Barbados’ make up, with the rough Atlantic Ocean to the east and the gentle Caribbean Sea to the west, means that where the two meet you will find consistent medium sized waves. These conditions are just right for boogie boarding and body surfing. This ideal area travels along the south and south-east and where there is a host of inviting beaches and secluded spots to choose from.
Water sport facilities and rentals are available at a number of hotels and resorts. If your hotel is not one, however, don’t be alarmed. There are many water sports shops located around the island where you can rent or purchase gear. If this is your first time, take a few lessons before riding the waves.
You cannot go anywhere in Barbados, or even the Caribbean for that matter, and not feel the passion we have for Cricket! Barbados has always had a renowned reputation for producing stellar cricketers, and Bajan cricketers have always made up a large contingent of the West Indies Cricket Team.
You are likely to spot and enjoy a game of cricket anywhere across the island. The Kensington Oval, Queens Park and the Three W’s Oval are frequently home to international one day’s and test matches, as well as local friendlies, while playing fields, beaches, pastures and back yards host the games of the average enthusiastic cricket fans and players. The only requirements for this fantastic spectator sport are a beer, a friend and a cricket hat…
The game is predominately played on the grounds of the recently renovated (2007) Kensington Oval, also known as "The Mecca of Local Cricket". The Oval has seen its fair share of illustrious cricket matches, with some of its highlights dating as far back as 1930 when a West Indian, Clifford Roach, made the first Test Century on its pitch. Also in 1895, it was the first West Indian ground to host an English touring team. Other more recent highlights for Kensington Oval include being the venue for the World Twenty20 finals in 2010 and the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2007 (the main reason for its drastic upgrade to a world-class venue).
A statue in the likeness of Sir Garfield Sobers, stands guard at the entry of this stadium. This Barbadian cricket legend is known as one of the finest cricketers of all time and he is also recognized as a National Hero in Barbados. Barbados is also well known for its many high calibre of cricketers, with some of the more famous names being George Challenor, Joel Garner, Seymore Nurse, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Conrad Hunte, Malcolm Marshall, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Charlie Griffith and Frank Worrell. To read on these and other famous Barbadian cricketers click here.
For many Barbadians and visitors, the concept of “bowling in Barbados” conjures up thoughts of Kensington Oval and the West Indies Cricket team; however don’t break out the conch shells and the Banks beers just yet! In this single instance, we are referring to bowling alleys, pins and bowling balls right here on our shores!
If you are a lover of this sport, then head over to Casa Grande in Christ Church for an evening of 10 Pin bowling fun that the whole family can enjoy. In addition to the 8 bowling lanes, the facility also boasts restaurants, bars, karaoke, bumper cars, a go kart racing circuit, video arcade, games room, one armed bandits and an airport hotel.
Barbados has a history of successful competitors in the area of cycling as well as a number of excellent bike routes and tracks. When the weather becomes unbearable in northern hemispheres, Barbados is a great getaway for cycling enthusiasts. Barbados’ wonderful climate, at temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius, allows for an excellent year round cycling destination.
Join a group and get riding along the amazingly beautiful landscape. Climb the steep hills on the eastern side of the island, peddling high above the east coast. Take in the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and witness the surf breaking. Cruise along roads framed by lush, tropical vegetation and historic buildings. Whether you want to challenge yourself or enjoy a smooth relaxing ride, you can do it in Barbados.
Barbados has some of the best diving in the Caribbean, with warm waters, few currents and clear waters. These crystal clear waters hold many hidden treasures and gems, revealed only to those willing to go for the adventure. The allure of diving off Barbados is often irresistible, with stunning reefs and sunken ships teeming with colorful marine life including several beautiful species of fish and a number of “tame” sea turtles.
Sunny weather in Barbados is the only excuse some individuals need to head to the golf course - professional, intermediate and novice alike. During the year many golfing enthusiasts flock to the shores to participate in tournaments, which take place around the island. It's no wonder… as Barbados has been described as a premier golfing destination, and said to have several of the Caribbean’s top world class golf courses and a different golfing location for every day of the week. Notably Barbados has hosted the World Golf Championship World Cup in 2006 held at the Sandy Lane Country Club.
