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A dazzling constellation of 700 islands, the Bahamas stretch for miles across the sun-soaked Atlantic Ocean. With white-sand beaches, intricate coral reefs, bouncing tropical cities, even swimming pigs, a holiday in the Bahamas is pure dream-world stuff.
While not technically part of the Caribbean, its proximity and similarities – namely its gorgeous sugary sands and a-million-shades-of-turquoise water – make it a deserving honorary member of travel’s most exclusive gang. Made up by a colourful mix of islands and mini archipelagos, each with its own distinctive personality, the Bahamas is packed with natural beauty and affable charm.
On New Providence, spend your days filling your suitcase with duty-free bounty and your nights swigging rum in Nassau’s bars. Plumb the depths around Andros, and scuba the otherworldly sea caverns of Blue Holes National Park.
For pristine beaches and supreme luxury, hop over to the Exumas where there’s a heavenly cay for every day of the year. Fish for barracuda and tuna off Ragged Island, or try your luck for bonefish at Long Island, a 128km (80-mile) stretch of soaring sea cliffs and secluded beaches.
Grand Bahama, meanwhile, is one of the Bahamas’ great all-rounders, with superb diving, small city vibes in Freetown, a good range of accommodation types and sandy stretches straight out of a magazine.
Whichever island you choose, whether you want deserted beaches, lush mangroves, wild water sports, or a mix of the lot, there’s a spot waiting in the Bahamas – all you have to do is find it.
The Bahamas is widely considered to be a safe holiday destination. Between June and November, there is a risk of hurricanes. For the most up-to-date travel advice for the Bahamas, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
No, British nationals do not usually need a visa to enter the Bahamas. Tourists can visit for up to 21 days.
It is advised that you’re up to date with standard British vaccinations (MMR, flu, etc), but there are no required immunisations. If you are travelling from a country with high cases of yellow fever (this includes transfers over 12 hours), then you will need a vaccination certificate.
For a chilled-out holiday on one island, a week is plenty of time. If you’d like to island hop, consider ten to fourteen days.
How you get around the Bahamas will vary from island to island. New Providence and Grand Bahama have a network of local buses (jitneys), whereas smaller islands rely on taxis. Getting between islands can be difficult, although there are some ferries and water taxis that make the shorter trips (for example, between New Providence and Paradise Island). Bahama Ferries run services between Nassau and some of the other popular islands, such as Eleuthera, Abdros, Harbour Island and the Exumas.
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