Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda - Image courtesy of Bermuda Tourism
As Mark Twain wrote in The Innocents Abroad: “You go to heaven if you want to; I'd druther stay in Bermuda" – a catchphrase that remains true today given that Bermuda offers everything you could possibly want on a relaxing island holiday.
Spanish sailor Juan de Bermudez first discovered Bermuda around 1503. However it was settlers from England who first settled here, originally bound for the Virginia colony but blown off course and shipwrecked in 1609.
Top beaches in Bermuda
Bermuda’s coastline boasts kilometres of pink-sand beaches that often fringe picturesque coves framed by soaring cliffs and native grassland – just perfect for honeymoon couples.
Most beaches in Bermuda have shallow sandy bottoms that provide safe swimming with lifeguards on duty from May to September, and facilities including changing rooms and toilets.
In addition, many hotels, resorts and private clubs have their own beaches, with free facilities for guests; non-guests can also use the beach and amenities by using the hotel bar or staying for lunch.
The best beaches in Bermuda, include …
Unwind on the pristine pink-hued sands of this gorgeous 550m-long beach that sits between bush-clad hills and clear turquoise water.
An offshore coral reef guarantees calm waters for swimming and bodysurfing.
Come for the day or stay longer at the beachfront Elbow Beach Hotel, which offers a range of amenities for paying guests only, including umbrellas, sun loungers, changing rooms, showers, restrooms and beach towels (distributed by beach attendants who double as lifeguards).
A beachfront water sports kiosk offers paddle boats, sea kayaks and snorkelling equipment for hire to anyone on the beach.
At the northern end of the beach is the luxurious Coral Beach Club. A food concession sells fast food and cold drinks during the day, independent of the hotels.
Elbow Beach is located off South Road in Paget Parish. Take buses number 2 or 7 from Hamilton.
Although located at the bottom of a steep and winding road, this small, 20m-long, pink-hued sand beach offers seclusion with good swimming and snorkelling in calm turquoise waters framed by scenic cliffs that are often inhabited by Bermuda longtail birds.
Facilities include toilets, while nearby Astwood Park provides picnic tables and picturesque cliff-top hiking trails to explore. Take buses number 2 or 7 from Southampton or Hamilton.
Warwick Long Bay Beach
Escape the crowds and pick you own spot to sunbathe on this wide, 1km-long pink-sand beach that lies beneath steep cliffs and a grass-covered hilly landscape.
The beach faces turquoise waters that swirl around a picturesque 7m-high offshore coral island.
Go swimming, snorkelling or jogging at this beautiful beach, which stretches west into a series of secluded rock-framed coves (Jobson’s Cove, Stonehole Bay and Chaplin Bay).
An offshore reef keeps the waters calm. Pack a picnic, as there are no facilities here, except for toilets at the beach's western end.
Warwick Long Beach lies on the southern side of South Shore Park, just north of Horseshoe Bay. Take bus number 7 from Southampton or Hamilton.
Jobson's Cove Beach
Dig you toes into the soft pink sand of this small but secluded beach that faces a scenic horseshoe-shaped bay framed by soaring cliffs and rocky headlands.
Swim and snorkel in 2m-deep water that stretches out into the calm, sheltered bay.
There are no facilities on this 10m-long beach, but it's close to Warwick Long Bay should you need to use the restrooms. Take bus number 7 from Southampton or Hamilton.
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Unwind on this wide, 40m-long pink-sand beach that faces turquoise waters offering good swimming and snorkelling.
This secluded beach is almost surrounded by bush-clad cliffs and rocky outcrops but can easily be reached from Warwick Long Bay or Jobson’s Cove to the east and from Horseshoe Bay to the west.
There are no facilities here. Take bus number 7 from Southampton or Hamilton.
Horseshoe Bay Beach
Unwind on this wide, 550m-long crescent of pink sand that curves around a charming bay framed by bush-clad rocky headlands.
An adjoining beach set in a sheltered cove with shallow waters offers perfect conditions for small children.
Set beneath the grassy landscape of South Shore Park, Horseshoe Bay is a favourite of locals and has a good range of facilities that aren’t found on other public beaches, including changing rooms, toilets, showers, lifeguards and a snack bar (the Horseshoe Bay Beach Café), from which you can hire umbrellas, sun loungers and snorkelling equipment.
Horseshoe Bay Beach is probably the busiest on the island and subsequently often features outdoor concerts and other social events.
Read more about Horseshoe Bay Beach…
Church Bay Beach
Sunbathe, swim and snorkel from this idyllic, 50m-long pink-sand beach that nestles beneath a bush-clad hill facing calm waters sheltered by an offshore reef.
A cliff-top park sits a short walk to the east and offers facilities including toilets, a concession stand selling cold drinks and snacks, as well as snorkelling equipment for hire.
