The island of Bermuda is famous for its aquamarine waters and pink sand beaches, but there is more to do along the coast than sunbathe and enjoy the view. (Though we do recommend an afternoon of relaxation, as well). Bermuda is full of hidden secrets and surprises available to the adventurous traveler from once-private islands that are now open to the public to glass-bottom boat cruises. Read on for our guide to the 14 best activities to enjoy in Bermuda. From snorkeling to sailing, rum-tasting to stand-up paddleboarding, we've got you covered.
Observe the Wonders of Horseshoe Bay
If you're looking for the quintessential Bermudian beach—one that encapsulates all the visual magic that this island has to offer—then look no further than Horseshoe Bay. The Bay is named Horseshoe for its curving slope into the coastline, creating one of Bermuda's best-known beaches. The Bay is located in Southampton parish, and the dramatic cliffs along the south coast of the island create a perfect backdrop for a day of swimming and sunbathing. Visitors should expect the crystal-clear waters and pink sands for which the island is famous.
Set Sail at Sunset
When you're in Bermuda, you'd be remiss not to find out for yourself exactly what it is about the island that makes sailors fall in love. (And fall into danger—there are more than 300 shipwrecks in the island's surrounding waters, hence the term "Bermuda Triangle"). The best time of day for a journey out to sea is late afternoon, just in time to watch the setting sun (hopefully with a cocktail in hand). So, book a sunset sail on a catamaran and get your appetite ready for some rum and some views. Cheers!
Cruise on a Glass Bottom Boat
Why go boating and sailing the traditional way when you can opt for a more thorough experience? And when we say thorough, we mean you will see what's beneath the water, not just what's on the horizon. Reserve a 90-minute Bermuda Glass Bottom Boat Cruise for an underwater high seas adventure. You won't regret it.
Kayak in Turtle Bay
Bermuda is an ocean lover's dream, and there are more active opportunities for off-coast adventures than just boating and sailing. Kayaking kicks off a more active segment on our list, and we recommend doing so in the secluded Turtle Bay, off the coast of Clearwater Beach on Cooper's Island. This area of Bermuda was once forbidden to travelers—Cooper's Island was only recently re-opened to the public—and you can appreciate that today with the quiet remoteness of the environment. After your kayaking adventure, we recommend ordering a drink at Gombey's Bar. Cheers!
Sip Sundowners on a Rum Cruise
What's better than a sunset sail? A sunset sail with Gosling's Rum, of course. Gosling's is a beloved and historic Bermudian beverage that was founded in St. George's parish. The 1.5-hour rum cruise departs in the late afternoon from Hamilton for guests to enjoy the island's famously spectacular sunset on the water. Take to the high seas for an evening to explore the gorgeous seascapes and learn more about the Bermuda "Spirit" (pun, again, intended).
Watch a Local Cricket Match
Cricket is a very popular sport in Bermuda. The weekend of Cup Match is one of the most celebratory weekends on the island all year—the first day of Cup Match celebrates Bermuda's independence. (The event was renamed 'Emancipation Day' in 1999). But, whenever you visit, you should check to see if a local county game is scheduled and spend an afternoon appreciating the sportsmanship and enthusiasm on display at these hometown tournaments.
Sunbathe at Jobson's Cove
There is no better place to sunbathe in all of Bermuda than Jobson's Cove—and, considering the plethora of picturesque competition on the island, that's no small feat. The exquisite pink sand beach overlooks a turquoise lagoon of calm, still water surrounded by jagged cliffs. The view is breathtaking, but the shoreline is relatively small, so be sure to arrive early in the morning to stake out your spot. And be sure to pack your snorkeling gear—the lagoon is teeming with tropical fish.
Explore the Intricate Crystal and Fantasy Caves
If you appreciate the tropical blue waters reflecting the sky off the coast of Bermuda, then you'll be amazed by the mirror reflections of the stalactites found in the azure pools of the Crystal and Fantasy Caves. This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bermuda for a reason, and one visit to this subterranean wonderland will leave you enchanted. (Plus, your skin likely needs a break from the sun).
Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Tobacco Bay
Don't worry: Tobacco Bay is not as polluted as it sounds. In fact: It's one of the most beautiful beaches in Bermuda. (Locals claim it was named because tobacco once grew along the coastline many years ago). The clear water is teeming with colorful aquatic fish swimming amongst the corals. The shallows of the calm lagoon (which comes ashore along a protected beach) are perfect for marine activities of all kinds—though we recommend stand-up paddleboarding as the foremost daily adventure for guests. The conditions are ideal for a blissful adventure across the water.
Sip Cocktails at Elbow Beach
Bermuda is famous for its pink-sand beaches, and Elbow Beach is one of the most renowned of all the sandy shorelines on the island. Located in the Paget parish, most of Elbow Beach Most is private (and the yellow umbrellas add to the ambiance). There is a stretch of coast that is open to the public, however. Visitors can rent snorkeling gear and beach chairs, but we highly suggest ordering a cocktail at Mickey's Bistro first. The only restaurant in Bermuda situated on the beach, Mickey's is part of Elbow Beach Resort & Spa, and the rules for attire are—in keeping with its surroundings—slightly more elegant. Bring a smart cover-up and sandals to avoid any dress-code violations.
Snorkel with Tropical Fish in Daniel's Head Park
Daniel's Head Park accounts for 17 acres along the West End coast and features two public beaches that are heavenly for snorkelers. Underwater explorers can expect to find sergeant majors and angelfish venturing amongst the reefs in the calm, shallow water. There's also a floating water park operated by X20 adventures teeming with water slides to entertain adults and children alike. In short, there's something for everyone at Daniel's Head, and it is well worth a day trip.
Scuba Dive Among Shipwrecks in the North Atlantic
Though many believe Bermuda to be in the Caribbean Sea, Bermuda is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, a thoroughfare that has caused over 300 shipwrecks over the past 300 years. (Perhaps the term "Bermuda Triangle" rings a bell?) Among our favorites to explore include the Mary Celestia, which sunk to the ocean floor off the island's south shore in 1864, and the well-known wreck, The Vixen, so-called because the sunken ship's exposed bow makes it one of the most iconic sites in all of Bermuda.
Head Out on a Jungle Walking Trail
If a jungle isn't the first landscape that comes to mind when you think of Bermuda, you're not alone. And yet, located on a 12-acre reserve in Hamilton parish is the lush tropical oasis of the Walsingham Nature Reserve, also known as "Tom Moore's Jungle." The spot boasts multiple walking trails and features breathtakingly blue swimming grottos, such as the aptly-named Blue Hole. Before you leave, grab a drink at Tom Moore's Tavern—a favorite pit-stop among locals and visitors alike. Located within a 17th-century estate, Originally built in 1652, it's the oldest restaurant in Bermuda. It is named after the Irish poet, Tom Moore, who took inspiration from the nature reserve's lushness and wild beauty. After one visit, you'll understand why.
Kiteboard at Somerset Long Bay
While there's technically no bad places to go kiteboarding in Bermuda—where there's a (gust of) wind, there's a way—there's no better spot to set sail than off the coast of Somerset Long Bay Beach. Out on the waters of Somerset Long Bay, the wind is reliably at your back—or, rather, propelling you from the side, depending on your kiteboarding technique. Located on Sandys Parish on the island's West End, the bay also boasts a quarter-mile expanse of sandy beach. It's also the perfect spot for sunbathing if you're visiting with less aquatically-oriented travelers.