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Dealing with the cold Canadian winters can be tough. The short days and slushy weather had worn us down. Sure we had found great ways to beat the winter blues in the snowy north, but by March, we were craving sunshine and soft sand. The beautiful Atlantic island of Bermuda seemed like a great option to escape the cold. We decided to treat ourselves to a 4 day trip to Bermuda. And we made it our mission to search for the best Bermuda beach. That would turn out to be a tougher challenge than we expected!
Bermuda is composed of over 100 islands with a total surface area of 33 km². While Bermuda seems small, it’s actually made up of 6 primary islands and most are connected to each other by bridges. Bermuda is divided into 9 parishes or districts and there is a total of 34 official Bermuda beaches on the islands. If you’re preparing for a trip, you can check out our favorite family travel gear here.
Best Time to Visit Bermuda for a Beach Vacation
Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is actually not a Caribbean island. In fact, Bermuda is located about as far north as North Carolina. For those looking for a winter island vacation, a visit to Bermuda can offer a bit of a surprise. While the island offers comfortable weather year-round, Bermuda weather in the winter can reach chilly temperatures. And the beaches in Bermuda can be cold. Especially for those who are used to warmer temperatures. The best time to visit Bermuda depends a lot on what your goals are. We were looking for comfortable temperatures, and water warm enough for a refreshing dip. But still in the shoulder season when prices aren’t at their highest. For those goals, March and April are the best time to visit Bermuda. But for those looking for warmer waters and those not afraid of higher costs and busier beaches, June through September are peak season for the island. For those visiting Bermuda with kids, everything revolves around the water. So timing your visit is important!
Where to Stay in Bermuda
From Toronto, it is just a little over 2 hr hours on a direct flight to the Bermuda sands. Since we only had a few days on the island, we wanted to stay somewhere central. The most famous Bermuda beach is Horseshoe Bay. Horseshoe Bay Beach is situated near the midway point of the island. And the closest hotel to that is the famous Fairmont Southampton. As soon as we were checked in at the Fairmont Southampton, we changed to our swimsuits and were ready to hit the beach in record time. The hotel offers a free shuttle to Horseshoe Bay Beach which was waiting by the front driveway. The bus took us on the 5-minute drive downhill to the hotel’s private beach in East Whale Bay, right next to Horseshoe Beach Bermuda.
The most common areas to find hotels in Bermuda are in Hamilton, the Dockyards, Central Bermuda and St. Georges Island. The best places to stay in Bermuda cover a wide array of Bermuda luxury hotels, standard hotels and bed and breakfasts. What you won’t find much of on Bermuda are budget hotels.
Find the Best Deals on Hotels in Bermuda
What is the Best Bermuda Beach?
East Whale Bay Beach
Located in Southampton Parish, East Whale Bay Beach is a private beach owned by the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. Stunning rock cliffs separate it from the public, and much busier, Horseshoe Bay Beach. East Whale Beach Bay was named for the whales which can often be seen from the shore during the spring season (March and April). The whales, mostly humpbacks, migrate to their northern feeding grounds during this time of year. The kids were so excited that as soon as they got out of the shuttle they ran straight to the water.
Unfortunately, luck was not with us, as we didn’t see any whales while we were at the beach. We did meet several people at the hotel who had managed to catch a glimpse of them though. East Whale Bay Beach is also a popular spot as a Bermuda snorkeling destination. The bay has sheltered waters and a coral reef that is accessible by swimmers. The reef is located just past the large rock in the middle of the bay. C tried his luck at snorkeling while D was content with playing in the sand.
When the sun began to set, we packed up our gear and waited for the shuttle back to the hotel. It took a lot of convincing to get the kids to leave the beach, but we promised them that our beach adventures were just beginning.
Horseshoe Bay Beach
Situated next to East Whale Bay Beach is the famous Horseshoe Bay Beach. Horseshoe Bay Bermuda is also located in Southampton Parish. There is a path connecting the two beaches so it is easy to go back and forth between them. Horseshoe Bay Bermuda got its name from its long, curving form. It has the worldwide reputation of being the best Bermuda beach due to its very pink sand.
When we first arrived, I was quite skeptical that the perfect Instagram photos showing pink sands were, in fact, real. I was wrong! The Bermuda pink sand color comes from the tiny red organisms that grow under coral reefs. As they die, they wash onto the shore and mix with the sand. With time, the sun exposure bleaches their red color making it appear pink. The south shore beaches have the most intense of the pink sand in Bermuda.
Tip: Just before sunset is the best time to get the best view of the pink sand as the sky accentuates the colors of the sand.