Church Bay is located off West Side Road along Bermuda's southwest coast. Take buses number 7 or 8 from Hamilton.
Somerset Long Bay Beach
Although unsafe for swimming during the occasional seasonal offshore storms, this 500m-long crescent of pink sand is perfect for sunbathing, beachcombing, picnicking and watching the sunset.
Facilities on the secluded beach include toilets and changing rooms. The nearby Bermuda Audubon Society Nature Reserve offers long walks through native bush.
Somerset Long Bay is on the north-western end of the island, just north of Somerset Village. Take buses number 7 or 8 from Hamilton or Somerset.
Shelly Bay Beach
Dig your toes into the soft pink sand of this secluded beach that nestles beneath a pretty park and faces a sheltered cove framed by scenic headlands.
Sunbathe on the beach, relax beneath beachside trees or go swimming and snorkelling in the calm turquoise waters.
Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers, beach towels and snorkelling equipment for hire, as well as toilets. An adjoining area provides a restaurant and playground areas for soccer, volleyball and cricket.
Shelly Bay is located on the north coast, just off North Shore Road in Hamilton Parish. Take bus number 11 from Hamilton.
Tobacco Bay Beach
Unwind on this small but wide pink-sand beach, framed by soaring rocky outcrops and facing a turquoise cove that offers perfect snorkelling and swimming.
Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and snorkelling equipment for hire as well as toilets, changing rooms, showers and a snack bar.
Tobacco Bay is just a short stroll west of Fort St Catherine and St Catherine's Beach on St George's Island. Take buses number 1, 3, 10 or 11 from Hamilton.
St Catherine's Beach
Relax on this long crescent of pink-hued sand that lies beneath historic Fort St Catherine and adjacent hilly parkland. Facilities include toilets, a restaurant and snack bar.
St Catherine's Beach is located on St George Island. Take buses number 1, 3, 10 or 11 from Hamilton.
John Smith's Bay Beach
Unwind on this small but wide, 120m-long crescent of pink-hued sand that lies beneath a grassy public park and shelves into clear turquoise water, with good swimming and snorkelling around rocky promontories.
Facilities include changing rooms, toilets and lifeguards. John Smith’s Bay is located in Smith's Parish. Take bus number 1.
Sunbathe and swim on this 300m-long, pink-hued sand beach facing a wide and shallow sheltered bay and St David's Lighthouse.
Facilities include toilets, changing rooms, lifeguards, picnic tables, a children’s playground, a beachfront bar and a café serving burgers, fries and cold drinks. This beach is popular with serious swimmers and tri-athletes, who use it as a training ground.
The nearby Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve offers hiking trails while a paved road leading to the tip of the peninsula offers the opportunity to walk or drive to several more quiet pink-sand beaches nestling beneath cliffs facing turquoise coves framed by scenic rocky outcrops.
Clearwater Beach is located on the eastern tip of St David's Island. Take bus number 10 from Hamilton.
Snorkel Park Beach
This wide, 60m-long, palm-dotted white-sand beach is a family favourite, with good snorkelling in calm, sheltered waters beneath the imposing cliffs and fortifications of the Royal Dockyard.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, a nearby children's playground, several restaurants and an arts and craft market. Note: You must hire beach equipment to use this beach.
Snorkel Park is located on the tip of North Ireland Island. Take buses number 7 or 8 from Hamilton.
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What to do and see in Bermuda
A British Crown Colony from 1684 to 1968, Bermuda now enjoys a measure of internal self-government, although Britain continues to exert control over defence and foreign policy.
Consequently, Bermuda has a distinct British culture: watch Parliamentary debates by members wearing powdered wigs (on Fridays), see ‘bobbies’ directing motorists who drive on the left (naturally), then enjoy a cricket match and savour traditional high tea every afternoon in this thoroughly British outpost.
Choose to sunbathe, swim and snorkel from several gorgeous pink-sand beaches that fringe secluded coves and wide bays. These include Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay Beach; the latter – a firm favourite of honeymoon couples – is probably the most photogenic of Bermuda's beaches.
Enjoy up to 60m of visibility while diving reefs, coral gardens and old shipwrecks, hook up a fishing charter or hire a Boston Whaler to explore some of the 138 islands and tiny islets that make up this 5700ha island group.
Tee-off from one or more of the seven 18-hole golf courses on the island, play tennis on more than 100 courts and choose from several hiking trails that meander through unspoiled native preserves, such as Paget Marsh, a 10ha area that has remained virtually untouched since the pre-settlement era.
Alternatively, walk or cycle the Bermuda Railway Trail, which follows the old rail route for 35km, crossing three islands and almost the entire length of the Bermuda archipelago.
In historic St George Town, lose yourself in a maze of narrow alleyways and winding side streets lined with tiny walled cottages and colonial churches. Visit Peter’s church, a whitewashed stone church erected in 1620 – the oldest continuously used Anglican church in the western hemisphere.
