Lovers of sun, sand and surf will fall head over heels for Barbados. With over 80 beaches and almost 100 kilometres of coastline, you won’t have trouble finding the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing.
Located in the Caribbean, this beautiful island has a tropical climate with warm temperatures and sunshine all year round.
Here are 15 of the best beaches in Barbados you’ll want to put on your radar when visiting this slice of paradise.
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One of the first spots you should head to is Carlisle Bay. Here you’ll find three of the best Barbados beaches all in a row; Brownes Beach, Pebbles Beach and Bayshore Beach.
You’ll want to lay on the white, powder-like sand here all day long. The water is shallow and calm, making it great for swimmers of all strengths who want to relax and cool down.
At Pebble Beach, there are public bathrooms with showers available.
Along the bay are some great restaurants, bars and beach clubs if you want a few drinks or a bite to eat.
The Copacabana Beach Club, that boasts it’s always a happy ending and the Boatyard Club are great places to chill out at, and there are numerous casual takeaway spots to grab a burger or fish and chips to go, like Baystreet Fish and Coffy’s Bayside Bar and Restaurant.
Accommodation near Carlisle Bay:
Crane Beach is found towards the southeast of the island and is known for its mesmerising pink sand and crystal-clear waters. This is one of the most popular spots in Barbados and is ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
While the offshore reef protects the beach from some of the rougher waves, it can still be an excellent spot for surfing and boogie boarding.
The best way to get down to the beach is via the 98-step path from the Crane Resort. Rent a sunbed if you feel like staying for a while, and look out for the vendors selling cold drinks and snacks.
Accommodation near Crane Beach:
One of the best beaches for swimming in Barbados is Accra Beach. Also known as Rockley Beach, the crystal-clear waters are ideal for snorkelling too.
The southern end of the beach has calmer waters that are safe for little ones to play in, with the waves picking up a bit the further north you go. The casuarina trees provide plenty of shade, although beach umbrellas can be rented too.
Due to its proximity to the famous Richard Haynes Boardwalk, this area is a great place to spend the whole day at. Towards the flat end of the beach, you’ll see kiosks popping up, as well as fast food joints and more upscale restaurants. There’s definitely something for everyone here.
Accommodation near Accra Beach:
Drill Hall Beach
Drill Hall Beach is a hidden gem in Barbados, as it is a lesser-known beach among tourists yet absolutely worth visiting. That being said, it’s still conveniently located between Brownes Beach and Accra Beach in Bridgetown.
This diverse beach has tide pools along the shoreline that are home to wandering crabs and other small marine life. Sea turtles are also known to nest here, so you might be able to see some of these gorgeous creatures if you’re lucky.
There’s a large shaded area among the trees with picnic tables. Surfing lessons are offered here daily, as the calm waves are ideal for beginner learners.
Located nearby is the Needhams Point Lighthouse, which is now on the grounds of the Hilton Barbados.
Accommodation near Drill Hall Beach:
Bottom Bay Beach
Located in the southeast of the island in Saint Philip is Bottom Bay Beach. To get here, follow the path between the cliffs and palm trees, which opens up to a long stretch of soft sand and white foamy waves.
This is one of the most secluded beaches in Barbados, making it ideal for a romantic picnic or a bit of peace and quiet away from the busier locations.
Since this beach faces the Atlantic, going out into the water is recommended only for confident and experienced swimmers.
While a large off-shore reef protects the shore from most of the bigger waves, you should still remain vigilant if swimming here to stay safe from any unexpected current changes or rip tides.
Accommodation near Bottom Bay Beach:
If you’re an avid surfer, you’ll likely already know about Bathsheba Beach. This slice of Atlantic coastline is found in a local fishing village in the parish of Saint Joseph.
Better known as the Soup Bowl, the strong foamy waves here make it a superb spot for surfing. In fact, many local and international surfing competitions have been held here. Since the waves here can get pretty rough, swimming is not recommended.
The golden sand beach is also known for the large rocks that sit slightly off the shore. It is believed that these formations once broke away from an ancient coral reef.
The largest formation is known as Bathsheba Rock and is considered a landmark of the area.
Accommodation near Bathsheba Beach:
Silver Sands Beach
Another incredible beach along the south side of Barbados is called Silver Sands. During the Caribbean winter, Silver Sands Beach becomes an excellent spot for water sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing and stand up paddling.
You can find the equipment you’ll need at De Action Shop, which you can rent or purchase. For beginners, lessons are offered too.
There’s a shaded area with picnic tables and a small playground for kids. Since there aren’t many restaurants or shops around, it might be a good idea to bring a packed lunch.
There’s also a gazebo nearby with a WiFi connection available if you can’t wait to upload your holiday pics to Instagram!
Accommodation near Silver Sands Beach:
Mullins Beach is a gorgeous place to relax on the West Coast of Barbados. This bay is about a five-minute drive from Speightstown, the second-largest town in Barbados.
The turquoise waters here are fairly calm, so it’s a good place for some casual swimming and snorkelling. The swimming area is roped off to keep everyone safe from any sailboats or jet skis around.
