White sand, turquoise water? Pink beaches with pastel-colluded mansions of Hamilton along the coastline? What you’re imagining, is not in fact Paradise… but rather, something that wouldn’t sound too dissimilar from the holiday island of Bermuda. Thanks to many tax & financial laws, this little Caribbean island, (not actually in the Caribbean, but rather in the Atlantic) has become a popular spot for tourists, celebrities, and some of the wealthiest citizens in the world. You will find a landscape which resembles paradise on this beautiful little island, the pink sand of Horseshoe bay; the Calmbo Astwood cove offers a setting that genuinely could not be found elsewhere in the world.
Before you take off to visit Bermuda, we’ll discuss are few things you should know on how to visit Bermuda as a family.
- Where exactly is Bermuda Located?
- How do I get to Bermuda?
- What currency is used in Bermuda?
- Is Bermuda worth visiting?
- Is Bermuda expensive?
- How can I travel around Bermuda?
- Do I need a Visa?
- General Bermuda Travel information
- What’s the weather like in Bermuda?
Where is Bermuda?
Bermuda is a group of 7 islands, located off the East Coast of the Atlantic. It is situated approximately 650 miles east of North Carolina.
The island is one of the British overseas territories, three-fifths of which are mixed or African ancestry. As one of the most densely populated landmasses in the entire world, as all the islands of Bermuda are inhabited. English is the primary spoken language of the island, however, other languages such as English, Spanish and Portuguese prevail as well.
Travelling to Bermuda
Luckily, as remote as the island of Bermuda may seem, they are, in fact, easily accessible to the rest of the world. You will find non-stop, seasonal flights from New York, Toronto, LA and even those who love across the Atlantic in London, England, will find recurring flights. The flight time from New York is approximately between 90 minutes and 2 hours. From most cities on the west coast, and Europe, the flight time would vary from between 8-10 hours. The airport on the island is called the LF Wade International Airport, on the east end of the island in St George’s parish. All flights to the islands of Bermuda will arrive here. It is the only airport available for overseas transportation across all of the seven islands.
Why You Should Visit Bermuda
For such a small country, the opportunities and the available activities are truly endless. All seven islands have a vast range of activities, historical sights and cultural displays for visitors to enjoy.
Because the truth is, there is a countless amount of things to do on these gorgeous islands, from the beautiful red-cloud sunsets that light up the evening sky to the bright crystal caves and every adventure in between.
Do I need a Visa to visit Bermuda?
Luckily, if you are from the UK, USA or Canada, you won’t need a Visa to enter Bermuda, regardless of the purpose of your visit, if you are here for tourism or business purposes. All you will need is your own passport and a return flight ticket.
On the other hand, those travelling from other countries, (not the UK, US or Canada), will require a multi-entry transit form of visa for the United States, United Kingdom or Canada. Due to the fact that such travellers will need to travel and then return through one of these countries.
Is Bermuda Expensive?
Bermuda is expensive. There is no denying it really. In fact, Bermuda has been crowned as the most expensive country in the world by The Independent. Just to place it into perspective, on a scale where New York City was rated as 100, Bermuda received a score of 126.4. However, luckily, only visiting Bermuda isn’t quite as expensive as it would be if you lived there compared to living elsewhere. Bermuda’s official currency is the Bermudian Dollar. This currency is fixed to the US dollar. This, therefore, means that the US dollar is accepted almost anywhere but the British pound, Canadian dollar and Euro are not widely accepted currencies.
One of the reasons why Bermuda costs money is that accommodation is ridiculously expensive here. There isn’t really much way to avoid this, as there are no small hostels available on the island. This likely means that you will have to turn towards Airbnb, and other home rental services to avoid blowing your whole budget on one night’s hotel costs. However, if you book at least a month in advance, and not during peak season (summer months), then you should be alright, you won’t end up blowing your entire life’s savings on a hotel. Bermuda toursim typically have hotel sales around end of January for stays through April.
