In addition to its place as an insurance and financial powerhouse, Bermuda is probably best know for its pink sand beaches. At least that is what I’ve been told. And there are plenty of beaches available, though I’m not sure I’d really call the sand pink. No matter there, though. Depending on the type of beach excursion you are looking for odds are that Bermuda has an option to fit your needs. No nude or topless beaches that I am aware of, but there are a range of other options available, from desolate to crowded, social or isolated and even an option or two for full-service luxury or just a few random merchants selling services on the waterfront. There really are options to meet just about any need.
|A quiet walk along one of the more isolated beaches of the South shore – Marley Beach||Always a crowd on Horseshoe Beach|
Most of the beaches are along the south shore of the island, all within a couple miles of each other. They share the same beautiful, crystal clear (and quite chilly) water and the sand is generally the same – powder soft and wonderful to walk or lay on. But the difference in crowds can be quite noticeable. Marley Beach, for instance, was desolate when I visited. Horseshoe beach, on the other hand, is the most famous of the beaches on the island and it was packed commensurate with its fame.
Looking for something with a bit more style and luxury? Head over to the Fairmont Resort – Southampton. Their beach is directly adjacent to Horseshoe beach, just a couple hundred yards to the west. You can actually park in the Horseshoe lot and go through the gate between the parking lots to access the beach of the Fairmont. It is quite lovely and has a nice breakwater to help protect it from the waves and whatnot. There are also chaise loungers and fancy umbrellas and such, though all at a price – one I did not check for fear that my heart would stop functioning. At Horseshoe Beach there are guys renting umbrellas and chairs, too, and for more reasonable prices. Of course they are not quite as luxurious, but they are there.
Just a bit east of Horseshoe Beach is Warwick Beach and Long Bay Beach. If you’re looking for some quiet alone time on the beach give one of these a try. Long Bay is incredibly long (Duh!) and both parking and access roads are limited. This means fewer crowds and more space to spread out. Indeed, while there were a couple hundred folks on Horseshoe Beach one Tuesday afternoon there were a combined total of six visible on the much larger Long Bay/Warwick combination.
|Finding some peace and quiet on the rather desolate Long Bay Beach|
|The Portuguese man-of-war are prevalent in the waters and on the beaches. And the stings hurt. A lot!|
In addition to the normal hazards of relaxing on the beach – lots of sun and sand in crevices you might not know you have – there are two other significant threats in the Bermudan waters. The Portuguese man-of-war is particularly prevalent. They were literally EVERYWHERE on the beach. And there were plenty visible in the water as well. They come with a nice long tail that is covered with little balls of poisonous stinger. And they hurt like the dickens when you get stung. Plus you can be stung from many feet away so it really is hard to avoid them. Be very careful. The other big risk is of riptides. Fortunately those are less common, and there are lifeguards on duty at a few of the beaches where they are most common so that helps mitigate that threat.
There are also some pretty cool birds that circle the beaches. Their tails are particularly long which I’m sure serves some particular purpose but I have no idea what it is. They were still fun to watch flying overhead, and catching a glimpse of one of them nesting in a little cutout in the rocks at the western end of Horseshoe Beach was pretty cool, too.
|One of the many long-tailed birds that are frequently flying over the beaches of Bermuda, resting and nesting in the rocks overlooking Horseshoe Beach|
If you happen to be out on the west end of the island, near the dockyards or otherwise in the Somerset Parish there are always the beaches at the 9 Beaches resort. They are very isolated and quiet, which can be a very nice thing. The beaches there are interspersed between the overwater bungalows that make up the lodging options at the resort. But since pretty much all beaches in Bermuda are open to the public there is nothing preventing you from using them, other than their incredibly inconvenient location relative to most other sights/destinations on the island.
|The bungalows and one of the beaches of the 9 Beaches resort|
So pick your desired style of beach life and then pick the appropriate beach to visit. They are all a pretty quick bus ride from Hamilton or a walk from the majority of the guest houses and hotels in the Southampton or Warwick Parishes on the south shore.
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Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeee, I am particularly afraid of Portuguese man-of-wars. (Portuguese men-of-war?)
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