Barbados has something for everyone. From its notorious sandy beaches, excellent coral scuba opportunities and relaxing spa resorts, to its high-top crag hiking, beautiful botanical gardens and exciting sporting activities.

Here are the 7 best places to stay in Barbados to make the most out of your vacation.

1. St. Philip

Located on the southeast portion of the island, St. Philip provides some brilliant, secluded coves and is also situated near Crane village, which presents the perfect little shopping opportunity.

This section of the island offers hiking opportunities and the ability to explore some of the island’s rich plantation history with guided tours and boat trips available.

2. St. Michael

On the western coast of Barbados, St. Michael offers boat trips and opportunities to take part in fishing excursions to help out with the local restaurant trade.

This high-end section of Barbados is surrounded by mansions and restaurants offering the highest quality foods, along with sandy beaches, bars, and boutiques.

This area, previously known as Jamestown, was one of the first settlement areas in this region. The area, steeped in history, offers a range of guided tours to explore areas of interest.

3. St. James

St. James offers a range of excursions for the more active holidaymaker. There are hotels and accommodation to suit all budgets, meaning that those who prefer to be out and about won’t feel that they’re overspending on the hotel.

The St. James Parish church was built in the 1600s and is still in operation, with its imposing stone walls and remarkable carved interior.

St. James is also home to the Portvale Sugar Factory, which displays the history of plantations and farming on the island. You can arrange tours to explore the sugar factory and the Sir Frank Hutson Museum to learn about the area.

4. St. Joseph

St. Joseph is known for being a chillout zone away from the busy beach locations. The ocean around St. Joseph is known for being choppy with amazing surfer waves for professional level surfers. The crags are an excellent place to go hiking to see the sites and breathe in that fresh air.

The area also plays host to huge botanical gardens on the sites of the old sugar plantations, meaning that you can stroll through amazing tropical wonders and take in the smells, sights and sounds of the flowers and wildlife.

The Andromeda Gardens holds a massive 600 types of plants within its private collection.

5. St. Lucy

St. Lucy is one of the most under-developed parts of the island with a back to basics feel. It’s the ideal resort for people who take pleasure in the simple things in life and love to feel at one with nature.

The coast is home to the Animal Flower Cave, which is the only accessible sea cave on the island and there are various rock pools to explore. It’s the perfect getaway for an explorer or for families with children offering a dip into nature around some of the most fantastic coral reefs. Make sure you bring water shoes, as the cliffs can be unforgiving.

The area is also known for its surfing conditions, with people traveling from other parts of the island, just to ride the best waves.

6. St. Peter

On the northwest coast of Barbados, St. Peter is an area with rocky crags and sandy beaches, so those who like to chill or go for a steady walk to sea the sites get the best of both worlds.

The area is also home to the St. Nicholas Abbey Rum Plantation and the Arlington House Museum for anyone who wants to experience a bit of a tipple while exploring the island’s historical sites.

This area is also home to the Farley Hill National Park, a preserved location with beautiful Georgian botanical gardens and accompanying mansion. The park hosts the annual Barbados Jazz Festival if music is your thing.

7. Christ Church

Christ Church is located on the southern coast of Barbados and is known for its lively beach resorts and water sports.

It’s close to the airport for those who prefer not to travel far and is adjacent to the St. Lawrence gap which is renowned for its entertainment scene. You’ll find a range of shops, bars, restaurants, and clubs to suit every taste. If you’re looking to party, then Christ Church is a great place to be, with bowling alleys, nightclubs, cocktail bars and even craft breweries.

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