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lioness Holetown - A travel report by Neda
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Holetown,  Barbados - flag Barbados -  Saint James
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lioness's travel reports

Barbados- a land of the flying fish

  22 votes
Barbados is one of the small island-nations, situated in the Caribbean region. It is the most eastern-lying of all the islands, and it is actually separated from the Lesser Antilles island chain. Barbados was a British colony and English is the official language, although they have their own peculiar Bajan accent. 70% of the population is black, of African descent. The capital of Barbados is Bridgetown, called so by the English, who found a bridge over the bay in town, when they first arrived to the island. The bridge was apparently built by Arawak Indians, who were the first settlers of the island.

Holetown travelogue picture
Apart from the beautiful beaches, Barbados is full of lovely places to visit. There are a lot of gardens, natural reserves, caves and other natural wonders on the island. The east coast is the most spectacular for various reasons: rugged coast bathed by the strong Atlantic waves coming straight from the African continent and not very touristy at all. This part of the island is also famous as a perfect surfing spot. Also, there is a lovely Andromeda botanical garden close to the old Atlantis Hotel on the east coast, neither of which should be missed. In Andromeda you can enjoy a nice walk and get to know all different kinds of local and world plants and trees. You can also order a meal from the cafeteria over there and enjoy your picnic in the garden. Atlantis is a renowned old hotel, set by the small fishermen’s village. You can get a typical delicious Bajan buffet there on Sundays, enjoying the views of the bay from the hotel terrace.

Favourite spots:
Francia House
Francia House
Also, one of my favourite places is Francia Plantation House. It is a beautiful plantation house, with a unique blend of European and Caribbean style. It is a family home, which is still owned and occupied by descendants of the original owner. There you can wander around the tropical gardens and shady orchards of the plantation and after a short visit of the house, you are offered a complimentary drink, which is well welcome in the tropical heat of Barbadian climate.

What's really great:
Holetown travelogue picture
Everything: beaches, people, food, drink! Barbados has a lot to offer to a visitor, and renting a car might be a good idea, in order to be able to explore the island. But, be aware that driving is on the left and that the roads are very poorly indicated, and it’s quite easy to get lost when trying to reach a place. Luckily, people are very helpful when you ask them about any direction or any doubt you might have. If you like orchids, don’t miss the Orchid World garden. Also, a boat trip to see marine turtles and a shipwreck snorkel was much fun. You can get this excursion in any agency, they all charge about the same (70 USD, lunch included).

Holetown travelogue picture
I especially liked the east and south east coast. Speightstown is a nice town on the west coast, with one of the oldest churhces of the island. Flower Forest and Orchid World are beautiful. Snorkeling in great in Marine Life Reserve, situated between Holetown and Speightstown, the entrance is free. There is a reef and plenty of fish.
It is also well worth knowing that all the beaches are open to public, there are no private beaches!

Sunset from the hotel beach
Sunset from the hotel beach
Barbados is not a particularly budget place, but you get go pretty much low-key if you find a place in a hostel/bungalow, or even a hotel. We had a bad luck upon our arrival as the place where we had our reservation was closed down. We had to improvise on the spot, and we spent the first night in Round House, a beautiful place on the tranquil east coast. The rest of the stay we were in Smugglers’ Cove, a small hotel right in front of a beach on the west coast, just south of Holetown. The price was quite reasonable, 84 USD per night for an apartment (3 beds). The lady is very kind, and if you like cats, it is a place to be (they have three friendly cats wandering around the yard).

Atlantis Hotel
Atlantis Hotel
As for drinks, fresh coconut water with ice is very refreshing and you can get it in restaurants, or if you are lucky to find, from the street vendors. Try a very good local beer called Banks, as well as rum or rum-punch.

Another recommendation: always try to buy local products, to promote the national economy.

A Bajan Meal
A Bajan Meal
The same goes for food, if you want cheap and delicious food, eat where the locals do. You can get great fish and vegetable meals in small stands near the road, or in towns, in the market. There is a famous Oistins fish market, and it is a place to visit on Friday night. Fish in Barbados is amazing, the most popular being the flying fish, and “dolphin” (it is not a mammal, just how they call one type of fish). Breadfruit is also something you have to try; it is a vegetable, which has been introduced into Barbados from Tahiti. It is good in fish salads or baked. The taste is similar to potato. Plantains are also delicious.
We had a delicious dinner at Braddy’s Bar, a great place to meet the locals and taste their food. It is located on the road, just north of Speightstown, on the west coast, in the Six Mens’ Bay. It is always full and you can’t miss it, there are a lot of cars parked around.

Published on Thursday July 29th, 2004

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Wed, Feb 13 2008 - 06:28 PM rating by krisek

This is a great report! So true and balanced. I also stayed locally, near Oystins, at a villa.

Tue, Mar 07 2006 - 09:17 AM rating by terje

I loved this report, Neda! Thanks!

Mon, Oct 24 2005 - 12:46 PM rating by toribio


Tue, Aug 16 2005 - 04:30 PM rating by murrayskinner

I enjoyed your report on Barbados. Noticed that some of your report mentioned areas that I have the fondest memories - Oistens and the Atlantis Hotel. I bought flying fish at Oistens and cooked them at our apartment hotel on Dover Beach many times. We also really enjoyed a Sunday brunch at the Atlatis Hotel. The views at Bathsheba are breathtaking. I just posted a report on Hong Kong and China....have a look.


Thu, Dec 02 2004 - 09:16 AM rating by mistybleu

I really liked your report, I've been to Barbados, but never seen this part of the Island. Thanks for sharing.
Rgds Misty

Thu, Jul 29 2004 - 08:08 AM rating by britman

Loved reading your seem to have discovered the non touristy bits of Barbados - away from the "Glitter Bays" of the west coast. Glad that you enjoyed it - thanks for sharing the report and your great pics.

Cheers - Brit.

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