Hiking in Barbados has become more and more popular over the years. Persons see it a great form of exercise, while socializing and learning about Barbados. Hike Barbados, the main hiking group on the island, takes you to various hidden and surprisingly interesting areas such as cane fields, gullies and historic communities, to explore the ins and outs of Barbados. These hikes are planned by the Barbados National Trust and though you are not required to pay, any donation would go towards the work of preserving Barbados’ heritage. The route changes weekly, continuously offering hikers a new area to explore. There are different groups which cater to the various desires and fitness levels, allowing persons from the casual walker to the fitness buff the opportunity to enjoy this experience. Make sure you dress appropriately and walk with a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
All morning hikes start at 6:00 a.m.
Afternoon hikes (Stop 'n' Stare only) start at 3:30 p.m.
The Moonlight Walks start at 5:30 p.m (A flashlight is recommended for these walks).
Walk Descriptions: (All hikes last approximately 3 hours)
"Stop 'n' Stare" - group walks for 5-6 miles
"Here 'n' There" - group walks 8-10 miles
"Grin 'n' Bear" - group walks 12-14 miles.
The Sandy Lane Gold Cup is synonymous with horse racing in Barbados - an event where persons get to see their favourite horse go for the gold and risk takers put their money where their mouth is. It is full of fun and loads of excitement and considered by Barbadians, to be a family fun day. Members, from the youngest to the oldest, deck out in their best, as though they too are on show. But horse racing in Barbados is not limited to that one day. Planned by the Barbados Turf Club, horse racing can be enjoyed weekly. It is, for some, as blood pumping a sport as the ones on display at the Olympics. Every Saturday, you can head down to the Garrison Savannah, place your bets and witness the horses on show. See you at the races!
The hybrid sport of kitesurfing has quickly become one of the most popular extreme sports to reach Barbados’ shores. Combining aspects of windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics, thrill seekers are offered the opportunity to showcase their skills. With its optimum conditions and stunning beaches, it is no question why Barbados has quickly become a top pick for kitesurfing vacationers. Barbados is considered a kitesurfer’s paradise. Make it your next vacation destination.
The first weekend in December marks the Run Barbados festival. A Fun Mile, a 5k, a 10k, a Half-Marathon, and a Marathon make up this event. Since its inception in 1983, many world renowned competitors have participated in this charitable event. The Run Barbados festival is open for persons of all fitness levels - from the highly competitive individual, down to the stroller. While many are in it for the competition, some see it is the opportunity to get the blood pumping while interacting with friends.
Barbados boasts of a number of top-class, full-sized golf courses, but for those who prefer a more fun filled, scaled down version of the game, there are also several miniature golf courses. For a fraction of the cost and loads more fun, mini golf is an ideal family outing. It is wholesome outdoor fun, enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
Another new and invigorating watersport in Barbados is stand up paddling. It combines aspects of surfing and kayaking for a refreshing experience. Coast along the waters with sun caressing your body. Barbados’ calm west coast waters are perfect for beginners while the east coast’s rougher seas create a thrill for the experienced wave catchers. Learn to paddle board with the assistance of one of the many instructors across the island or head straight to a water-sports shop and rent your gear.
Ever wished you could fly? Here is your opportunity. Soar high in the sky, admiring the lush green landscape, the white, sandy beaches and the ocean blue, harnessed in the safety of your parachute. Parasail or paraglide over the beautiful seascape, suspended hundreds of feet in the air. Imagine that you are a bird, looking down over everything and everyone, feeling your adrenaline pumping. More information on paragliding and parasailing can be obtained from the Barbados Paragliding Association and various water-sports shops across the island. Beware though, this is not for the acrophobic nor the weak-hearted.
Internationally acclaimed, Barbados’ polo grounds are of the highest standard, which has allowed the sport to grow popular in the island. Enthusiasts, both local and visitors, attend polo regularly to support their preferred teams. Barbados is regularly visited by international teams, an influx which has made polo one of the leaders in sports tourism. The large crowds and high interest in this sport, have led to the development of several new polo fields, with a possibility for more in the future. Come and enjoy this fantastic sport in Barbados.
