Bermuda has a great deal more than just its triangle. There are plenty of reasons to seek adventure on this small island near North Carolina.
The Mail on Sunday’s George Glover wrote about Bermuda’s charms and attractions, including its seductive charms as a travel destination.
Name an island in the Caribbean that begins with a ‘B’: Barbados or Barbuda… or what about Bermuda?
Bermuda begins with a ‘B’ and it really sounds as if it should be in the Caribbean (British heritage, palm trees, white beaches, warm blue waters) but it’s actually in the Atlantic some 600 miles to the east of North Carolina and offering a holiday experience in many ways quite different to the Caribbean.
It may be better known for its Triangle and its shorts (shorts with long socks and a suit jacket and tie – really?). However, Bermuda deserves to be more famous as a sweetly seductive travel destination.
One of the distinctive things about Bermuda is that while other Commonwealth nations were quick to separate themselves from British rule, Bermuda has been happy to stay more closely linked to the UK.
Prior to its settlement by the British in 1609, Bermuda was unoccupied. The island has the honour of being the oldest and most populous remaining British Overseas Territory.
Its first capital, St George’s, was established in 1612 and is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the Americas.
Here are eight great reasons to enjoy Bermuda…
With waters clear down to a depth of 150ft, all you need is a mask, fins and snorkel for an amazing exploration of the undersea world. And what a colourful world it is. Discover coral-crusted shipwrecks from more than five centuries of nautical history and swim around the Atlantic’s largest and most beautiful coral reefs.
Whale watching: In March and April, visitors can witness the migration of the humpback and other species
2. Whale watching
In March and April, Bermuda’s wild beauty comes to life when whales make their annual visit. Witness the migration parade of the humpback and other species. With the clear blue waters of the Sargasso Sea to the east, and the warm currents of the Gulf Stream just to the west, Bermuda is perfectly situated along the migration routes of whales as they travel to their northern feeding grounds each spring.
3. The Old Railway Trail
This provides the perfect route for exploring Bermuda. Converted into walking and cycling pathways the length of the island, the trail connects colourful villages, hidden coves, spectacular bluffs and historical sites as it crosses bridges and meanders through lush greenery. Walk the trail or cycle – bike hire (suitable for those over 12) is from £19pp per day.
Incidentally, bicycles, taxis, buses, scooters and ferries are the most common modes of transportation on the island. There are no rental cars available for visitors due to strict environmental laws.
4. Exciting excursions
A range of new Bermuda experiences allow visitors to taste genuine island life with local people. For example, enjoy a Family Dining Experience where you spend an evening with a local family in their home, learning to prepare and cook traditional Bermudian dishes such as fish chowder, BBQ chicken or grilled red snapper. From £90.
5. Enjoy Bermuda and New York
Virgin Holidays is offering a flexible, two-centre holiday option for UK travellers, pairing Bermuda with a city break in New York, which is a two-hour flight from the island. The package is available all year and can include any combination of nights.
Fly from Heathrow this month and stay for two nights at the Martha Washington Hotel in New York, followed by five nights at the Grotto Bay Hotel, Bermuda, from £1,175pp. Based on two people on a room only basis.
Learn a new skill: In association with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, visitors can take to the water to learn to sail
6. Learn To Sail Programme
Bermuda is the home of the 35th America’s Cup next year, and the Bermuda Tourism Authority will be launching a new Learn To Sail Programme in association with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club during the build-up to the big event.
7. Cliff diving
Thrill-seekers cannot resist taking a jump off Bermuda’s limestone cliffs into the sparkling waters below – and rockclimbers love it as well. To get to many of the best cliff-diving spots, you have to scale the cliff first – be very careful up there!
8. Eco adventures
Learn about Bermuda’s volcanic origins, shipwrecks and the mysteries of the ‘Triangle’ at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the science and marine history museum. Entrance is £9 for adults, £5 for children. Visit buei.org. Find out more about the island’s environmental conservation at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, which has recently been renovated and is set in picturesque gardens. Entrance is £10 for adults, £3 for children. Go to bamz.org.