If exploring glorious underwater landscapes and interacting with a diverse range of sea life tickles your fancy, then a holiday to Barbados is exactly what you need – we had a quick chat with Senator the Hon. Lisa R. Cummins, the Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados about why holidaymakers should choose Barbados!
While Barbados is famed for its white sand beaches, glistening warm waters and of course, its delicious rum, this beautiful island is also home to the healthiest reefs in the Caribbean and offers the perfect opportunity for wreck diving. Barbados is known as the Shipwreck Capital of the Caribbean, boasting a variety of wrecks that have developed over the years into fabulous artificial reefs attracting divers and snorkelers from all corners of the world.
Barbados, the Jewel of the Caribbean, announced the implementation of new travel protocols for Ireland and the UK, effective 1st October 2020, which will remain in place over the next two weeks. The spikes in COVID 19 cases have shifted Ireland and the UK into the ‘high risk’ category level relative to entry into Barbados.
NI Travel News team member Chelsea Cousins is currently on the beautiful island of Barbados, taking a well-deserved break in a destination with one of the lowest Covid infection rates in the world. Pop on over to our instagram to follow her journey and see all the exciting things she is currently experiencing on this island paradise.
The new travel protocols at a glance require:
- All travellers to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
- After arrival on the Island, visitors will take a second PCR test. Tests can be done free of charge at any Government health care facility or for a fee at private healthcare facilities. There are also mobile services available to make it easy for guests to have options. The test is administered between day 4 to 5 after taking the first test in Ireland or the UK. Test results in Barbados are usually returned overnight without any challenges.
- While awaiting the second test, visitors will have restricted movement and remain on the grounds of their hotel, resort or villa.
Senator the Hon. Lisa R. Cummins, the Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados, said: “It is our commitment that our visitors, many of whom are like family to us, are able to enjoy a reprieve from the challenges in their own countries by being safe in Barbados. At the same time, Barbadians are known for our hospitality so we want to ensure that our citizens welcome all our guests to the island with a high level of confidence because we have put measures in place at the border for all our visitors.”
“When you get here, testing services are easily accessible, our health care professionals are here to help take great care of you, even if you become unwell. Our hotel sector has completely transformed their amazing properties to ensure that our guests enjoy their time with us. Even though there is a public health consideration, our hospitality sector, including restaurants and attractions are rolling out the red carpet because they are just so happy to have our guests back. For the peace of mind that you are safe, Barbados is definitely worth it!”
“Since we introduced the pre-testing requirements it has been overwhelming how our guests have responded. People want to be confident that they are sitting on a plane with other passengers who have also tested negative for COVD 19, are observing the masking, sanitisation and social distancing protocols and make others around them feel safe. When they get to Barbados, they want the confidence then that they are in a place where they can relax safely and after a brief period in one of our hotels, resorts or villas, enjoy full access to all the island has to offer. We are able to offer that level of safety and confidence to our travellers and guests because of these measures which balance public health and safety with leisure and travel.”
So why make Barbados your first port of call for your 2021 holiday? As if sunshine and white sandy beaches weren’t enough, here are a few other reasons why you will want to pack your suncream.
Health and Wellness
Barbados, the destination of choice for wellness. In January of this year, Barbados was announced Wellness Destination of the Year 2020 at the Caribbean Travel Awards, and it’s no surprise why. Barbados is home to a plethora of incredible wellness hotspots, from beautiful resort spas such as Sandy Lane to the holistic wellness experience at Sweetfield Manor. These facilities, combined with the island’s fresh sea breezes, peaceful coastal getaways and the laid-back Bajan atmosphere make Barbados the perfect destination for health and wellness for your 2021 holiday.
2021 Barbados Surf Pro
Calling all surfers! Boasting coral reefs and powerful waves, Barbados is known as a surfer’s paradise. From the 17th – 22nd March 2021, the beautiful Barbados coastline will host the 2021 Barbados Surf Pro at the iconic Soup Bowl, one of the Caribbean’s best loved surfing spots. This event hosts over 160 local and international surfers, both men and women, and watches them battle it out to take the title.