The second feature which can really drain the cash from your pockets is transportation around the island. While the bus system is cheap, it can be a bit inconsistent sometimes, and not reliable if you’re in a rush. Furthermore, taxis can cost in the region of $20 for just a 10-minute ride. But if you’re willing to wait a bit, the bus will save you tons of money. If you’re staying in the city for example, and you plan on visiting various beaches across the island, you’re likely to take at least one taxi per day with your family, which will rack up on the taxi meter. So if you are planning on visiting Bermuda with your family, the very best piece of advice that we could offer would be to book early.
Food can also be expensive. Apart from cooking when you can, staying near the city of Hamilton is an excellent way to ensure you keep control of your costs, as staying outside of the city may lead you to rack up costs in terms of taxis and other expenses for your family. So yes, Bermuda is expensive, there is no denying it. However, is it worth it? Absolutely, as long as you stay frugal and don’t make any unnecessary purchases, you can still have a great time, without worrying about money.
What Time of Year to Visit Bermuda?
As far as weather is concerned, the best time to visit Bermuda is during the summer months, when the sun is shining as Bermuda has a warm summer and cold winter seasons versus a tropical year-round hot weather. From the start of a May until the end of October, visitors to the island can expect temperatures between the mid-70s and mid-80s. This also makes for more comfortable water temperatures across the Atlantic coast and on the Bermudian beaches. However, summer is when the prices of room rates can truly soar. If prices are what you’re concerned about, the best time to visit Bermuda is late November until March. During this stage, you can get the best deals on room rates, along with temperatures in the low to high 60s. But also book in advance to make sure you get the best hotel and flight deals.
What are the best ways to get around Bermuda?
Bermuda offers a range of public transport services across the seven islands. Including bus, ferry, and even minibus to get you to wherever you want. You could also rent a scooter, motorcycle or bike; however, car rentals are not available on the islands of Bermuda. The most popular options remain the ferry service, and bus service operated, both of which are operated by the government.
1) Bus service
In total, there are eleven bus routes across the islands of Bermuda. All except one of them operate from Hamilton City and connect almost all corners of the island. There is a total of 14 bus zones.
As far as fees are concerned, there are two types of bus fares, depending on the number of zones you travel in. You have the option of a 3 zone fare or an all-zone fare. An alternative choice is to purchase a transport pass for unlimited use of all public buses across the islands. The frequency of the bus service depends on the service route and the day of the week, with fewer services on weekends and during public holidays.
(Note: When at the bus stop, it may be useful to know that stops with a blue pole, mean the bus is heading from Hamilton, whereas the stops with a pink pole mean the bus is heading towards Hamilton.)
2) Ferry Service
There are four ferry routes in total, each of which are identified by their own colors. Two of the courses are used frequently by cruise ship passengers, whereas the other two routes connect various spots on the island, such as Warwick, Sandy’s Southampton, Paget. Most of these routes are used by office workers as well as some tourists. All of these routes mentioned above return to the Hamilton Ferry Terminal. Tickets, coins or tokens can be used to board the ferry. In order to find out more information about using the ferry, you can check out the Bermuda Ferry Service website, to see timetables and routes.
As you would already know by this stage, taxis in Bermuda are not cheap. On the other hand, however, they are regarded as highly convenient. When you arrive at the airport, a taxi is probably your best option to reach your destination. All taxis are metered, and the price will, of course, depend on which type you take, (4 seaters or 7 seater). Or, alternatively, many taxi drivers can be hired by the hour to take you to any destination you want, for as long as you want, however, you should note that there is a minimum booking length of 3 hours for most of this kind of trip.
Best Free Things to do on the Islands of Bermuda
1) Visit Horseshoe Bay Beach
Southampton’s horseshoe bay is Bermuda’s most popular and visited beach. Anyone who has ever had the privilege of visiting this breathtaking beach, will assure you that it’s a worthy trip. With the stunning views and pink sand, it truly makes for a day-trip you won’t forget.
Which is precisely the reason why many would complain about the large crowds on site. While some beach enthusiasts may worry about the strong undertow from the waves current, you can rest assured, knowing that this beach employs a range of fully qualified lifeguards.
2) The Historic St George
Did you know that St George was one of the very first towns established in North America? When you pass the Town Hall and the old cathedral, you will pass the same buildings that settlers created hundreds of years ago. During the peak summer season, actors will roam the streets and simulate the olden days. There is, of course, much to see in the city, but the Old Statehouse and King Square are musts.
