When you mention you are going to Bermuda, most folks think of Barbados or Bahamas. Once you’ve cleared that up, the mind usually goes to visions of turquoise waters and superfine pink sand beaches. And it is true, Bermuda really does have some of the most lovely beaches in the world. As a Bermudian, I may or may not be biased.
Instead of focusing on the typical “best of” beaches, I’ll take you on a tour of my personal favourites – the benefit is that these are often far less busy and allow for more room to spread out and enjoy.
Coopers Island Nature Reserve – unmarred natural beauty
Traveling from east to west, my top choice is the collection of four glorious sandy beaches and coves at Coopers Island. Tucked on a peninsula behind the airport, tourists would never find these beaches without being pointed in that direction. With no stairs, they are easy to access for seniors and children. These beaches rival Elbow and Horseshoe, with half the bodies on them. You owe it to yourself to go and find them. This is very much a nature reserve – nominal bathroom facilities, cafes, or beach rentals are available here, so plan accordingly.
John Smiths Bay – a quiet South Shore gem
Next on our list is John Smiths Bay on the south shore coast. About half way between the city of Hamilton and St. Georges, this an easy access beach as well: deep sand, modest waves and a sharp drop off so you don’t have to go out too far to get to a good swimming depth. Favoured by the neighbours, this a very pretty spot with waving palm trees. Modern washroom facilities are available as well and occasionally a delicious food truck.
Shelly Bay – calm waters perfect for families
On the north shore coast is Shelly Bay Beach: very placid waters, and easily accessible. For nervous swimmers, this beach is safe from the robust waves and undertow that one can experience along the south shore. Plans are underway to create disabled access for this beach – stay tuned for more information when we have it.
It also has a fantastic playground for small children. Check out this blog post about travelling Bermuda with a baby.
West Whale Bay – a tiny, charming slice of heaven
Moving west along the south shore past all the more famous beaches is little West Whale Bay: a tiny beach that can easily make you feel like (happy) castaways. It has a small park attached as well – picnic tables and not much else – but the location is quiet and romantic.
Further west along the road to Dockyard are many tiny coves: some with picnic tables under the trees and a bit of sand. Driving along Malabar Road will show you all these tiny coves for 2-6 people: just pull over and park safely and go and gambol in the clean turquoise waters.
Spanish Point – a snorkeling adventure
Just outside of Hamilton at the very end of Spanish Point Park is a tiny projection of land with rocky access to some sand. Quiet, especially during the work week, there are picnic tables and washroom facilities and a fantastic view across the sound to Dockyard and out to the northern ocean. This is a great snorkeling location with small islands just offshore – be sure to bring your snorkel, mask and flippers/swim shoes. You are bound to see many types of local fish and colourful corals!
Admiralty House Park – cliff jumping, lovely trees and the perfect place to picnic
Close by is Admiralty House park with its absolutely protected little beach – you can walk down the hill and visit it on your way back from Spanish Point. It has calm water and lovely views down the North Shore coastline. If you are the adventurous type, this is also a prime cliff jumping point but do your research before and be aware of the risks.
Swims along the Great Sound have to be done from docks which are on private property or are serviced by boats – not ideal when there are so many other options. Unless you’re renting a property with dock access, we’d recommend a true beach.
Enjoy and be sure to bring lots of water in a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and your sense of adventure. Happy beaching!
Ready to go to Bermuda? Head over to our main website or give us a call at 416-232-2243.