Barbados Beaches

Dover Beach

Christ Church, Barbados

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

Known for its stunning beaches, Barbados boasts a vast array of features, but its main claim to fame is the best rum in the world (Cockspur Five-Star is famous!).

(click image to enlarge)
image courtesy of Cat Delaney
  • Where is it?south shore of the island of Barbados on the St. Lawrence Gap, off the Caribbean Sea
  • Coordinates: latitude» 13.0667°
    longitude» -59.5694°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: developed areas; resort strip near small towns
  • Length of Beach:
  • Type: white sand
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The south coast of Barbados, where Dover Beach is situated, is dramatically different from the eastern shore that borders the Atlantic Ocean; the east coast is rugged, and great for a day trip to watch blowholes spurt and fantastic waves smash rocks, shooting 50 feet or more into the air. The west coast also faces the Caribbean Sea, but its beaches are not quite as pure white and finely sandy as the south.

One of the oldest established resort islands in the Caribbean, Barbados is seriously geared to tourism and yet retains its individual dignity as a pleasant island with good government and hard-working people. This is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

The Bajans have been distilling rum from home-grown sugar cane for 350 years! No small wonder, then, that the coast is littered with shipwrecks, some of them hundreds of years old, when pirates and traders came to Barbados for rum and sugar, and perhaps a frolic in the Dover Beach surf. Some of the shipwrecks are in shallow enough waters that tourists can explore them with a snorkel or in a glass-bottom boat.

Dover Beach straddles a long swath of connected beaches dotted with kiosks, stalls and tents that offer sunglasses, beach sports rental equipment, suntan lotion, refreshments and locally made jewelry. It is also home to several excellent hotels like the Dover Beach Resort and the Southern Palms Beach Club. Countless people have found this beach to be beautiful enough to stage their weddings on it and retain it in memory forever.

Barbados has 60 beaches over the course of 70 miles (113 kilometers) of coastline beach areas, and boasts 3,000 hours of sunshine per annum. The weather is almost always gorgeous here. The terrain is varied, ensuring there are a variety of things to do. Itís a great idea to rent a small car, jeep or moke (looks much like a golf cart) and spend a few days day-tripping, even though the beach is a siren for sunbathing and swimming.

Try exploring Harrisonís Caves, where crashing waterfalls and streams are all underground in the crystallized limestone caverns. Visit banana and sugar plantations, museums and some of the countryís delightful tiny churches. Or catch a cricket match in the best of English tradition, an undercurrent of one aspect of the Bajan culture.

One of the best outings is a sail on The Jolly Roger, a pirate ship replica and with an excellent rum punch as your welcome drink! The ship sails regularly from the harbor in the capital city, Bridgetown. Swing off the rope and jump into the bright turquoise waters when the ship anchors off shore for lunch, or maybe your idea of a diving board is walking the plank!

Ultimately, on Dover Beach itís about playing on the beach and in the water. Here you can participate in Hobie Cat sailing, jet-skiing, boogieboarding, windsurfing and kite-surfing. Or just stretch out in your beach chaise longue and sip a fruity cocktail if building a sandcastle sounds too much like work!

Barbados is many things and varied, but there are no surprises here. Count on great weather, clean, white beaches (Dover Beach is the perfect example), fine dining and great people who love their beautiful island and its beaches.

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