3) The unfinished church
If you’re looking for a genuinely historical monument to visit in Bermuda, then this may be the place for you. Located in St George’s, the unfinished church is truly an elegant edifice. As you might have guessed from the name, it is, in fact, an uncompleted church.
Its gothic ruins are a sentimental landmark to the town of St George’s. Construction of the church began in 1874, she. A storm damaged the main church (St Peter’s Church). Once it was believed that the church was beyond repair, a new one had to be built.
4) Royal Naval Dockyard
If you’re ever searching for a break from the jaw-dropping pink sand beaches, then you could enjoy an excursion to the Royal Naval Dockyard. If you ever find yourself visiting the Dockyards during the winter months, it could end up as the best part of your trip! The dockyard originated as the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Atlantic. Now, however, it’s a marina, filled with restaurants, art galleries, shops and pubs. This is where the National Museum of Bermuda can be found, a great spot to learn this history of the islands, with the last-minute souvenir!
5) Warwick Long Bay Beach
Situated on the South Coast, at over half a mile long, this is, in fact, the longest beach across all the islands of Bermuda. The gentle summer breeze can make for a relaxing spot to unwind and enjoy the local atmosphere. However, these winds may turn into a chilly blast during the winter.
The inner reef which guards this area makes it the perfect spot for families too, not to mention the fact that it is quieter, and rarely as crowded as other beaches on the island. Beach-walkers and horse-back riders are also welcome to enjoy this peaceful and secluded beach.
6) Elbow Beach
Elbow beach is perhaps home to sand at its most pink, and like the other beaches that have been mentioned, makes for a great family excursion. Not only do secure reefs keep the water both safe and mild, but the majority of tourists would claim that the beach is both pretty and secluded. The wide variety of bars and restaurants situated at walking distance, make this beach perhaps a better alternative to some of the more crowded beaches in the islands.
7) Tobacco Bay
You may have to travel a long way to find another beach in Bermuda with restaurants with a liquor license. But luckily you won’t need to, when you make the short trip from the cruise ship dock and St George’s town to Tobacco Bay. But if that not you’re thing, you can even enjoy snorkelling in the crystal clear water, or perhaps even laying on the sand and chatting to the locals.
Regardless of what you’d like to do there, visitors give huge praise to this location for its accessibility, fun activities, and breathtaking scenic setting.
Possibly the center of Bermuda’s economic and cultural life, the town of Hamilton has plenty to offer to visitors and vacationists. It is conveniently located at the dead centre of the main island. Hamilton is home to perhaps some of the most historical relics of the Caribbean and even the entire North Atlantic. If you’re an art fanatic, you will love the Bermuda National Gallery, home to its collection of local art exhibitions. The British roots of the towns are evidently seen in the Anglo style Ale and Cuisine.
9) Hike along the railway trail
When in Hamilton, at the government offices, you can pick up your own guide on hiking along the railway track before you embark on the winding hiking paths that currently stand over the old railway track that went from St George’s all the way to Somerset in the East.
This breathtaking path passes the coastal sections of the Coney Island, and through the gardens of Frank Bay, in precisely the same way the historical carriages did so over a century ago.
10) Crystal and Fantasy Caves
Situated exactly between St David’s Island and the other main island, the Crystal and Fantasy caves offer one of the most stunning attractions available in the backcountry of Bermuda. These ancient caves were carved more than twenty million years ago, and gives visitors the chance to see one of the most spectacular underground wonders of the world.
Bermuda genuinely has something for everyone, regardless of whether you’re interested in culture, cuisine, or even admiring the beautiful landscape and beaches that this glorious island has to offer, Bermuda will have something for you.
Yes, it is expensive. But is it worth it? Absolutely. All you need to do for proof is ask someone who has been swimming along the Atlantic Coast and Horseshoe bay, or someone who uncovered the historical landmarks that St George’s has to offer. They will happily tell you, without hesitation, that a family visit to Bermuda while staying frugal and avoiding unnecessary expenses, is worth every last penny.