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Barbados

Best Barbados Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Barbados beaches
Barbados has more than 60 beaches.

Some of the best beaches near the Barbados cruise port lie within a long walk or short drive.

The island has more than 60 beaches covering 70 square miles, according to the Barbados Tourism Authority.

Crane Beach in the St. Philip parish on the east coast is the best known of the bunch. It is a 35-minute drive from the Bridgetown cruise port on the west side of the island.

Cruise lines offer beach excursions that usually last about four hours. The cost for adults is around $20 to $50 per person including transportation from the cruise pier. The price depends on amenities such as a guaranteed chair and umbrella.

2 Beaches Within a Long Walk

Barbados has two beaches near the cruise port, but they are a long walk or short drive at about one mile and one and a half miles respectively.

Brandon’s Beach is one of the closest to the cruise pier at about one mile to the north. Moderately fit people can walk to it in about 15 to 20 minutes. Visitors can tour the nearby Mount Gay Rum Distilleries.

Three more beaches lie just to the north of Brandon’s Beach. They are Brighton, Paradise and Bratt Rock beaches. Visitors will need a taxi or rental car to reach them.

Brownes Beach at Carlisle Bay, about 1.5 miles south of the Bridgetown cruise terminal. It is right by the tourism heart of Bridgetown, so it is a good option for anyone who wants to combine a city tour and a beach visit on their own.

Physically fit and budget minded visitors may walk it in about 20 to 30 minutes if it isn’t too hot. Fortunately, the downtown tourist area lies between the cruise terminal and Brownes Beach. Visitors can tour downtown and then continue a little more south to the beach (or vice versa).

Bridgetown Barbados
Anyone going to Brownes Beach can tour Bridgetown in the same trip. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Otherwise, I recommend taking either a taxi to downtown or the much less expensive public bus system. Fares are $3.50 per person in Barbados dollars and $1.75 U.S. Buses accept only Barbados currency.

During our most recent visit to Barbados, we took an inexpensive taxi into town for walking, shopping and dining. We eventually found ourselves by Brownes Beach, which is a short distance from Independence Square. So visitors who go directly to Brownes Beach from the cruise port can backtrack into town if they have the time for a quick tour.

Brownes Beach is just the starting point for a series of beaches strung together. They are Bayshore, Peebles and, for some reason, a second stretch also called Brownes Beach. But they are farther south than Bridgetown and will require transportation to get back and forth from the cruise port.

Barbados Beach List

Barbados Beach Map

Anyone with enough time and a rental car can visit multiple beaches during the course of a day. Here is a summary of some of the most well-known beaches in Barbados:

West Coast

  • Brandon’s: watersports, restaurants, calm waters, highly active, near Bridgetown, easy access from cruise terminal
  • Batts Rock: public beach, picnic areas, playground, facilities, shade trees, near Bridgetown
  • Brownes: large, calm waters, lifeguards, near Bridgetown
  • Paradise: public access, calm waters
  • Paynes: busy, easy access, restaurants, near Holetown

North Coast

  • River Bay: popular picnic spot, crowded on weekends, beach facilities, picnic benches, shade trees
  • Little Bay: nice pools and blowholes
  • Cove Cay: good picnic spot, somewhat limited access

East

  • Bathsheba: reef pools, surfing on strong waves, white sand and large boulders, restaurants
  • Cattlewash: rough waters, but nice protected pools, half mile from Andromeda Gardens
  • Bath: safe and popular, picnic areas, washrooms

South Coast

  • Bottom Bay: among the best, cave, coral cliffs, palm trees and picnicking, strong currents
  • Crane: good body surfing, probably the most beautiful beach on the island, cliffs
  • Dover: popular for watersports, lifeguards, highly active, vendors
  • Golden Sands: watersports and calm waters
  • Miami: popular with locals, lifeguards, rentals and vendors
  • Rockley: watersports, vendors and shade trees, long and wide, popular with locals
  • Silver Sands: watersports, near Oistins
  • St. Lawrence: reef, shallow water, easy snorkeling, watersports, restaurants
  • Welches: excellent beach, calm waters
  • Worthing: coral reef, good snorkeling, shallow water
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
November 27, 2021

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