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Holidays in Bermuda

Understanding Bermuda


Bermuda consists of about 138 islands and islets, with all the major islands aligned on a hook-shaped but roughly east-west axis and connected together by road bridges Despite this complexity, Bermudans usually refer to Bermuda as "the island" In terms of terrain, the islands are comprised of low hills separated by fertile depressions, and interspersed with a complex set of waterways

The inhabited island chain is actually the southern sector of a circular pseudo-atoll, the remainder of the coral ring being submerged or inter-tidal reefs Bermuda, while having been formed volcanically, is not a true atoll As a result the northern shores of inhabited islands are relatively sheltered, whilst the southern shores are exposed to the ocean swell Consequently most of the best beaches are on the southern shore


The best time to visit Bermuda is from Spring through to Autumn Although the island is an associate member of the Caribbean Community CARICOM, it is not actually in the Caribbean Sea and has a different climate It is much farther north, but the warm waters of the Gulf Stream help give it a quasi-tropical atmosphere

The islands have ample rainfall, but no rivers or freshwater lakes As a result drinking water is collected on the roofs of all buildings by law and in special catchment areas, and stored in tanks under the ground for each home or property Bermuda has a mild, humid subtropical maritime climate though gales and strong winds are common in winter The hurricane season is from June to November


Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by shipwrecked English colonists headed for the infant English colony of Virginia The first industry on the islands was fruit and vegetable cultivation to supply the early American colonies The islands took a carefully unofficial role during the American War of Independence, with much of Washington's armaments coming from a covert and likely locally complicit raid on the island's armoury After US independence and during the Napoleonic wars, Great Britain found itself without access to the ports now on the US east coast Because of this situation and Bermuda's convenient location between British Canada and Britain's Caribbean possessions, Bermuda became the principal stopover point for the British Royal Navy's Atlantic fleet, somewhat similar to Gibraltar

The American Civil War and American Prohibition both added considerably to the island's coffers, with Bermuda forming an important focal point in running the blockades in both cases During the Second World War, a large US air base was built on the islands and remained operational until 1995, and Bermuda served as the main intercept center for transatlantic cable messages to and from occupied Europe

Tourist travel to Bermuda to escape North American winters first developed in Victorian times Tourism continues to be important to the island's economy, although international business has surpassed it in recent years Bermuda has developed into a highly successful offshore financial center A referendum on independence was soundly defeated in 1995 For many, Bermudian independence would mean little other than the obligation to staff foreign missions and embassies around the world, which can be a strong obligation for Bermuda's small population

Cup Match

The Thursday Emancipation Day and Friday Somer's Day before the first Monday in August are when Somerset and St George play cricket, a tradition since 1901 Almost all businesses, including tourist attractions, shut down and large numbers of tents appear throughout the islands on beaches and roadsides It's a four-day weekend, Bermuda-style Bermudians make the most of it, sporting their team's colours, feasting and even doing some legalized gambling with their "Crown and Anchor" dice game

Talking in Bermuda

The principal language spoken is English, although many Bermudians have a strong accent Bermuda has a unique accent as it's not really similar to any other Caribbean country Most people claim it resembles the Southern US in some cases Portuguese is the second most widely spoken language

What to see in Bermuda

There are surprisingly large number of excellent sightseeing places in this 21-square mile tiny island

Main Sightseeing Attractions :

  • Town of St George A scenic UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest, continually inhabited British settlement in the New World It boasts small winding streets with typical British Colonial architecture with fountains, gardens and squares, cobbled streets and plazas
  • Bermuda Maritime Museum, Pender Rd, Royal Naval Dockyard, Phone: 441-234-1418, 8 Take 1/2 a day to go to the Royal Naval Dockyard After the loss of its naval bases during the American Revolutionary War, the British Royal Navy relocated the headquarters of its Atlantic Fleet here from 1812 to 1957 The old limestone storage buildings, keep and fortress have been wisely redeveloped by the Bermuda Government into a tourist attraction and shopping centre
  • Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo, 40 North Shore Road, Flatts Village, Phone: 441 293-2727, 9 Daily 9AM-5PM last admission 4PM Centerpieced by a 140,000 gallon replica coral reef, this one of Bermuda's main attractions Over three hundred birds, reptiles and mammals and 200 species of fish Adults $10, Seniors $5, ages 5 to 12 $5
  • Crystal and Fantasy Caves, Wilkinson Avenue, Bailey’s Bay, Phone: 441-293-0640, 10 Daily 9:30AM-4:30PM last admission 4:00 Two quite different caves to see
  • Spittal Pond note: This was heavily damaged by Hurricane Fabian in 2003 and the process of fixing the trails and trees is still ongoing
  • Devil's Hole Aquarium, Harrington Sound Road, Hamilton, 441-293-2727 Small but fun "Fish" for reef fish and turtles with bait, but no hooks Daily 9:30AM-4:30PM Adult $5, ages 5-12 $3, under 5 $50
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Lane, East Broadway, Pembroke, just outside of Hamilton, Phone: 441-297-7219, 11
  • Bermuda National Trust Museum known as the Globe Hotel, 12
  • Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, St Anne's Road, Southampton One of the oldest cast iron structures in the world First lit on May 1st 1846 You can climb its 180 steps to the observation deck surrounding the lamp, which offers spectacular views of the island and the waters around There is a Tea Room at its base offering drinks and light fare

