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Thinking of vacationing in Bermuda? This string of islands, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, is easy to visit for American tourists. It could be reached by a two hour flight from most east coast gateways. It is also a very popular cruise destination. Bermuda is famous for its pink beaches and pastel-colored houses but there is much more there to explore.
Usually I spend months getting ready for my vacations. I try to put my credit cards earnings into work to create a free trip. At the same time, I educate myself about the place I am planning to visit.
My trip to Bermuda was different. It was a gift. I simply bought a package deal on Expedia and decided to learn about the island while there. This is what I discovered during my visit.
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Beaches are Bermuda’s major attraction for a reason – they are spectacular! Since Bermuda is a popular but small country, I expected the beaches to be crowded, but that was not the case.
Only famous Horseshoe Bay Beach was full of people, and even there I was able to find solitude. Most tourists gather close to the parking area and facilities.
Just a few steps from Horseshoe Bay there is a different world, dominated by nature. The views are spectacular and beaches were empty. I took a mile long walk through many small connecting beaches hugged by beautiful cliffs .
All around the island you can find beautiful beaches, each with its own character. Many of them are just a few steps from the road, making exploring a delight.
I knew there were grottoes in Bermuda but I did not think much about them. It turned out that they were not just the holes in the rocks. They were beautiful!
The Crystal & Fantasy Caves, which were a short walk from my hotel, are one of Bermuda’s top visitor attractions and should not be missed.
For me, swimming in a grotto at Grotto Bay Beach Resort was a highlight of my trip.
Walsingham Nature Preserve
To my surprise, Bermuda’s shore is not just about the beaches. It is a paradise for nature lovers. For some reason, this face of the island remains undiscovered by visitors.
Walsingham Nature Preserve was recommended to me by my hotel staff. I am so glad I decided to take the short walk to get there. It offers a variety of hiking trails, many along the beach. They are well marked and the scenery and vegetation is outstanding!
Practical advice to visit Bermuda
You will need cash
As a devoted user of credit cards, I had a hard time adjusting to the fact that they are not as widely accepted here as they are elsewhere. Buses, taxis, and most excursions had to be paid in cash.
American tourists do not need to exchange money
Public transportation is the way to go
There are no car rentals in Bermuda. Even locals are allowed only one car per family. You can rent a scooter, but they can be dangerous especially if you are not accustomed to riding on the left side of the road. Many tourists try them, and many get hurt.
Taxis will take you everywhere in Bermuda, but they are expensive. The best option is to use buses. They are clean, air conditioned, and run regularly. Consult at your hotel if daily or multi – day pass would be a better option for you.
Navigating public buses in Bermuda requires education. Bus stops are not obviously marked. They look like little shelters. Some are marked just by color coded poles. Ask someone at your hotel to explain how the system works.
When entering a bus, stay close to the driver and tell him where you want to exit. Buses only stop if you call for it. The phrase for that is, “next stop.” If you are not familiar with the route, you will have no idea when to call for your stop. Leave it to the driver or consult with locals.
Walking on the side on the road is dangerous
I am a big fan of walking as mean of transportation, but in Bermuda you have to be extremely careful. For the most part, there are no sidewalks and roads are narrow and winding. I almost got hit by a car as it came out of curve. It missed me by inches.
Excursions should be booked early
I tried to arrange for some excursions around the island. Judging by the number of brochures, I thought my choices would be great but that was not the case. Many excursion were offered only once or twice a week.
I stayed in Bermuda for five days but I was not able to book anything that was interesting and available during that time. Additionally, it was a long weekend, so many businesses were closed.
If you have a specific excursion in mind, try to contact your hotel before your arrival to see if they can help with early booking.
Taxis are a good choice for touring the island
I wanted to see as much of the Bermuda as possible. It looked like my best choice was to hire a private taxi, so I did that.
My driver was knowledgeable and showed me all around the island, but I had to pay $150 in cash for a three hour tour. That was a high price for one person but for a larger group it could be reasonable – my taxi was a full van!
Touring with a private guide
When looking through Grotto Bay Beach Resort recommendations, I stumbled upon an inexpensive photo tour. I decided to take this offer to visit parts of the island I did not see before. I am glad I did. This is how I got to meet Lloyd Webber, a Bermuda based photographer.
Lloyd, 82 years old, became my instant friend. It felt like we knew each other for years. The tour he gave me was great but his company was even better. Lloyd is funny and bright. We ended up having dinner together.
I would recommend this services to anyone who would like to discover Bermuda off the beaten path and take some good photos along the way. Ask at your hotel for his contact if you are interested. The price is right!
For your next next beach vacation try Zakynthos, Greece.