beautiful beaches
The best place to enjoy the salmon pink sands is at the island’s most famous beach, Horseshoe Bay. It was this beach that was named 3rd most beautiful beach in the world and it’s easy to see why. With it’s easy access by public transport, calm coves for snorkelling and bathing and its lively atmosphere and bar serving up dark n stormy cocktails (Bermuda’s national mix of rum and ginger beer), Horseshoe Bay may well have something for everyone.
A little further down the South Shore, Warwick Bay is worth a mention. It offers beach goers half a mile of unspoilt shore line enclosed by caves, palm trees and rugged shorelines. Perfect for somewhere a little quieter. Its shrubs and walk ways attract joggers and walkers on cooler Bermudian days. Eventually Warwick Bay reaches Jobson’s Cove, one of the prettiest beaches on the island with clear, still water and a really chilled out atmosphere. Perfect for an afternoon dip.
Clearwater Beach in St David’s is worth a mention. Not only does it offer stunning, soft white sand beaches with shallow, clear warm waters, but it also offers acres and acres of vegetation, nature trails and walking tracks with views to die for.
Bermuda is also rich in history
Snorkellers and history buffs alike will enjoy the fabulous Tobacco Bay, nestled in the coves of St George’s town, this beach is small, perfectly formed and has a great story to boot. One that dates all the way back to a night in 1775 when over 100 barrels of gunpowder was stolen from St Georges’ town, rolled to Tobacco Bay and shipped to Philadelphia.
Bermuda has so much history and so many stories to tell that if you’re visiting, it is well worth dropping into the National Bermuda Trust Museum in St Georges or the National Museum of Bermuda which stands at the Royal Naval Dockyard, worth a visit in itself.
Bermuda’s beaches go on and on, everywhere you look you’ll discover another beautiful, sandy bay, each brimming with character and beauty, just like the people.
So, whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday, to revel in world class dining at one of the many beachfront restaurants, to escape at sea, get lost in a new culture in St George’s town or to experience the obscurity of nature at the Crystal Caves, Bermuda has so much to offer.
Never mind getting lost in the triangle, give Bermuda a chance and get lost in this country’s exquisite personality and put a whole new spin on island life.