There are lots of lounge chairs and beach umbrellas to go around, and some shady spots underneath the trees if you feel like you’ve had too much sun for the day.
Along the shore are three restaurants to get a great meal and a cold drink; the Royal Westmoreland Beach Club, Adrian’s Bar, and the Sea Shed Restaurant.
Accommodation near Mullins Beach:
Brandons Beach is a laid-back spot in Bridgetown with calm and clear waters, making it a tranquil spot for snorkelling and paddle boarding.
This is one of the best beaches in Barbados near the cruise port, only about a 20-minute walk or a short taxi ride from the dock.
Once the sun starts to go down, join the locals by finding somewhere to sit on the soft white sand and enjoy the beautiful Caribbean sunset.
Lounges, beach chairs, umbrellas and more are available to rent for reasonable prices. Rascals is a popular restaurant by the beach for lunch, dinner or just a cocktail by the ocean.
There is even a floating offshore water park owned by Rascals, which you’ll be able to spot from the shoreline.
Accommodation near Brandons Beach:
Bath Beach is known as the safest beach on the East Coast of Barbados. There are rarely strong currents here compared to the other bays along the coastline, so it’s an ideal place to come with the whole family.
Yet, there are lifeguards on duty, offering a little peace of mind if you’re planning on swimming.
The countless casuarina trees and sapphire blue waters set a picturesque setting. Walk towards the north end of the beach and you’ll come across a freshwater spring, which forms small bubbling waterfalls.
There’s a large car park by Bath Beach, as well as picnic tables, bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, and a place to buy a few snacks. However, there aren’t any restaurants nearby, so think about planning ahead.
Accommodation near Bath Beach:
Folkestone Marine Park and Beach
One of the top places on the island to snorkel is the Folkestone Marine Park, as it is the only Marine Protected Area in Barbados. Jet skis and speed boats aren’t allowed to be operated here, so you can swim around freely without worry.
The reefs are home to different types of tropical fish and cool marine life, such as corals, sea anemones, sponges and sea lilies.
Many visitors also like to go diving here to find Stavronikita, a famous shipwreck laying 120 feet below the surface. Keep in mind, only experienced and accompanied divers should attempt this dive.
At the Folkestone Museum is an aquarium with numerous marine species, so you still have a chance to see and learn about them without going into the water. There’s also the opportunity to go on a glass-bottom boat ride.
All the typical amenities are available here, with some souvenir shops, a children’s playground, tennis courts and a basketball court as well.
Accommodation near Folkestone Marine Park and Beach:
Paradise Beach is a quiet oasis along the West Coast of Barbados. The cyan seas are excellent for swimming in, and there are some interesting shallow rock formations to look around.
If you want to get away from the crowds, you don’t have to travel all the way to the East Coast, as this peaceful gem is found along the very northern outskirts of Bridgeport.
You’ll likely see plenty of standing stones along the shore of Paradise Beach. These large zen structures are created by local artist Philip King.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any amenities or vendors nearby, so this spot is best for a short yet relaxing break. If you want to access this beach by car, you’ll need to use the entrance at the neighbouring Batts Rock Beach.
Accommodation near Paradise Beach:
Paynes Bay Beach
Another calm spot for swimming and snorkelling is Paynes Bay Beach. This area is the heart of Barbados’ Platinum Coast, with sand so soft it feels like baby powder.
There are some shady areas here, but avoid going near the manchineel trees, as the apples they produce are known to be poisonous (even being named the ‘little apple of death’ in Spanish). These trees are clearly marked, so you don’t need to worry too much.
Jet skis and catamarans are available to rent for those feeling like an adventure, as well as beach chairs if you’d rather lay back and work on your tan. There are also showers and toilets, small food vendors, and on-duty lifeguards.
Accommodation near Paynes Bay Beach:
Located right by St Lawrence Gap, Dover Beach is a popular hotspot in Barbados. You’ll see tons of people partaking in a range of watersports, like jet skiing, boogie boarding, Hobie Cat sailing and windsurfing.
There are lots of small stalls selling drinks, ice cream and other snacks, as well as T-shirts and snorkelling gear.
If you forgot your sunscreen or sunnies, you can easily buy these items here too. Across the street is the Dover Playing Field, where you have a good chance of being able to catch a local cricket or footy match.
Accommodation near Dover Beach:
Miami Beach, also known as Enterprise Beach, is a stunning stretch of sand and sea along the South Coast. Popular with locals on the weekends, this beach is surprisingly empty during the weekday.
So, if you want a bit of privacy away from the masses but don’t want to travel to the other side of the island, Miami Beach is the perfect place for you.
Local vendors here rent out boogie boards, beach chairs and umbrellas. You can also pick up something to eat from the snack bars, including fish cakes and hot dogs. Although there is a lifeguard on duty, the waters here are usually very calm and tranquil.
When the tide is low, walk along the shoreline and search for seashells that were brought in with the waves. Since the beach is right by Oistins, you’re likely to spot fishing boats around here too.