Founded in 1612 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, St George Town was the second English town established in the New World (after Jamestown, Virginia).
In the waterfront capital of Hamilton, discover picturesque streets lined with white and pastel-coloured Victorian buildings. Browse for china, crystal and jewellery in the shops along Front Street, down a refreshing pint at an English-style pub and enjoy fresh seafood chowders at a choice of fine dining restaurants.
Don’t expect to see McDonalds: they and other American fast food franchises are banned in Bermuda. Visit the Underwater Exploration Institute to ponder a range of colonial artefacts recovered from numerous shipwrecks and experience a 3.6km-long simulated dive in a submarine.
Elsewhere, explore the massive fortifications and examine fascinating historical exhibits at Fort St Catherine, built in 1614 and facing the white sands of St Catherine’s Beach, where the shipwrecked crew of the Sea Venture came ashore in 1609 (the original band of settlers who went on to colonise Bermuda).
Visit nearby Gates Fort, which dates to 1620 and sits on a rocky promontory at the entrance to St George’s Harbour, providing great views over the islands. Wander the subterranean passages of Fort Scaur, explore scenic trails that wind through the surrounding parkland and enjoy a picnic with panoramic views of Ely's Harbour and Great Sound.
Learn about Bermuda's nautical heritage at the Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Keep, a large 19th century fortress at the Royal Naval Dockyard that has been transformed into an entertainment centre.
After a 185-step climb to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse – the oldest cast-iron lighthouse in the world – be rewarded with panoramic views of Bermuda and its shoreline from the open-air balcony.
See the Double Fantasy flower that inspired John Lennon at the Botanical Gardens in Paget Parish, as well as a colourful array of plants and flowers in the 14ha of manicured lawns.
See animal life including turtles and seals, Galapagos tortoises, parrots and pink flamingos, at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. This popular attraction features the fascinating North Rock Exhibit – a live coral reef teeming with reef and pelagic fish species washed by ocean surge in a massive 530,000-litre tank.
Then take a guided tour through the subterranean lakes and caverns of Crystal Caves, viewing translucent stalactites and stalagmites and the crystal clear waters of Cahow Lake.
Bermuda’s towns are easily explored on foot, while sights elsewhere can be reached by taxi or by efficient island buses and ferries that provide access to all the major landmarks. There are no hire cars on Bermuda.
As well as relaxing on Bermuda’s picture-perfect pink-sand beaches, Bermuda offers honeymoon couples a variety of active pursuits including golf, tennis, hiking, waterskiing, scuba diving and snorkelling.
Discover world-class dive sites teeming with marine life in crystal clear waters. Bermuda offers 40 dive wrecks in all, with the oldest dating back to the 17th century.
Some of the best sites include:
- The Constellation, which lies in 9m of water surrounded by parrotfish, trumpet fish, barracuda, grouper and octopus;
- Cristóbal Colón, a former arms-carrying Spanish luxury transatlantic liner;
- The Hermes, an American freighter resting in 24m of water;
- L'Herminie, an 1838 French frigate with 25 of its cannons still visible; and
- Marie Celeste – one of the most historic and evocative wrecks in the Atlantic, a 207-tonne paddle-wheel steamer that now lies in 17m of water.
Numerous dive centres offer dive certification courses, easily arranged from your hotel. Although you can dive all year, the best diving months are May through October.
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Stroll along the sandy sea floor in depths of 3m to 4m, feeding rainbow-hued fish while clad in a helmet and equipped with an air hose connected to the surface. This is a perfect option for non-divers.
With its gin-clear waters and vast array of coral reefs, Bermuda offers numerous places to snorkel, typically right off the beach. Some of the best spots include Church Bay, John Smith's Bay, Tobacco Bay and West Whale Bay.
You can snorkel year round in Bermuda, but it’s probably more comfortable during May to October.
Bermuda is one of the world's best destinations for anglers, especially from May to November. Deep-sea fishing charters offer the chance to hook wahoo, amberjack, blue and white marlin, dolphin and tuna, among many other species.
Reef fishing is good for amberjack, almaco jack, great barracuda, little tunny, Bermuda chub, gray snapper and yellowtail snapper – head to Challenger Bank or the Argus Bank for the larger fish.
For good shore fishing, cast a line for bonefish, pompano, gray snapper and barracuda at Spring Benny's Bay, West Whale Bay, Great Sound and St George's Harbour.
Explore countless hiking trails that meander along the coast and into several parks and nature reserves.
Head to Spittal Pond Nature Reserve, a 24ha park in Smith's Parish, to see herons, ducks, flamingos, terns and many migratory fowl – especially good from September to April.
Hike through the unspoiled native woods and marshland of Paget Marsh, an unspoiled 10ha nature preserve just minutes from bustling Hamilton.
