When heading off on holiday, it's nice to know a little about the area you're going to. If you're interested in jetting to the Caribbean, one of the top questions you might need answering is "where are the best beaches in Barbados?"

Although the Caribbean islands are stunningly beautiful, the beaches can all be quite different in terms of the wave conditions, busyness and amenities; this is the case in Barbados as well. We've put together this guide to give you a flavour of what the Bajan island has to offer and where you'll want to stay for a holiday that suits you to a tee.

Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean. The east side is open to the Atlantic Ocean; it looks out into the Caribbean Sea on the west, its closest neighbours being St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

Let’s take you on a whistle-stop tour of Barbados and its nicest beaches!

West Barbados

If your ideal Barbados holiday is all about rest and relaxation in luxurious surroundings, the island's west is where you want to be. The country's capital Bridgetown is seated on the southwestern corner of the island, with plenty of beaches dotted around it, including Carlisle Bay, Browne's Beach and Pebbles Beach. If you are headed into the capital for sightseeing, shopping or activities, don't forget to drop by one of these beaches.

For the white sands, turquoise water and a beach for swimming, head further up the west coast. If you're seeking the ultimate in relaxation and luxury, consider booking luxury holidays to Barbados on the West Coast. We've put together a list of some of the best west coast beaches below; let's dive in!

Heywoods Beach - Best for peaceful and quiet beach exploration

Heywoods is a peaceful location on the north-west coast of Barbados with limited water sports, making this one of the best beaches in Barbados for seeing marine wildlife. Explore the waters of the Caribbean on your private yacht from Port St Charles. Cobblers Cove is nearby, where you can wake up to ombre blue sea views, visit the endangered Hawksbill turtles in the bay and enjoy coconut rum drinks on the beach.

To the north of Heywoods Beach, you'll find Port St Charles marina; this luxury location has a yacht club with a brilliant restaurant - Pier One. If you head a little farther north up the coast, you'll be able to visit The Fish Pot, a quiet beachside fish restaurant with fresh cuisine and plenty of personality.

Mullins Beach - Best for sunbathing and motorised watersports

At this lovely clean beach with powdery sand, you can spend time luxuriating as the sun sets across the sea with a drink in hand. There are plenty of great beach bars close to Mullins Beach to choose from. Mullins Beach does have watersports, including jet skiing, so this is one of the more lively beaches on the list but still a perfect spot for families with small children. Mullins Beach sits on the island's north-west coast, south of Heywoods Beach and Cobblers Cove Resort.

St. Peters Bay is set just north of Mullins Beach and Gibbes Beach. The hotel is a haven for families who daydream of sun, pristine sands and warm waters. Saint Peters Bay Beach is a gorgeous beach located a stone's throw from the hotel.

Is it safe to swim in Barbados?

Yes, the sea on the west coast of Barbados is much calmer than on the other sides. Many of the beaches have shallow water and are protected from the larger waves by the reefs that surround the shoreline.

Alleynes Bay - Best for clear, calm waters and swimming

Alleynes Bay is one of the best beaches in Barbados for swimming. Located halfway up the west coast between Mullins Beach and Folkestone Marine Park, Alleynes Bay has a lovely beach where turtles swim in the water; take your snorkel with you and see if you can spot them!

The water along this stretch of the island is some of the clearest because of the gentle conditions, so you'll have excellent visibility for seeing marine wildlife. It's safe to swim at this quiet beach too, so it's a great family-friendly option. For a quiet beach with towering palm trees and shallow waters, head to Alleynes!

For an idyllic setting with soft sands, blue waters and blooming gardens, discover the beautiful Fairmont Royal Pavilion Beach. Enjoy breakfast on your balcony facing the ocean with picturesque vistas. This hotel sits pretty in pink just south of Alleynes Bay.

Close to Alleynes Bay is Ju Ju’s restaurant and the Lone Star Restaurant, one of the best places to eat on the island accompanied by live music.

Folkestone Marine Park & Beach - Best for marine wildlife and snorkelling

We're getting closer to Bridgetown with this beach. Folkestone Beach and Marine Park are located relatively close to Sandy Lane and Paynes Beach. Folkestone is another beautiful beach along the island's west coast, and it's one of the best for snorkelling and swimming. You'll be able to spot parrot fish, trumpet fish, Anemone and eels alongside the coral reef of the marine park. This is a relaxing area, close to food and drinks venues, so enjoy a rum punch on the beach.

The family-run Coral Reef Club is the epitome of opulence, ready to welcome you to the island. Here, it's all about taking life at a slower pace, so soak up the beach atmosphere as you rest in the shaded area. 

You can dine out at the nearby Fusion Rooftop located in Holetown, close to Folkestone Marine Park and the Coral Reef Club. Learn more about the best restaurants in Barbados, including Fusion Rooftop.

Sandy Lane Beach - Best for relaxation and soaking up the sun

Sandy Lane wins our award for the best beach on the West Coast of Barbados. Pristine white sands, the shade of the trees that line the beach and tranquil calm waters - Sandy Lane Beach is one of our favourites.

You can expect the very best VIP treatment at Sandy Lane Hotel. This hotel is a firm favourite of the stars and for a good reason - it's paradise on earth. Sun yourself on the beach, eat al fresco on the terraces and admire the sea through the canopy of mahogany trees that line the shore.

