Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime family holiday filled with heaps of adventure, beautiful settings and plenty of relaxation? You may want to start planning a trip to Barbados.
The Caribbean island has plenty of family-friendly hotels (complete with children’s clubs), activities sure to be a hit with kids of all ages, and some unforgettable adventures from zip lining to kite surfing.
Of course, there’s also plenty of rest and relaxation to be had – 2019 is the Year of Wellness and Soft Adventure after all.
From days out on those picture-perfect white sand beaches and turquoise seas, to leisurely tours of the island and a brilliant foodie scene, you’ll have ample opportunity to indulge.
There’s so much on offer, so we’ve teamed up with Visit Barbados for an insider’s guide on how to make the most of a family holiday on the island.
Check out the best seven family-friendly activities for a perfect winter sun getaway below…
An adventure sure to be a hit with parents and kids alike, these guided tours will take you through the gullies, forests, remote bays and roads where you can discover some of the island’s best hidden secrets.
The fleet of 4×4 Land Rovers mean that you’ll be able to reach spots usually inaccessible to ordinary vehicles, while the guides are on hand with heaps of fun facts so you can fully immerse yourself in the history and culture.
2. The beaches
Barbados is renowned for its picture-perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters, so it’s no surprise that families have a plethora of choice for an idyllic day out along the coast.
The western side of Barbados, where you’ll find many hotels, boasts shores that are perfect for swimmers and sunbathers – Mullins Beach, Church Point and Paynes Bay are particularly popular, while Needham’s Point and Dover Beach are among the best for snorkeling.
Crane Beach is also a must-visit with its pink sands, beautiful waters and eye-catching cliffs and dunes.
3. Horse Riding
Horse riding can be a fun and unique way of exploring the island, and Barbados has trail rides through dense forests or along white sand beaches, depending on what you want to explore.
(Not to mention it’s the perfect opportunity to get some once-in-a-lifetime family photos!)
The riding centres cater to everyone from beginners to serious equestrians, and there are small intimate groups led by professional guides to point out the island’s highlights along the way.
Barbados offers some of the best hiking in the Caribbean, with plenty of gentle trails and walking routes that the kids can handle too.
A walking tour can be one of the best ways to discover the beauty of the landscape from the lush forests to the flawless beaches, while also learning about the rich culture and fascinating history here.
The most popular hiking in Barbados is offered by Hike Barbados, a group sponsored by the Barbados National Trust.
Barbados boasts a unique identity thanks to its roots in England, Africa and the West Indies, which come to life in its customs, traditions and values.
Head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown and you’ll get a taste of the diverse culture.
A treasure trove of experiences, Bridgetown is also home to the Barbados Museum with fascinating exhibits charting the island’s history from its earliest inhabitants to present day.
If you’re after the best surf spots in the world, the Caribbean delivers.
In fact, Barbados boasts swells driving waves toward the island from all directions, so you can surf throughout the year.
Ideal for families with older children and teenagers, a surf lesson can make for an adrenaline-filled few hours and the island’s dreamy conditions mean you can try your hand at everything from boogie boarding to kite surfing.
Beginners should head to the likes of Freights Bay, Pebbles and Surfer Points, while more experienced surfers may want to take on the waves at spots like Fryers Well and Mullins.
7. We Gatherin’
Get ready for fun-filled family days out at this celebration of all things Barbados!
We Gatherin’ is an island-wide festival kicking off in the north of the island in January 2020, where each local parish will be able to showcase the best of its icons, social life and food.
The festival will move southward each month, and the parish celebrations will culminate in the parish of St Michael in November, followed by an elaborate island-wide ‘old time Bajan Christmas’ extravaganza in December.
You can find out more and plan your perfect cultural getaway on the Visit Barbados website.
We’ve also got a guide to Barbados for couples, top tips for foodies including best local dishes, a round-up of the best adventures on the island for travel inspiration, and the top history and culture spots not to miss.