Bermuda Kite Festival at Horseshoe Bay Beach
Each year on Easter Friday, the annual Bermuda Kite Festival takes place. We had timed our visit perfectly to take part. The Fairmont Southampton organizes a kite-making activity for children and their families. C had a blast making his kite. However, he had an even better time flying his kite with the locals, who crowd the beaches and hills with kites of all shapes and sizes. What a great tradition!
Tip: The kite-making event at the Fairmont Southampton is open to anyone on the island. A cost is involved for those not staying in the hotel.
Port Royal Cove
After some kite-flying, it was time to enjoy the beach. If you walk to the western end of the beach (towards the right side if you are facing the water) there is a small cove called, Port Royal Cove. The rocks prevent the waves from being very strong and the water is shallow, making it perfect for families with small children. Both the boys had a blast splashing around, swimming, and trying to spot colorParrotfishfish. For the second night in a row, we watched the beautiful sunset towards the mesmerizing azure waters of Bermuda.
Find the best prices for hotels near Horseshoe Bay Bermuda on these websites:
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Long Bay Beach, Cooper’s Point Nature Reserve
On our third day in Bermuda, we hired a taxi guide via the hotel concierge to give us an island tour. As a native of Bermuda, our guide, Mr. Andrew Trott, provided us with a lot of insight into the island’s history and how it has changed throughout the years. A highlight of our tour was when we stopped at Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, a Bermuda National Park, for a picnic lunch. We had some time to explore a couple of trails in the vast woodland area. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to swim at beautiful Long Bay beach as we were heading to St. George’s Parish for the afternoon.
Tip: Full sized cars are not available for rent by tourists on the island. The majority of tourists get around the island by renting scooters. They are an economical and efficient way of getting around. Although, caution must be observed as the roads on the island are narrow and winding, with many blind corners. Recently small electric cars have become available for those staying in select hotels.
Find the best prices for hotels near Cooper Nature Reserve on these websites:
Tobacco Bay Beach
After lunch, we headed to the historical town of St. George’s. Mr. Trott drove us around town so we can get an overview of the area. Then, he dropped us off at a local ice cream shop and we said our good-byes. With ice cream in hand, we explored the old town on foot. After a couple of hours leisurely strolling the island’s former capital, we were ready for another beach! Wandering up through the town, past the famous unfinished church, we headed to Tobacco Bay. You can read all about our time exploring St. George and Tobacco Bay Beach here.
It was love at first sight! Tobacco Bay has the most amazing rock formations with waters teeming with colorful marine life. It seemed as if we couldn’t walk more than a few feet without a parrotfish or a turtle.
The children had no trouble spotting little fishes as the water of Tobacco Bay Beach was so clear. The beach also has lots of sea glass which C took pleasure in collecting.
Find the best prices for hotels near Tobacco Bay Beach on these websites:
Elbow Bay Beach
Elbow Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bermuda. As with many of the best Bermuda beaches, Elbow Bay Beach is located on the south shore of the island. Located in Paget Parish, Elbow Beach is also the home of Elbow Beach Resort. Similar to East Whale Bay Beach, part of Elbow beach is privately owned by the Elbow Beach Hotel. Although the rest of the beach has public access.
Find the best prices for the Elbow Beach Resort on these websites:
Finding our own Secret Beach
On our second last day in Bermuda, we awoke bright and early, ready for our next adventure. We had rented a boat in the Royal Navy Dockyards. Our plan was to head out and headed out in search of our own piece of paradise. Many beaches in Bermuda are privately owned. This meant that as we were touring the coast, searching for the best Bermuda beach, we were often met with no trespassing signs. It seems that apart from many of the most popular beaches in Bermuda, most seem to be owned by resorts, golf courses, or private citizens with enough money to own the land.
Our search for our own secret beach was quite an adventure! Some parts were even traumatizing for the boys! (You can read all about that adventure here). We ended up finding a small piece of sand near a golf course just south of the Royal Navy Dockyards. It wasn’t big, but the sand was soft, it was quiet and isolated. And it made for a perfect place for us to unwind before our trip home. We all really enjoyed our time on our own private (at least temporarily) beach
Although we didn’t hit every beach in Bermuda, the Bermuda beaches we did have a chance to explore didn’t disappoint. We set out on a mission to find the best Bermuda beach and we failed. All the beaches we experienced were amazing!
Have you been to Bermuda? Do you have a favorite beach there? Let us know if the comments below about what your favorite places are in Bermuda to enjoy the sun, the sand, and the waves.
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Having experienced over 20 countries across 4 continents Christina is well versed at travel planning and thrives on sharing that information with others with the hopes of encouraging more families to experience this incredible world that we live in.
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