The 35th America’s Cup takes place off the shores of Bermuda in June making it a top destination to watch in ABTA’s 2017 travel trends report.
Nikki White, ABTA’s Director of Destinations and Sustainability who has had a Bermudian penfriend growing up, gives her top island insights and best holiday memories.
What attracted you to visit Bermuda?
I visited Bermuda last September with the family to see my old penfriend. Her family relocated there and we met on a flight to Florida, in our teens, that used to touch down in Bermuda. We have kept in touch ever since.
Where did you stay?
We went back for a special occasion and stayed at Cambridge Beaches hotel.
Was the weather good in September?
The September climate was lovely as it is cooler than the warmer summer months, and still warm enough for swimming in the sea and summer clothes.
What did you find interesting about Bermuda?
I think the size and shape of Bermuda is very interesting because it forces you to relax and go with the flow. Being only 24 miles (40km) long and one mile wide, the island is very small and thin. The Bermudian lifestyle is very relaxed so we spent the holiday visiting the main town Hamilton or on the water, sailing and paddle boarding.
When you visited, what was your favourite holiday memory?
Bermuda is great for sailing. We hired a boat and anchored off near Paget, but just about every area of Bermuda has a harbour. We left in the morning and spent the whole day on the boat. We took lunch with us, and went swimming and snorkelling off the back of the boat.
What do you like most about Bermuda?
I love being by the water in Bermuda. One evening we went for a meal in a hotel on the beach in Somerset and then we decided to go paddling in the shallow waters. Many of the beaches in Bermuda stretch out for a mile or so and you can paddle up to your knees- great for sun tanning. Paddle boarding is also popular and it is a relaxing activity when the waters are calm.
Bermuda is also very colourful. There are pink coral sands, rows of painted houses, wild flora and fauna including varieties of hibiscus flowers and protected wildlife areas. The sunrises and sunsets are also unbelievable and I came home with reels of landscape pictures.
Would you recommend visiting any tourist sites?
Bermuda’s nautical history means it has a couple of interesting landmarks. My friend took us up to Gibbs Hills Light House one evening, which has fantastic views over the island. It is possible to walk up to the lighthouse but you have to ask your hotel for the best route. It also has 185 steps up and it costs $2.50.
The Royal Naval Dockyard, is where the cruise ships dock so it is popular for cafes, retail and craft shops. It will also be the epicentre for the America’s Cup this year.
Did you need to hire a car on the island?
Because the island is so small, we only hired a car once in our 10-day holiday. We were lucky to have friends to take us around and we chose to walk and cycle as much as possible.
What activities would you recommend doing on the island?
We enjoyed cycling along the scenic old 18-mile long old railway line. The track goes between St George at the eastern end of the island, through the central parishes including the city of Hamilton and all the way up to Somerset at the western end. The trail goes through woodland, past parishes and along the north shore so the scenery is beautiful.
What food did you eat?
Bermuda is great for seafood and I would highly recommend trying simple grilled fish dishes.
One last thing?
Bermuda is fantastic for golfers, if you like that kind of thing.