Top 16 Barbados Beaches

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The island of Barbados may only measure 21 miles (34km) in length but it has no shortage in world class beaches. There are approximately 70 miles (50km) of beach around the island's coast and nearly every square inch of that is pristine white sand made from finely ground coral. For a small island there are a surprisingly diverse range of beaches with the character changing from coast to coast.

The west coast of Barbados is also known as the "Platinum Coast" and is home to many fine beaches such as Brandon's beach and Reeds Bay. This side of the island is sheltered from the Atlantic waves and the azure waters that gently lap these shores are, if anything, a little warmer.
The beaches are no less magnificent on the east coast, but here they face into the full force of the Atlantic Ocean. As a result there are several world class surf spots including "Soup Bowls" located at Bathsheba.

To the north of the island things are a little more rugged with high coral cliffs rising up from the ocean and forming secluded coves and little bays. The coast here is fairly exposed to the Atlantic swells so care should always be taken when entering the water.

It is on the south eastern coast of Barbados that some of the island's finest beaches can be found. The beaches here are a kind of combination of the east and west coast, so there is a little of something for everyone from kite-surfing to snorkeling and swimming. Heading the list on the south coast is the much acclaimed Crane beach - a regular in top 10 world's greatest beaches features. Amongst the various other great beaches there is Bottom Bay, worth checking out just for the name if nothing else!

  • 1. Bathsheba

    © phbcz

    One of the island's more laid-back beach destinations, Bathsheba lies amid the fishing village of the same name on the east coast of Barbados. Immediately south of the larger Cattlewash Beach, Bathsheba Beach comprises a good length of golden sand dotted with unusual coral rock formations carved by the action of the waves over centuries.

    The beach is named after the wife of the Bible's King David, since its white-topped waves… read more »

  • 2. Crane Beach

    Crane Beach
    © Filip Fuxa /123RF

    Crane beach is everything you expect a Caribbean should be. A stretch of pristine white sand with clear, azure waters; it is little wonder this palm-fringed idyll is frequently cited as one of the best beaches on earth. The name of the beach dates back to the days when the beach was used as a harbour and a large crane was located here to load and unload the ships.

    read more »
  • 3. Bottom Bay

    Bottom Bay
    © Richard Semik / 123RF

    Located on the south-east coast of Barbados, Bottom Bay is just along the coast from the ever popular Crane beach. Unsurprisingly it shares many features with Crane beach; the fine white sand, abundance of palm trees, and azure waters. It can also have powerful waves. Where it differs is in the high coral cliffs which the beach backs onto, giving the beach a more enclosed feel. Sightings of turtles and… read more »

  • 4. Foul Bay

    Foul Bay
    © Richard Semik

    Despite its rather unappealing name, Foul Bay is in fact one of Barbados' loveliest beaches. Situated just around the corner from the equally lovely Crane Bay, the beach here is everything you would hope for and expect from one of the Caribbean's finest. An expanse of white powder sand meets the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean here. Surrounded by low cliffs and fringed with palm trees, there is a… read more »

  • 5. Pebbles Beach

    Pebbles Beach
    Barry haynes

    Located close to many of Bridgetown's top resort hotels and within the capital's UNESCO World Heritage Site historic city and garrison, Pebbles Beach sits on the southwest coast of Barbados. Despite its name, Pebbles comprises flat white sands that drift effortlessly into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. It's a popular beach destination with families due to its spacious sands and calm waters.

    Forming a part of Carlisle Bay, Pebbles… read more »

  • 6. Dover Beach

    Dover Beach
    Barry haynes

    Partly draped in the shade of coconut palms, Dover Beach lies in St Lawrence Gap, an area of the Barbados south coast teeming with excellent restaurants, a thriving nightlife, boutique shopping and great choice of accommodation options.

