The balmy Bahamas
The Bahamas is where the razzmatazz of America meets the laid-back culture of the subtropics. These islands sway to a calypso beat and offer a huge variety of beach resorts and activities. The Bahamas is made up of more than 700 islands and thousands of coral cays, but only 70 of them are inhabited. Several are privately owned, too, with the likes of Johnny Depp, Eddie Murphy, and Beyonce all nabbing their own private slice of paradise.
Golf courses, British colonial heritage, snorkelling sites, and botanical gardens – it all awaits on Bahamas holidays. New Providence is probably the best-known island as it’s home to the country’s capital, Nassau, as well as the famous resort of Atlantis, on Paradise Island. It’s also the point of entry for cruise ship passengers arriving at Prince George Wharf. The white sands of Love Beach, Cable Beach and Junkanoo Beach are all easily accessible from downtown Nasau. Grand Bahama, meanwhile, has offshore coral reefs and lush mangroves, as well as fabulous duty free shopping in Freeport. Harbour Island and Eleuthera Island boast pretty pink-sand beaches, and the uninhabited island of Exuma is famed for the wild pigs that wade in the shallows off Big Major Cay.
Linked to New Providence by the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge, Paradise Island provides an all-action square mile of entertainment, activities, and mega resort complexes, including Atlantis and Warwick. Swimming pools, casinos, golf courses and the Aqauventure waterpark are all highlights here. From Smugglers Beach in the east to Nassau Harbour Lighthouse in the west, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive holiday in the Bahamas, nothing surpasses Paradise Island.
Some of the best beaches in the Bahamas are on New Providence’s north coast with Cable Beach, Love Beach and Junkanoo Beach all flaunting quintessential Caribbean qualities. Head over to Paradise Island and you’ll find a few more including the white sand of Cabbage Beach and the stretch of shoreline either side of Arawak Beach, in the northeast.
Situated in New Providence, Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and most travellers first point of entry via Lynden Pindling International Airport or the Prince George Wharf cruise ship terminal. It’s a hilly place with pretty, pastel-coloured properties – including the Government House – providing a glimpse at a colonial past. From the limestone Queen’s Staircase to the cultural exhibits within the National Art Gallery, Nassau makes for a great Bahamas day out.
The flight time from the UK to the Bahamas is about 10 hours. However, it’s only an hour’s flight time from Miami, USA.
Currently, British nationals visiting the Bahamas can stay in the country without a visa for up to 30 days. See GOV UK for more advice about entry requirements to the Bahamas or, otherwise, visit CIBT visas for more information.
The Bahamas is blessed with subtropical year-round warmth and sunshine with only slight variations from month to month.
The Bahamas is five hours behind GMT.
English is the official language of the Bahamas. Many local people also speak a blend of English and Creole as well as Haitian Creole, which is French based.
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