The coral island of Barbados is home to more than 80 pristine white-sand beaches, many of which are recognised as the most beautiful beaches in the world. Between the beach and the ocean, you’ll never be short of things to do in Barbados! Enjoy the island’s water sports including jet-skiing at the ever-lively Mullins Beach, boogie boarding and paddle boarding at Pebbles Beach, surfing at the Soup Bowl and on Atlantic Shores, and high-octane kitesurfing at Silver Sands.
Visit the east coast to picnic under shady trees at Bath or Bathsheba, or the south and west coasts where you can take a boat trip to swim with the turtles or spend a day aboard a luxury catamaran, cruising crystal-clear seas like a celebrity.
Barbados Celtic Festival
Taking place from the 19th – 24th May 2021, the Barbados Celtic Festival is a music and food festival, steeped in history and tradition, celebrating the links between the Celtic Countries of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Nova Scotia, the Gallic regions in Europe and the sunny Caribbean island of Barbados.
The annual festival is a focal point in the Barbados calendar, attracting visitors from all corners of the world and for good reason, combining music with a fusion of flavours from visiting chefs, and highland and beach games for the sporting enthusiasts.
Barbados is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, and for good reason! From street food to fine dining and everything in between, Barbados has plenty to offer every type of foodie. Try the island’s national dish, flying fish with cou-cou, or some famous Bajan fish cakes, served in most rum shops along with ham, cheese or fish cutters! Fancy something more lavish? Barbados is home to a number of fine dining restaurants, such as the Lone Star Restaurant, famed for idyllic beach setting, celebrity clientele and, of course, it’s delicious food and top-class service.
Whether you choose a cosy bed & breakfast, a quaint guest house on the beach, a posh villa or a luxurious 5-star hotel, you can find it all at a price which suits your pocket and your passion for a fancy free getaway. There is an abundance of accommodation options throughout the island, especially on the south and west coasts so, you’re sure to be spoiled for choice when planning your 2021 holiday to Barbados.
Crop Over Festival
Crop Over is Barbados’ premier festival, taking place between July and August every year it combines a series of fabulous events celebrating Barbadian music, arts, food, culture and so much more, marking the end of the island’s sugar cane crop season, remembering Barbados’ colonial past, when sugar cane was king. Barbados ends the festivities with a grand carnival parade know as Kadooment Day. Kadooment is known as the biggest and sweetest carnival to end the Caribbean’s carnival season in August each year. The event starts early morning at the National Stadium and beautiful masquerade bands traverse the local city streets ending on Spring Garden highway late in the afternoon.
If exploring glorious underwater landscapes and interacting with a diverse range of sea life tickles your fancy, then a holiday to Barbados is exactly what you need! Known as the Shipwreck Capital of the Caribbean, the island of Barbados is home to a variety of wrecks that have developed over the years into fabulous artificial reefs attracting divers and snorkelers from all corners of the world. For the best snorkelling and diving experiences, visit Carlisle Bay and Folkstone Marine Park.
Barbados Food and Rum Festival
Barbados is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean and, of course, the birthplace of rum. Both food and rum are the essence of Barbados culture, and both are celebrated by every part of Bajan society through the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival. The festival has given birth to a series of events, or better yet – culinary and beverage experiences – designed to tantalize the taste buds, while offering a variety of other colourful and flavourful experiences to stimulate the other senses as well.
Taking place from the 27th – 31st October 2021, the Barbados Food and Rum Festival is one of the most popular food festivals in the world and is one Bajan event not to be missed!
The Bajan Atmosphere
This island will draw you in with its idyllic tropical beaches and delicious rum but, time and time again, it’s the iconic Bajan atmosphere you experience that will have you coming back for more. Barbados is famous for its relaxed atmosphere and all-round good vibe, and its people are known for being one of the most welcoming in the Caribbean. Whether tasting delicious Bajan delicacies, enjoying a tipple in the local rum shop or grooving to calypso beats, you can be sure you’ll spend your 2021 Barbados holiday amongst good vibes.
For more information visit visitbarbados.com and plan your dream trip!