And savour traffic-free sights along the Bermuda Railway Trail, which stretches almost the entire length of the Bermuda archipelago.
Bermuda offers a range of flat, hilly and steep paved roads for exploring the islands. For challenging steep climbs, head to South Road through Southampton and Warwick parishes.
Take a bike tour of the island or rent your own machine for an hour, a day or for your entire stay.
For some of the best riding, try the Bermuda Railway Trail and trails that wind through Devonshire and Smith's parishes, including Spittal Pond, a wildlife sanctuary with bike paths edging seaside cliffs.
Enjoy one of Bermuda's most popular sports at a choice of challenging courses, including:
- Tucker's Point Club, one of the most scenic courses on the island;
- the Port Royal course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr; and
- the Fairmont Southampton Golf Club, featuring a landscape of rolling hills and flowers overlooking the ocean.
Where to stay
Bermuda offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all honeymoon budgets, including several luxurious 5-star retreats where you can be truly spoiled with a range of creature comforts.
Try the Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, a tastefully decorated upscale resort surrounded by lush manicured gardens on a peninsula overlooking five pink-sand beaches fringing Mangrove Bay.
Or stay at the elegant Elbow Beach Hotel, a family friendly, full-service resort surrounded by landscaped gardens and overlooking the pink sands of Elbow Beach. Another good option is the Pink Beach Club and Cottages, a graceful complex of pink-sided, white-roofed cottages set in a lush garden facing Pink Beach on the South Shore.
The Fairmont Southampton Hotel
Location: South Shore Road, Southampton
Prices: from AUD622 per room
Description: Expansive grounds, a private pink-sand beach, turquoise cove and panoramic ocean views are the setting for this luxury hotel, which sits atop Bermuda's highest point on the island's stunning south shore. The palatial Fairmont Southampton hotel was voted one of the top resorts in the Atlantic by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler in 2009 and 2010. Spacious guestrooms have private balconies with ocean, sound or golf course views; also included are bathrobes, marble bathrooms, walk-in closets and high-speed Internet access.
Facilities incl.: 7 restaurants, 2 bars, outdoor pool, beach club, concierge,health club and full-service spa, 18-hole golf course, 24-hour room service and watersports equipment.
Rosewood Tucker's Point
Location: Tucker's Point Drive, Tucker's Town
Prices: from AUD852 per room
Description: This beachfront luxury resort is located in Tucker's Town, close to Tucker's Point Golf Club and Blue Hole Park. Guestrooms and suites in this stylish hotel are decorated in classic British seaside style with distinctive artwork, elegant fabrics and furniture, luxurious five-fixture bathrooms, marble bath/shower, stand-alone deep soaking tubs and unique stone and wood finishes. Rooms offer ocean and harbour views. Amenities also feature complimentary wireless Internet access, slippers and minibars. Facilities incl.: 6 restaurants, bar, outdoor pool, concierge, health club, full-service spa, 18-hole golf course, 24-hour room service and watersports equipment.
Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa
Location: Mangrove Bay Somerset
Prices: from AUD345 per room
Description: Set on a peninsula edged by the ocean and beautiful bays, this tranquil cottage colony features 4 private beaches and a renowned European-style spa. Surrounded by gardens of palms and ancient Flamboyant trees, the pink-and-white cottages, some dating back 200 years, all provide air conditioning, ceiling fans, and patios or balconies with views of the lush gardens or the ocean. Tastefully furnished with antiques and a sense of old, seafaring Bermuda, the feeling here is that of a descreet but upscale country estate.
Facilities incl.: 3 restaurants, 3 bars, concierge, 2 swimming pools,health club and full-service spa, 3 outdoor tennis courts, Wi-Fi Internet and watersports equipment.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotel accommodation in Bermuda at TripAdvisor.
Best time to honeymoon in Bermuda
Anytime is a good time for a Bermuda honeymoon. Bermuda is sub-tropical with a mild climate and generally sunny, clear skies year round. Summer, from May to mid-October, averages 27°C (81°F) with cool evening breezes.
July and August are the hottest months of the year, when the temperature can reach highs of around 31°C (87°F). Spring, from March to May, averages 24°C (75°F). Winter, from November to March, averages 17°C (62°F) with a high of 21°C (70°F).
There is no rainy season as such, and while occasional showers may be heavy, the skies usually clear quickly.
For more climate info: Bermuda Weather Guide…
Getting to Bermuda
Bermuda is located in the Atlantic Ocean, around 1000km off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Although well north of the West Indies, it is often grouped with Caribbean destinations.
By air, Bermuda International Airport receives daily flights from London, New York, Atlanta and Miami.
Find out how to get the Bermuda… › Bermuda Map
Latest update about Bermuda honeymoon destination:
16 March, 2018
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