What to do in Bermuda


Go to one of Bermuda's lovely pink sandy beaches:

  • Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish Beautiful pink sand beach bordered by rocky areas suitable for snorkeling Probably the most photographed and most popular Bermudian beach Be aware that it may be crowded with cruise ship tourists, whose number one stop is often this beach The surf can get rough at times here There are bathroom facilities, beach rentals, and food concessions Lifeguards in summer Be sure to look for the impressive sea caves and tunnels
  • Elbow Beach, Tribe Road #4, Paget Parish Another beautiful pink sand beach between Coral Beach, Elbow Beach and Coco Reef hotels
  • Tobacco Bay, St George Parish A boulder-sheltered, shallow, warm-water beach which can become quite crowded with cruise ship passengers Can be reached on foot from St George square or shuttles are readily available Another walk will take you to nearby Fort St Catherine Rest rooms, food concession, beach rentals
  • Achilles Bay / St Catherine's Bay, Northeastern St George Parish Can be reached on foot from St George square or shuttles are readily available Adjacent to Fort St Catherine Rest rooms, food concession nearby, beach rentals
  • Clearwater Beach / Turtle Beach / Turtle Bay / Long Bay / Well Bay / Soldier Bay, in St David's near the eastern end of the airport runway Located on former US Air Base lands used for NASA tracking station at Cooper's Island Rest rooms, food concession and bar Children's playground Lifeguards during the summer months
  • John Smith's Bay Beach, Hamilton Parish Nice pink sand beach Summer lifeguards Usually a mobile food concession
  • Shelly Bay, North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish Lots of shallow water and a large playground make this great choice for families with small kids Not far from Flatts Village and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo Restrooms, beach rentals, food concession
  • Chaplin Bay / Stonehole Bay / Warwick Long Bay, South Road, Warwick Parish Warwick Long Bay is a very large beach It's less popular than the other large beaches due to its relatively steep sand slope, and strong undercurrent Chaplin and Stonehole bays, along with the accompanying Jonson's Cove, are pristine, picture postcard settings They are made up of small and medium sized sandy inlets
  • Snorkel Park, Royal Naval Dockyard, Phone: 234-6989 A limestone tunnel through the keep's wall puts you on the beachfront for snorkeling or water sports This is often a popular stop for passengers coming off the cruise ships and reluctant to leave the Dockyard area


Bermuda has many golf courses and driving ranges spread out along its length

  • St George Golf Course, St George Parish, north of the Town of St George
  • Tuckers Point Golf Course / Mid Ocean Golf Course, St George Parish, near Tucker's Town
  • Ocean View Golf Course, Devonshire Parish on northern shore
  • Horizons Golf Course, Paget Parish south-west 9 holes
  • Belmont Hills Golf Course, Warwick Parish east
  • Riddell's Bay Golf and Country Club, Warwick Parish west
  • Fairmount Southampton Princess Golf Course, Southampton Parish east
  • Port Royal Golf Course, Southampton Parish west
  • Bermuda Golf Academy and Driving Range, Southampton Parish west


Bermuda Railway Trail

The bed of the former Bermuda Railway which was dismantled in 1948 after 17 years of service Many sections still exist as a public walking trail stretching from St George Town in the east end, through Pembroke Parish near the City of Hamilton and on toward Somerset Village in the west end Many station houses, trestle footings and railway ties can be found It offers spectacular views of the island and waters along its length

Bermuda Forts

Bermuda has many examples of large fortifications and smaller batteries spread throughout the island which were built between 1612 after first settlement and manned until 1957 For its small size the island had approximately 100 fortifications built Many have been restored, primarily the larger ones, and are open to the public with dioramas and displays Many have their original cannons in place Some lie on outlying islands and islets and can only be accessed via boat, or have been incorporated into private properties and resorts Some of those which can be accessed are:

  • Fort St Catherine , St George Parish north has displays and dioramas and replica Crown Jewels
  • Gates Fort, St George Parish east guarding Town Cut channel entrance
  • Alexandra Battery, St George Parish east
  • Fort George, St George Parish overlooking the Town of St George
  • St David's Battery, St George Parish east
  • Martello Tower / Ferry Island Fort, St George Parish west at Ferry Reach
  • King's Castle / Devonshire Redoubt / Landward Fort, St George Parish south on Castle Island, accessed via boat
  • Fort Hamilton, Pembroke Parish overlooking the City of Hamilton
  • Whale Bay Battery, Southampton Parish west
  • Fort Scaur, Sandys Parish overlooking the waters of the Great Sound
  • The Keep at the Dockyard, Sandys Parish within the Maritime Museum

Buying stuff in Bermuda

Bermuda's currency is the Bermudian dollar BMD or B$, which is divided into 100 cents It comes in all the same denominations as US currency, except for a more widely used dollar coin and a two dollar bill The currency is directly tied to US currency, so USD $1 always equals BMD $1, and US dollars are accepted everywhere in Bermuda at par Bermudian dollars are not, however, accepted in the United States


Bermuda can be expensive Because of Bermuda's steep import tax, all goods sold in stores that come from off the island carry a significant markup When buying groceries or other non-souvenir items of that nature, be aware that the best prices are usually away from the more "touristy" areas For example, one cup of yogurt might cost about $160 at a grocery store near hotels; it will cost 25% less at a grocery store further from the tourist attractions, and only 10 cents more than in the United States When buying these sort of things, go to where the locals go


A nice assortment of stores exists in Hamilton, especially on Front Street The area can be explored easily by foot Front Street, is one of the main shopping streets, and is facing the harbor In recent years, two of the largest and oldest department stores on Front Street have closed However, AS Coopers, first established in 1897, remains

Shopping can also be found in the easily walked town of St George as well as in Dockyard, which has a small shopping mall Smaller stores can be found throughout the island offering a variety of goods

Food and eating in Bermuda

Two relatively unique Bermudian dishes are salted codfish, boiled with potatoes, the traditional Sunday breakfast, and Hoppin' John, a simple dish of boiled rice and black-eyed peas Shark hash was made, fish cakes were traditional on Fridays, hotcross buns at Easter, and cassava or farine pies at Christmas With the high-end tourist market, great effort has been expended by hotel and restaurant chefs in developing an ostensibly 'traditional Bermudian cuisine', although this has usually meant adapting other cuisines, from West Indian to Californian, in line with the expectations of visiting clientele Most pubs serve a typical British Pub fare, although the number of these establishments has diminished as premises are lost to development, or establishments are redeveloped to target the tourist market note the loss of the Ram's Head, the White Heron, the Rum Runner, and the Cock and Feather redeveloped into the Pickled Onion, with a nouveau menu On the other hand, over the same period Bermuda gained its first and only Irish pub, Flannagan's While lobster and other seafoods are often featured on the menu, virtually everything is imported from the US or Canada Although this shows in the price of even casual dining and groceries, it should be noted that locally produced foodstuffs are typically less varied, poorer quality, produced in smaller quantities, and more expensive Most bananas, for instance, will have a 'Chiquita' sticker, and are larger than those grown locally which do have the advantage of ripening on the plant

Restaurants and Dining Options

Restaurants can be found all over the island, with the largest concentration in the city of Hamilton and St George town Also, there are several at some of the hotels which are outstanding, although pricey At Elbow Beach Hotel, Cafe lido is excellent, and Southampton Fairmont Waterlot Inn, although sometimes crowded and noisy, has excellent dining

Remember that with most restaurants, the closer you are to the cruise ship docks, the more expensive the menu will be Most cruise ship passengers have a short time in which to experience Bermuda, and if they don't eat on the ship, most will be reluctant to leave the town to eat The restaurants in proximity to the cruise ship docks in, say, St George's can be as much as three times as expensive as a comparable one in, say, Somerset Village

Local dishes

Local specialties include:

  • Cassava pie Farine is an alternate base Traditionally eaten at Christmas, but becoming more commonly found in local markets year round
  • Bay grape jelly Bay grapes were introduced as a wind break Although, like Surinam cherries and loquats, they are found throughout Bermuda, and produce edible fruit, none of these plants are cultivated for agriculture in Bermuda, and their fruits are normally eaten from the tree, primarily by school children
  • Bermuda Bananas which are smaller and sweeter than others, are often eaten on Sunday mornings with codfish and potatoes
  • Fish is eaten widely in the form of local tuna, wahoo, and rockfish Local fish is a common feature on restaurant menus across the island
  • Fish Stew seasoned with Sherry and hot pepper sauce is a favourite across the island

Drinking in Bermuda

Bermuda has two popular drinks:

  • Rum Swizzle which is a rum cocktail made of Demerera Rum amber rum and Jamaican Rum dark rum along with an assortment of citrus juices Sometimes brandy is added to the mixture as well Note, it is quite strong According to local lore, it was named after the Swizzle Inn although swizzle 13 is a term that originated in England, possibly in the 18th Century where it was said to be devloped
  • Dark n' Stormy is a highball of Gosling's Black Seal, a dark blend of local rums, mixed with Barritt's Bermuda Stone Ginger Beer

Both drinks are comparatively very sweet

Accommodation in Bermuda

Accommodations in Bermuda are typically quite expensive However there are excellent options available

There are many exclusive and four star accommodations such as:

  • Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, 76 Pittsbay Rd, Hamilton, Phone: 441-295-3000,14
  • Fairmont Southampton Hotel, 101 South Shore Rd, Phone: 441-238-8000, 15
  • Ariel Sands Hotel, 34 Shore Road, Devonshire, Phone: 441-236-1010, 16
  • The Elbow Beach Club Resort, 60 South Shore Road, Paget Parish, Phone: 441-236-3535, 17
  • Grotto Bay Beach Resort, 11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey's Bay, Phone: 441-293-8333, 18
  • The Wyndham Bermuda Hotel, Southampton Beaches, Phone: Phone: 441-238-8122, 19
  • Cambridge Beaches Resort, 30 Kings Point Road, Sandys, Phone: 441-234-0331, 20
  • 9 Beaches Resort, Sandys, Phone: 441-239-2999, 21
  • The Reefs Southampton 441 238-0222 http://wwwthereefscom

There are also a wide variety of B&B style accommodations and smaller guestroom hotels with kitchenettes such as:

  • The Rosemont Hotel, 41 Rosemont Avenue, Pembroke, Phone: 441-292-1055, 22
  • Oxford Guesthouse, Woodbourne Av, Pembroke, Phone: 441-295 0503

Additionally, some businesses offer private homes, apartments and studios for short term rent such as Bermuda Accommodations Inc wwwbermudarentalscom, Phone: 416-232-2243

The exorbitant cost of accommodation and airfares has had a negative effect on tourism, which is shrinking by >25% every year Local government therefore hopes for more budget airlines to come to the island now only USA3000 from Baltimore and some JetBlue Flights are available Cruise ships are scape-goated for the decline in hotel stays Compared to Caribbean destinations Bermuda is at least twice to five times as expensive for a similar product

Working in Bermuda

Bermudians have been successful in implementing policies devoted to making sure the native-born primarily black population is not excluded from economic prosperity and professional opportunities, in favor of foreign workers primarily white Laws are in place to encourage the hiring of qualified Bermudians and to building a future in which it is the rule, rather than the exception, for native-born Bermudians to be professionally trained and promoted, and for young Bermudians to see a future in which they can hold places of leadership and progress within their own country

Many Caribbean nations have faced the challenge of rising "emergency" emigration as native-born populations are being shut out of upper-level professional opportunities through the importation of foreign workers This is a practice which many see as a reversal of hard-won struggles against the racial discrimination and slavery-born caste systems of the past, and has resulted in striking decreases in the quality of life for these nations and the rise of widespread social problems

Because of a small population, economic prosperity and an early-response, Bermuda has been able to comparatively stem the tide of such problems and maintain a higher standard of living for all of its people, rather than cultivate a pervasive racial caste system of tourists and foreign workers, served and entertained by native-born blacks who provide 'color and culture' but without an equal footing in society

Cities in Bermuda

hamilton  saint george  

What do you think about Bermuda?

How expensive is Bermuda?
Meal in inexpensive restaurant19.6 USD
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)110.2 USD
McDonalds meal11.04 USD
Local beer (0.5 draft)7.68 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 7.75 USD
Cappuccino5.57 USD
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)2.3 USD
Water (0.33 bottle)2.54 USD
Milk (1l)2.45 USD
Fresh bread (500g)5.77 USD
White Rice (1kg)7.26 USD
Eggs (12) 4.1 USD
Local Cheese (1kg) 16.2 USD
Chicken Breast (1kg) 15.35 USD
Apples (1kg) 11.1 USD
Oranges (1kg) 14.62 USD
Tomato (1kg) 9.39 USD
Potato (1kg) 7.32 USD
Lettuce (1 head) 3.3 USD
Water (1.5l)2.34 USD
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 19.39 USD
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)4.95 USD
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 3.16 USD
Cigarettes9.64 USD
One way local bus ticket2.94 USD
Monthly pass for bus55 USD
Taxi start5.25 USD
Taxi 1km1.48 USD
Taxi 1hour waiting33.25 USD
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.38 USD
Utilities for a "normal" apartment320.97 USD
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 23.5 USD, your travel companion

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