Bermuda’s top ten beaches By James Whittaker
10 – John Smith’s Bay: Off the beaten track in Smith’s parish, this popular locals’ beach is a little less crowded than the South Shore destinations but still boasts soft sand and great swimming and snorkelling. The Harrington Hundreds grocery store is just a few minutes away by moped if you want to make your own picnic. L, B
9 – Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve: A tiny peninsula on the eastern edge of the island, only recently opened to the public, Cooper’s Island is actually a series of small coves connected by almost a mile of walking trails. The larger, but less picturesque (it’s all relative) Clearwater Beach is right next door. B
8 – West Whale Bay: Named for the humpback whales that migrate past Bermuda in April and May each year, this is as good a place for whale watching as anywhere on the island. The grassy cliff-top that borders this Southampton beach is a great spot for a picnic.
7 – Snorkel Park: A great beach for families, out west in vibrant Dockyard. There are inflatables for the kids to rent, great snorkelling for dad and beach loungers for mum. L, B, C, R
6 – Warwick Long Bay: To truly grasp the beauty of Bermuda’s South Shore, walk the length of Warwick Long Bay and clamber across the rocks, or take a detour over the sand dunes to Jobson Cove and Chaplin Bay. On a quiet day you will see more Longtails than fellow tourists. B, R (seasonal)
5 – Shelly Bay: A parents’ dream beach, Shelly Bay boasts warm, shallow water, a soft sandy bottom and backs on to a playground and sports field. A favourite for kids and novice swimmers – and close to the bus stop. C, B
4 – Church Bay: Swim with shoals of brightly coloured parrot fish among the pristine coral reef that pierces the water just yards from shore at this small South Shore bay, widely revered as Bermuda’s best beach for snorkellers. R, B
3 – Elbow Beach: A half-mile of white sand boasting stunning views of the Atlantic, Elbow Beach, in Warwick, is a playground for joggers, kiteboarders, beach volleyball players and SCUBA divers. There’s even a shipwreck within swimming distance of shore. You can join in the fun or just hire a deckchair and sit back and watch. C, B, R.
2 – Tobacco Bay: Famous for its stunning volcanic rock formations – natural sculptures that emerge from the glassy water, this picturesque, sheltered cove is also a snorkellers’ dream. The short walk from the old town of St. George is well worth it. C, B, R.
1 – Horseshoe Bay: A crescent of soft, pink sand, lapped by clear blue water, fringed by sand dunes and bordered with sandstone cliffs, garnished with swaying palms – Horseshoe, in Southampton Parish, is the Mecca of the island’s beaches and a must for every Bermuda visitor. C, B, R, L
KEY B – Bathrooms R – Rentals C – Café L-Lifeguard