    Gently sloping into the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, the pale sands of Dover Beach run for several hundred meters, ending sharply with a sea wall on its western side and drifting all… read more »

  • 7. Worthing Beach

    Worthing Beach
    allen watkin

    Follow the coast road south out of Bridgetown towards St Lawrence and you'll soon reach the delights of Worthing Beach. Curving ever so slightly around a shallow bay, the beach looks south towards the broad expanse of the region's seas, while closer to shore providing shallows ideal for cooling off and exploring the coast.

    Formed from white sands slipping into rock-free waters, Worthing Beach is protected by a coral reef teeming… read more »

  • 8. Brownes Beach

    Brownes Beach
    © jsieso

    Nestled amid the buildings forming the southern suburbs of the Barbadian capital, Bridgetown, Browne's Beach faces out into Carlisle Bay. Flowing north uninterrupted into Pebbles Beach, Browne's Beach is partly backed by Besedka Park, and is in close proximity to a variety of resort hotels. It's also near to a range of bars, restaurants and other useful amenities such as ATMs.

    Made up of soft white sand watched over by lifeguards,… read more »

  • 9. Enterprise Bay

    Enterprise Bay
    © Richard Semik / 123RF

    Enterprise Bay, or Miami Beach as it is often called, is a modest strip of white sand on the south coast of the island. Located on the edge of the fishing village of Oistins the beach here is frequently referred to as the best family beach on Barbados. One reason for this accolade is the safe bathing, with calm waters and the rather conspicuous lifeguard tower watching over the more »

  • 10. Harrismith Beach

    Harrismith Beach

    Running towards a rocky promontory, Harrismith Beach (or Harry Smith's Beach) is one of the quieter stretches of sand that can be found in south-eastern Barbados. It's sloping near-white sands are narrow compared to its near neighbours such as the better-known Bottom Bay. However, its position with a blend of coconut palms and local vegetation to one side and a reef to the other makes it hard to resist.

    The… read more »

  • 11. Paynes Bay Beach

    Paynes Bay Beach
    Barry haynes

    A short drive north of Bridgetown, and close to a flurry of high-end hotel stays, Paynes Bay Beach stretches for approximately 250 meters of rich golden sand. Edged by a mix of tropical planting, including shade-giving coconut palms, alongside refreshment and gear stalls, it is a beach known for its clear waters and lack of waves.

    Welcoming a steady stream of beachgoers but rarely getting overcrowded, Paynes Bay Beach is a… read more »

  • 12. St Lawrence Beach

    St Lawrence Beach

    St Lawrence Beach is an arching ribbon of pale sand which greets the shallow clear waters of St Lawrence Bay (also known as Little Bay) on the southwest coast of Barbados. Amid urbanization reaching south from the heart of Bridgetown at the entrance to the ever-lively St Lawrence Gap, St Lawrence Beach may not be the most secluded of island beach escapes, but it still has plenty to offer those… read more »

  • 13. Welches Beach

    Welches Beach

    Welches Beach is a long stretch of soft off-white sand running along the middle reaches of Oistin Bay in southwest Barbados. More than half a kilometre in length, the beach has undergone significant work in recent years to create a broad expanse of beachfront free of rocks both above and below the water line.

    A great place to swim as a result, the waves at Welches Beach are rarely troublesome, although… read more »

  • 14. Maxwell Beach

    Maxwell Beach

    A charming if relatively small area of sand, Maxwell Beach lies at the western end of Oistin Bay. Approximately 200 metres in total length, its pale coral sand faces roughly south. Immediately east of the popular area of St Lawrence Gap, Maxwell Beach has rich blue waters and plenty of options for enjoying them.

    Swimming is safe on all but the roughest of winter days, with lifeguards providing additional reassurance.… read more »

  • 15. Mullins Beach

    Mullins Beach
    Brett Spangler

    Mullins Beach lies directly off the island's Highway 1B. Located in the northwest of Barbados, it forms the majority of the gently curving coastline of Mullins Bay.

    Sloping slightly into the bay's turquoise waters, much of Mullins Beach is backed by a wall of vegetation, separating from the main road and its well-sized car park. However, it's southern end meets a series of private villas and its far north is dominated… read more »