Barbados is the destination of food, festivals and fantastic beaches. Set in the eastern Caribbean, this independent island nation within the British Commonwealth is a sight for sore eyes. Resembling a classic island paradise – the type conjured up in dreams or on postcards – Barbados is the sort of romantic, family-friendly destination that soothes the soul. Not only will you have the promise of great weather and white sand beaches to lay on plus balmy turquoise waters as clear as a spring lake, but you’ll also be blown away by the country’s amazing island culture which fuses together West African and British traditions, the never-ending choice of luxury beach resorts which blend in beautifully and elegantly into the natural surroundings, and the UNESCO World Heritage capital city of Bridgetown which is adorned with pretty gardens and grand colonial architecture. So whether it’s the tropical beach life you’re after and all the fabulous snorkelling and underwater adventure that comes with it, the history and the culture and all the amazing festivals that have been born from such a colourful past, or the magical sunsets and the sound of the sea as you dine al fresco by the beachfront, there’s something for everyone here in Barbados.
For families with children in search of a place to bond, relax and leave all their troubles behind or for couples in search of a little island romance, Barbados is simply perfect. And with the perfect mix of fun and relaxation, you can tick all the boxes on your bucket list. From the stunning white sand coastline and yacht lined harbours to the liveliest nightlife and tastiest food festivals in the world, the island of Barbados will not disappoint. This is the Caribbean at its finest!
Family travel in Barbados is easy; with the national language being English, there will be no language barriers to contend with. Public transport on the island is generally well organised and the bus service is an extremely affordable way to get around with the kids. Hotels and resorts are most family friendly, offering children’s clubs and activities, large family sized bathrooms, and children’s menus at on-site restaurants. For children’s activities around the island, don’t miss the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship, Atlantis Adventure, the Barbados Museum, Harrisons Cave and Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
Barbadian cuisine is a fusion of African, Indian and British cooking. The national dish is Flying Fish and Cou Cou, which is a bajan seasoned fish dish served with a Cou Cou side (cornmeal and okra, similar to grits) and this is then finished off with a spicy gravy sauce. Another traditional dish to try is Pudding and Souse, which is a pickled pork with spiced sweet potatoes. Other notable dishes include fish cakes, macaroni pie, pumpkin soup, curried vegetable roti, Conkies (corn flour mixed with coconut and sugar steamed in a banana leaf), Pepperpot stew, Cassava cake, Cutter sandwiches (salt bread with a choice of fillings) and raw sea eggs. Rum punch is the tipple of choice for many locals whilst non-alcoholic drinks include Mauby, which is a bitter drink made from Mauby tree bark, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The culture of Barbados is an interesting mix of both West African and British cultures. Their unique language symbolises the importance and significance of the two cultures merging together; centuries of British rule has led to English being the national language but the Bajan dialect makes their spoken tongue unique to the island. Barbadian culture is a colourful one, which the islanders are extremely proud to celebrate through festivals, carnivals and various genres of music. Food and drink is also a huge part of modern island life and traditional dishes inspired by Creole and fusion cooking remain as everyday staples.