If you are in Barbados and you want to have a break from the beach an island tour could be just what you need. You can tour the island in a day either by a rental car or by an organised tour. In this instance, we would recommend booking a guided tour taken by a local to see the top sights of the pretty island of Barbados. Read on to find out where the best spots are to visit and why we chose Williams Tours.
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Top Things to Do in Barbados – Island Tour with Williams Tours
“The Rooster Man” collected us from the Bougainvillea Beach Resort, one of Barbados Hotels, at the designated time of 8:00 am. We did not catch his real name only that we were to know him as the “Rooster Man”. We heard the sound of a rooster crowing and naturally thought it was a special horn on the bus. It wasn’t till we had stopped at an intersection a few miles down the road that we realised the ‘crowing’ actually came from him, which totally bewildered the rooster that was crossing the road at the intersection! (No chicken crossing the road jokes, here please). The passengers on the bus broke out in giggles as the live rooster replied back! During the day when it was time to get back on the bus – a rooster crowing hurried us back on board!
Apart from making one of the best sounds we have heard from a “rooster” – the Rooster Man was a hive of information on all things Barbados. This was a tour of not only important historical moments and places but of local information from a local who has lived his whole life on the island.
We headed towards Bridgetown Barbados and along the way learned about the pomegranates growing here and their medicinal properties and how breadfruit arrived from Fiji. By the way, if you are ever on the Caribbean Island of St Vincent and cut down a breadfruit tree don’t expect to go home for 7 years, the local jail will be your new home.
Up past the historical Garrison area, Britain’s largest military complex in the Caribbean, which was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 we drove and then down past the shimmering waters of Carlisle Bay and into Bridgetown.
We joined the Spring Garden Highway and passed some of the finest Barbados beaches on the island, which were lined with palm trees on the West Coast. The West Coast is home to the most expensive hotels and villas on the island as well as the exclusive high-end shopping complex – Limegrove at Holetown. The Rooster Man name-dropped as we enjoyed the drive around this part of the island – Rihanna, Simon Cowell, Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Sir Cliff Richard and the list goes on and on – we won’t spoil his thunder you just have to join the tour to find out all the gossip.
Our first stop was at Speightstown where we were recommended to try out the PRC Bakery. Feeling a little peckish after our early start we bought the local Bajan Meat Roll and a Coconut slice. Definitely worth a return visit to repeat our purchases.
Our next stop was the Animal Flower Cave. Along the way, The Rooster Man explained about the local flora and fauna on this part of the island. Mongooses ran across the road at intervals, but each time we missed seeing them as we were at the rear of the bus.
The Animal Flower Cave is situated at the most northerly part of the island. There were pools in the cave that you could swim in. The tour allowed a 30-minute stop here and you should be able to visit the cave in that time – there was an entrance fee of BBD$20 per person. For those of us who didn’t visit the cave, there were great photo opportunities of the dramatic sea cliffs and the ocean. The site has local craft shops as well as a bar and restaurant with the most amazing views. Since 1927 the cave and the bar (no restaurant back then) have been in the Ward Family. Third-generation family member Manuel Ward has extended the bar to include the restaurant offering Barbadian and Caribbean dishes.
It was time to taste some Rum Punch and homemade Banana Bread 850 feet above sea level at Cherry Tree Hill. We were not sure what rum was used in the punch but it tasted good. Our favourite rum is Mount Gay Rum which is made from Mount Gay Barbados Rum. The spectacular view extended to the Northern and Eastern parts of the island and overlooked the Scotland district.
The Rooster crowed so it was time to hop back on the bus again and as we headed down into the valley a passionate rendition of Harry Belafonte’s Island in the Sun was heard. The Rooster Man was a man of many talents.
Bathsheba was our next stop and it is one of the Caribbean’s best surfing beaches, situated on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The rugged eastern coastline is lined with striking rock formations. Bathsheba was home to a small fishing community and their families.
Just down the road, we stopped to visit St. John’s Church in its dramatic setting on a cliff overlooking the eastern side of the island. The gothic style church was rebuilt in 1836 after a major hurricane destroyed the previous church in 1831.
Our last stop for the day coincided with our lunch stop at the 300-year-old Sunbury Plantation House. We enjoyed a buffet lunch of salads, vegetables, macaroni pie, fish and chicken in a beautiful setting at the rear of the plantation house with coconut ice cream and coconut cake for dessert. A rum punch, juices or soft drinks were also included.
After lunch, we were given an opportunity to find out more about life 300 years ago on the sugar cane plantations and time to explore the 3 levels of this historical home.
On the back of the leaflet outlining the history of Sunbury House is the following quote….
“Sunbury Plantation House, located in the tranquil St Philip countryside, is a living monument to plantation life of a bygone era, carefully restored and lovingly cherished by its owners for posterity, for the enjoyment of the generations to come. Once again, Sunbury has survived to tell another fascinating tale of its long history”.
As the ‘rooster crowed’ we boarded the bus for the very last time and headed for home.
We would like to thank “The Rooster Man”, Raquel and Scott for hosting us on their Barbados Island 80-mile tour. We highly recommend this tour to anyone who is visiting the beautiful island of Barbados. You will come away with a memorable experience, an understanding of the people of Barbados and a taste of local Caribbean fare. As always, our opinions are our own.
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There are 2 seasons in Barbados – wet and dry. The island is located 13 degrees north of the equator.
The wet season runs from May through to the latest month December. The island can experience drought-like conditions through the rest of the year from January to April.
Temperatures are roughly the same year-round with low temperatures ranging from low to mid-20s and highs below 30 degrees.
There is a possibility of hurricanes from June until November.
Where to stay in Barbados – Barbados Hotels
There is a range of Barbados all-inclusive hotels available, although we did not stay at Mango Bay, passengers on our tour highly recommended it. It is a 4 star all-inclusive hotel located at 2nd St in Holetown.
For an adult all-inclusive couples-only resort the Sandals Resort at St Lawrence Gap is recommended. The 5-star hotel offers an outdoor pool, sundeck terrace and their in-house restaurant offers Indian-inspired cuisine served on their al fresco terrace.
Some Tripadvisor recommendations for accommodation for you, check availability now
If you enjoyed this tour of Barbados you may enjoy others that we participated in:
Our extensive Barbados Insider Guide
Sitar Indian Restaurant
Rental Cars Barbados
If you need to rent a car when you are booking Barbados holidays we can recommend you check the latest prices through our partner Rentalcars.com.
Do you need an International Drivers Licence? You can obtain one online here in minutes.
Flights to Barbados
Flight Deals to Barbados
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In conclusion, embarking on an Island Tour of Barbados with Williams Tours is a truly unforgettable experience. From the moment you start your tour, you are greeted with warm hospitality and a wealth of knowledge from your knowledgeable tour guide. The stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of Barbados come alive as you explore its hidden gems and iconic landmarks. Williams Tours ensures that every aspect of your island tour is meticulously planned to provide the ultimate vacation experience. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure like no other with the Williams Tour!