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Bermuda

Bermuda Travel Tips: Hotels, Attractions, Weather

Royal Navy Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyard is a historical site with several popular attractions. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

A Bermuda beach vacation is not exactly like going to a Caribbean island because it actually isn’t in the Caribbean.

But Bermuda and Caribbean islands share many of the same characteristics—island locale, tropical beach and comfortable weather year-round. Many Bahamas and Caribbean cruises that embark from east coast ports like New York and Baltimore will often stop at Bermuda on their way south.

What Bermuda and a large part of the Caribbean don’t share is price. Bermuda beach vacations are usually more expensive than most Caribbean island vacations.

It’s one reason why Bermuda attracts more cruise visitors than hotel visitors. Staying in a cruise cabin is far less expensive than staying in a Bermuda hotel or resort. The island attracts about 360,000 cruise visitors a year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

This overseas territory of the United Kingdom is 650 miles east of North Carolina and nearly 1,000 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico. More than 80 percent of its total visitors are tourists from the United States, the CTO says.

U.S. visitors are drawn to Bermuda hotels and resorts because it is a quick two-hour flight from Washington D.C. It has a strong sense of colonial history and has many things to see and do. The island is a popular golf destination as well.

It also is a common stop for Caribbean cruises that begin at ports along the Atlantic coast of the United States.

As a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Bermuda is 16th in popularity among the top Caribbean destinations for total vacation visits—sandwiched between St. Lucia and Martinique.

Hotel and Resort Tips

Bermuda Map

Hotel and resort tourists fly into L.F. Wade International Airport in the St. George’s parish. The town of St. George’s is about three miles northeast. St. George’s is also a cruise ship port. The capital at Hamilton is nine miles southwest.

From the airport, hotel and resort visitors will need a taxi or shuttle bus to reach a wide number of possible places to stay on this long and curving island. They are scattered all over the place. The longest drive will usually last less than an hour.

Visitors with a tight budget will find a decent number of hotels with pools in the range of $200 to $300 per night in the spring months. But they are usually not on beaches.

That leaves the question of how to get to a beach and other attractions. Tourists can’t rent cars or drive them on Bermuda. Instead, they can rent bicycles, scooters or two-seater electric cars (about $100 a day).

Another convenient option is the island’s extensive public bus and ferry system. The ferry system is especially active between Kings Wharf—a major cruise port—and the capital of Hamilton. Visitors can buy a seven-day pass for $62 at the time of this writing for unlimited use of both.

Bermuda Attractions

This video explains the best time to visit Bermuda and avoid the annual hurricane season.
Full-Screen Version | YouTube Caribbean Channel

Unique attractions include dozens of military forts, large historic churches including Anglican Cathedral with its 157-step tower, and St. Peter’s Church, built from island cedar in 1612.

Others include the 36-acre Botanical Gardens, 758 historic homes listed with the Bermuda National Trust; and the Royal Navy Dockyard, built more than 200 years ago.

Shoppers visit King’s Wharf, St. George’s and Hamilton for duty-free clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics and perfumes.

Excursions include helmet diving, which is an underwater walk on the ocean floor connected to air tubes that go up to the ocean surface. Other excursions include Crystal Caves and Blue Hole Park, a nature reserve with a tranquil lagoon.

Active visitors can choose among eight different 18-hole golf courses, historic lighthouses and the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo.

Beaches

Horseshoe Bay Beach
Horseshoe Bay Beach is the most famous and popular beach on Bermuda. © 2023 Scott S. Bateman

Beach goers swim, snorkel or dive along the island’s famous pink sand beaches. Horseshoe Bay beach is a popular choice for cruise visitors.

Entry Requirements / When to Go

May through August are the dominant months of the year for stopover vacations with half of all visitors coming during that time. The least active months are January and February.

U.S. citizens visiting Bermuda by air need a passport upon returning to the U.S. Those visiting by sea need a government-issued photo ID and document proving citizenship (such as a passport card of birth certificate), unless they arrive via a cruise ship and have previously shown proof of citizenship.

Canadian citizens need a passport, official birth certificate OR original naturalization /citizenship certificate.

Bermuda Weather

Bermuda monthly temperatures
Bermuda temperatures are cooler than Caribbean temperatures because of its northern location. © 2022 Scott S. Bateman

The Bermuda climate is subtropical, mild and humid; gales and strong winds are common in winter. The average daytime high temperature ranges from the upper 60s in January and February to the mid 80s during the summer.

Average high temperatures range from the high 60s Fahrenheit in the winter to the upper 80s Fahrenheit in the summer.

Summer is the best time to go for warm weather, but it also is the start of a rainy season that goes from June through October. Historically, October is the worst month for rain. It rains on average between 10 and 17 days a month throughout the year.

Currency / Tipping

The Bermuda dollar equals the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, but like most Caribbean destinations change will be given in local coins. There are no sales taxes.

A service charge often is added to a bill; if not, 15 percent is the norm for bars, hotels and restaurants, while 10-15 percent is the norm for taxis.

Culture / Geography

The dominant and official language is English because it is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The geography is low hills separated by fertile depressions.

Sources / More information

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.
July 13, 2023

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