Road tennis is the exhilarating game combining elements from lawn tennis and table tennis. Road tennis, indigenous to Barbados, was originally referred to as “poor man’s tennis”, only requiring an 8 inch net, a tennis ball, wooden paddles and a 21ft by 10ft flat surface; that is the road. The 1930s saw the dawn of this new sport, which has been evolving ever since. It has become one of the more popular pastimes on the island, leading to international recognition by a number of tennis fanatics.
Barbados’ lovely weather, calm seas and view of the gorgeous landscape make sailing off Barbados incredible. Charter a small or large catamaran. Cruise along the west coast taking in the panorama. Enjoy a day on the relaxing Caribbean Sea or spend a night taking in the stars and the beautifully lit coast. Whether it be fun with friends or a romantic cruise for two, the option is yours.
If it is a sailing competition that you are in search of, that too is available in Barbados. There are annual regattas just of these shores. Ranging from big boat to dinghy racing, the Barbados Sailing Association and the Barbados Yacht Club offer an exciting race show for enthusiasts. With activity year round, you are sure to find something exciting going on in Barbados involving sailing.
Barbados’ underwater experience is comparable to the best in the world. The natural marine life and created by the numerous shipwrecks are fascinating. These form the excellent diving sites which Barbados boasts. Folkstone, one of these sites, is home to the 360-foot Greek freighter Stavronikita, one of the most remarkable shipwrecks in the Caribbean. Carlisle Bay, another home to shipwrecks, is considered a good beginner dive site due to its easy access from shore. The warm, clear waters and excellent visibility make diving off Barbados a year round activity. Therefore, for a great scuba diving holiday, visit one of the many dive operators in Barbados.
With up to 70 feet of visibility in its waters, Barbados has conditions perfect for snorkeling. The diversity of tropical fish, colourful coral and numerous wreckages create prismatic underwater scenery. Experience the brilliant snorkeling quest which Barbados has to offer. Swim with the turtles in the calm waters of the west coast with the assistance of any one of the dive operators on the island. Beginner or advanced, an adventure awaits you.
A surfer’s paradise is what awaits you in Barbados with the Atlantic Ocean fringing the east coast. Travelling a great distance to get here, the uninterrupted waters of this vast ocean are then permitted to unleash powerful waves on this side of the island. However, this does not imply that the only surfing spots are on the east. The coral reefs surrounding Barbados create satisfactory breaks all around.
Home to internationally acclaimed surf pros, Barbados’ Soup Bowl is well known across the world for its excellent waves. Here, wave junkies can enjoy the annual Independence Surf Festival during the month of November. Staying in the east or south east of the island is recommended for visitors focused on riding the waves. Removed from the hive of activity, you can find your serenity and be one with the ocean.
Visit Barbados for a fantastic surfing vacation!
Tennis is an exhilarating game played all across the island of Barbados. In 2011, Barbados hosted “Tennis Pon De Rock” observing players like Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka and other big names in the sport. You too can enjoy this sport here, competitively or just for fun. With numerous hotels offering tennis available to guests, you can easily find yourself out on the court. If, per chance, your hotel does not have these amenities, you can pay for a day pass at most of the facilities that offer tennis across the island.
Popular the world over, wave runners are perfect for the exploration of Barbados’ magnificent waters. Hire a jet ski, as they are more commonly known, from one of the many operators across the island's shores and you could be skimming across the clear blue water. Rent a jet ski for 30 minutes or more and feel the wind blowing through your hair. Be careful while operating however, as you will not be the only person or vessel in these waters.
The even wind and perfect waves make Barbados one of the best wave windsurfing spots in the world. The warm waters of the south offer persons, from beginners to experts, optimal conditions for windsurfing. The period of November to June is considered the best for a windsurfing vacation because of the constant, moderate wind speed.
While the waves are not comparable to those of Hawaii, they are still powerful enough to be enjoyed by professionals in the sport. These slower, less powerful waves also mean they can also be enjoyed by beginners. Silver Sands is the most popular spot to windsurf in Barbados. Here, you can find board rentals and spare parts on the beach nearby.
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Article © GoBarbados
Photo #1 originally from upcric.com
Photo #2 originally from premierattractions.bb
Photo #3 originally from barbadosturfclub.org
Photo #4 originally from proroadtennis.com
Photo #5 originally from sportingbarbados.com
Photo #6 © GoBarbados