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A cocktail of swaying coconut palms, sugar-soft sands and calm turquoise waters, holidays to Barbados are the stuff of glossy mags and smug holiday postcards.
High glamour rules the Caribbean west coast, where swanky Barbados all-inclusive resorts and private villas ooze sophistication next to dreamy white sands and gentle seas. If you're after some serious pampering, it's the place to be.
The wind-battered Atlantic east coast is a different story, with steeps cliffs and roaring waves that draw flocks of surfers, boogie boarders and water-sporters from all across the globe.
What's more, holidays in Barbados are almost like visiting a tropical home-from-home. A former British colony, afternoon tea and village cricket are island institutions from days of old. There's even a Kensington Oval, where locals cheer on their team with an ear-pounding mixture cymbals, conch shells and tin cans. Once dubbed Little England, it's paradise with proper tea - what could possibly be better?
If you're up to wrenching yourself off the beach for an hour or two, there's far more to Barbados holidays than sun, sea and sand. The edges are undeniably gorgeous, but heading inland you'll get a totally different take on Bajan scenery.
Here you'll find a staggeringly beautiful patchwork of sugar cane plantations, lush gullies and underground caves complete with tumbling waterfalls. The island is just 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, making it a breeze to get out and explore.
Bajan culture is lively, colourful and Caribbean through and through. With big smiles, warm hearts and high spirits, the locals are larger than life. Tap your feet to the kettle drums and penny whistles of a traditional tuk band, feast on a mind-boggling assortment of seafood fresh off the fishing boat and visit the local rum distilleries for a tipsy tour of island history. There are all kinds of things to get up to on a Barbados holiday. Dive straight in.
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