Don't worry about leaving the seafront for dinners - visit The Tides, a stunning restaurant sitting alongside the Caribbean Sea, providing some of the best sunset views on the island. The Tides serves a broad menu with fresh fish, meat dishes and herby grilled lobster tail that's to die for.

Paynes Bay Beach - Best for Bajan atmosphere and family fun

Paynes Bay offers one of the liveliest beaches on the west coast of Barbados. Fishers bring their catches in here for a cleaning, and the waters are popular for spotting turtles and stingrays. This curved bay is a lovely spot to bring your family, close to restaurants and bars serving refreshments. This is also the nearest beach on our list to Bridgetown and just along the coast from Sandy Lane.

Treasure Beach by Elegant Hotels is the ultimate getaway spot. Paddle out on the calm crystalline waters to view the orange and pink sunsets from the water. Island vibes are everywhere at Treasure Beach; from room designs to the team member uniforms. Wrap up your holiday with a special visit to The Cliff. Devastatingly beautiful views of the Caribbean can be seen from the multiple vantage points in the restaurant, with a wide variety of food and beverage options and live music.

Of course, there are plenty of other beautiful areas in Barbados! Read on to discover more about the other Barbados beach regions.

North Barbados

Archers Bay - best for seclusion

For a genuinely isolated beach, head west from Animal Flower Cave to Archers Bay; this isn't a spot suggested for swimming as it's secluded, rocky and has livelier waves, but you can still catch some sun or set down a picnic and enjoy the serenity.

Animal Flower Cave - best for views

The northern tip of the island is rugged and beautiful. The crashing waves have carved out some magnificent landscapes that are popular with the island's visitors. Animal Flower Cave is one such area that's nestled under the cliffs of the island.

This is a popular spot for excursions, so it can get quite busy, but if you reach the area early in the day, you can take in the surroundings without jostling with other visitors.

You'll have stunning views of the sea from the interior of the cave, which is encased in a beautiful patchwork of an oxidised rock face.

"If you prefer the north coast, then Mullins Beach is really clean and good for swimming and snorkelling, plus you will find restaurants Sea Shed and Larry Rogers here. The beautiful thing about Barbados is that all beaches are public. So, as you move around the island and you would like to cool off from the tropical heat, you are welcome to do so at any beach by using the public access." Kerin, Barbados Destination Manager

East Barbados

Bathsheba Beach - best for surfing

To the east of the island, the rugged coastline continues, sheltered by gorgeous lush vegetation. There is a range of beaches on this side of the island, including the famous Bathsheba beach, popular with locals and visitors alike. Bathsheba Beach is a surfer's paradise, where the powerful waves and strong currents of "The Soup Bowl" host international surfing competitions. The beach is a fantastic place to visit, to watch the surfers and bodyboarders curve through the surf.

Quote from Beth: "Bathsheba is a beautiful place to stop - very pretty with a great beach bar."

Crane Beach - best for swimming

If you're looking for somewhere a little quieter on the east side of the island, head to Crane Beach. You'll find gentle waters and limestone cliffs, the perfect spot for a day out at the beach. The conditions here are calmer as the reefs in the water protect this section of the island from the Atlantic waves in the north east.

South Barbados

Silver Sands - best for windsurfing

If you're a fan of watersports or exploring the ocean on your holidays, you won't want to miss the southern end of Barbados. Here you'll find the best Barbados beaches for kite surfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding. The southern side of Barbados is host to the World Windsurfing tour at Silver Sands beach. Long Beach and Silver Rock are also popular stretches for plenty of watersports enthusiasts.

This section of the coastline (and the north) is where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet, so the beaches are swimmable, and it's somewhat sheltered from the powerful currents of the east. Head into the water and view the tropical fish swimming about the coral reefs, but be mindful of the sand banks and undercurrents. The south of the island has a lively atmosphere - there are plenty of restaurants and attractions in the area to visit.

We hope that gave you a little of the best beaches in Barbados and helped you find the perfect beach for you and your family to spend your holidays.

"I prefer the beaches on the South Coast. I personally love Brownes Beach, a beautiful long stretch extending from Hilton Hotel to Bridgetown, where the sea is calm and serene and  several bars and restaurants including Lobster Alive line the shore. If you are an early morning riser, I would recommend coming to Pebbles Beach at around 6am where the local race horses are brought daily for their swim." Kerin, Barbados Destination Manager 

Craving a beach retreat in Barbados?

Pristine shores, crystal-clear waters, and tranquil surroundings make Barbados’ beaches some of the best in the world. Whether it’s a romantic private dining experience with toes in the sand, or a family day of sandcastles and volleyball, there’s a beach that suits your itinerary perfectly.

To arrange your beach getaway, speak to one of our Travel Specialists. We’ll help create your tailor-made experience in Barbados, and direct you to the best white sand gems.

Why we're the Barbados experts
  • Airport meet-and-greet for immediate post-flight assistance
  • Escort through to your private transfer for a seamless arrival
  • Direct line of contact to Kerin's team for any requests or assistance
  • In-resort support for booking taxis, excursions and restaurants
  • Barbados lounge passes included on return

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