Ten ways to Spring into Spring. By Brigitta Wohlmuth
The shifting season calls us to experience Mother Nature’s many gifts. Here are ten ways to celebrate the return of spring in Bermuda!
1. See the Humpback Whales
Watching them glory in their natural habitat beats any show at SeaWorld. From now until April, you can spot these magnificent creatures in our waters as they migrate north. You can look for them at various points along the South Shore Coast. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of one, but whale watching from land requires patience (and ideally binoculars.) Luckily there are a number of tours that will take you offshore to see the whales up close and personal.
Sure signs of spring are the Loquats and Suriname Cherries hanging ripe on the trees. Both fruits are incredibly high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and they’re also super tasty. The red cherries are easy to find, growing in abundance on trees and hedges across the island although the Loquats require a bit more effort to pick, as you usually have to do some climbing to get the best ones. At the Craft Market in Dockyard you can find the fruits in homemade jams for sale. The Bermuda Rum Cake factory also make a tasty cake soaked in ‘Bermuda Gold’, a Loquat liquor.
Take an edible tour of Bermuda and learn about the diversity of wild herbs and plants growing on the island and all the many ways they can be used. Herbs N Plants of Bermuda Tours take you into the rural areas of Bermuda to forage for local edibles followed by a cooking demo within one of Bermda’s oldest kitchens built in the 18th century. Lunch consist of delicious dishes made from wild edible plants and recipes from the 18th century. wildherbsnplantsofbermuda.com
The early settlers used the local herbs and spices to remedy ailments and boost their overall health. You can enjoy an insightful afternoon learning about these botanicals and their healing properties, with local herbologist Dr. Kuni Frith. Held on Sundays from 2-4pm at the Kitchen Garden within the Botanical Gardens, the workshop is free to attend and concludes with light refreshments and herbal tea.
Lighten your spirit and awaken your senses with a 3-day, 4 night ‘On or Off the Mat’ Yoga Retreat created by GoKinetix. The all-in-inclusive yoga package features trail runs, breakfast, and spa treatments in addition to your daily Asanas. The next workshop will be from March 9-13. Info: 441 704 0701 or gokinetic.com
Tread off-the-beaten path and take some amazing photographs with the top-rated eco-tour, ‘Hidden Gems’. The all-day, all-inclusive tour takes you on a fun and exiting island-wide excursion, stopping along at some of Bermuda’s most scenic and secluded locations in every parish. You will visit beaches, fortresses, caves and one of the Island’s highest peaks where you can snap a panoramic view of it all. Info: 441 236 1300 or bermudahiddengems.com
It’s probably Bermuda’s most pristine nature reserve, boasting breath-takingly gorgeous beaches, tranquil coves, walking trails and a wide variety of endemic flora and fauna. Bird watchers will love learning about the native pelagic seabird, the Bermuda Longtail, and the Cahow, Bermuda’s national bird which nearly went extinct. Their nesting sites will be pointed out along the way. Info: 441 799 8888 or [email protected]
8. Visit the Gardens
Abundant sunshine all year round allows for a diverse range of flora to thrive in Bermuda, and there are many beautiful gardens across the Island that are open to the public. See roses of every shade and class at the historic Waterville Estate, or tread down the hibiscus trails and smell the frangipani at the Botanical Gardens in Paget. At Palmgrove in Devonshire, water lilies float on a magnificent Bermuda-shaped pond.
9. Cycle along the old Railway Trail
Steer your way through Bermuda’s natural world! The Island has been train-less for almost three quarters of a century, but the old railway trail still serves as an alternative route to getting from east to west- most appreciated by walkers, joggers, cyclists and nature lovers. Frommer’s travel guide calls it one of it’s “favorite Bermuda experiences” because of the, “panoramic sea-scapes, exotic flora and fauna, and soothing sounds of the island’s bird life”. The whole trail would take days to explore by foot but you can cover more ground, more quickly with a cycling tour. islandtourcentre.com
10. Go for a Trail Ride in the East End
Trot along Bermuda’s scenic northeast coastline, across beautiful beaches and winding trails in and around the old town of St. George’s – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moran Meadows offer a variety of fun, guided tours that take you past popular attractions in the area, like Alexandra Battery Park, Sea Glass Beach, The Unfinished Church, Fort St. Catherine and Tobacco Bay. bermudahorsetrailride.com