About Barbados

Barbados is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands and unlike most of its volcanic neighbours it is a coral island producing some of the finest white beaches and crystal clear waters in the world. It is a small island of 166 sq miles and is only 21 miles long and 14 miles wide. Although it is not mountainous it rises to nearly 1.000 ft above sea level. On the West of the island the scenery is characterised by rolling hills and beautiful beaches with calm turquoise sea. The spectacularly stunning East Coast with its wild beaches and Atlantic breakers provides a real contrast. Because of its geology much of the island is criss-crossed by underground rivers and caves. Harrison’s Cave is a major attraction open to the public and well worth a visit. Collapsed caves or gullies provide the natural habitat for local wild life including the green monkey.

Barbados was first settled by the British in 1627 and Holetown is the site of the first settlement. Until the island gained independence in 1966 Barbados was a British colony. The official language is English, cars drive on the left hand side of the road and the island has the third oldest Parliament in the world. Barbadians (or Bajans as they are known) are proud of their island, its political stability and the high standard of education. They are also great sports lovers with a passion for cricket, horse racing, sailing, surfing and motor sports. Mount Gay Rum (the rum that invented rum) is only one of a number of world class rum producers in the island and the local beer, Banks, helps to quench the thirst on a warm afternoon at the beach.

As to be expected on an island fish is the mainstay of the local cuisine. Flying fish is a local delicacy, but game fish like Mahi Mahi (locally referred to as dolphin), Marlin, Sword Fish and Tuna are on the menus of most restaurants, as is lobster. It is worth trying the local fish cakes made from salted cod and, for those who are happy with a challenge, pudding and souse (black pudding and pickled pork). There are a large number of excellent restaurants selling a range of international foods and local produce.

Street food and van food is also plentiful, including fish, chicken and pork, peas and rice and the island’s favourite, macaroni pie. There are fish fries at many of the local fish markets where freshly caught fish is served grilled or fried. The most famous of these are at Oistins on the south coast and Moontown north of Speighstown.

Another local favourite is roti – an Indian dish imported from our neighbouring island, Trinidad. These are West Indian curries served in a roti wrap – an excellent takeaway food.