9 Great Sporting Activities To Do In Barbados
When it comes to sports, Barbados has something for everyone, providing an eclectic mix of land-based and water-based activities. There’s plenty of opportunity for gentle exercise like swimming and hiking or, if you’re more of a thrill seeker, you can surf the big waves of the Atlantic or go full gallop on the polo pitch. Alternatively, you can spectate at the islands many sporting events. Whatever it is that takes your fancy, here are some of the best sporting activities Barbados has to offer.
If you prefer hitting your ball a little further and chasing after it in a more leisurely fashion, you are spoilt for choice in Barbados. The island has six 18-hole golf courses and all of them have a good pedigree. These include the Country Club course which hosted the 2006 World Golf Championships World Cup, Apes Hill, the Barbados Golf Club and the stunning, Robert Trent Jones Jnr. designed, Royal Westmoreland.
If you are new to the sport or want to improve your swing, most golf clubs offer lessons with professional golfers.
Cricket is a source of national pride in Barbados and the island has produced some of the greatest players in Test Cricket, most notably the ‘four sirs’, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Frank Worrell who all played for the West Indies, or Windies as it is now known.
You’ll see well-kept cricket pitches all over the island and, during the months of May to December, there’ll be plenty of action taking place at the local matches if you want to go and watch. For bigger games featuring Barbados or the Windies, keep an eye out for fixtures at the Kensington Oval, the home of the Barbados’ national team near the capital, Bridgetown.
For younger enthusiasts, there are also a number of cricket academies offering summer schools to help sharpen up those bowling, batting and catching skills.
Barbados is ideal for joggers, from flat beach runs to more challenging hilly routes there is no lack of options of where to go on your daily run. What’s more, whichever route you choose, you’ll be amazed by the delightful views the island has to offer. If you don’t know the island, check out the running routes posted by locals on the WalkJogRun website.
If you are a more serious runner, you can perhaps join in in the regular 5K and 10K races which take place or even sign yourself up for the Barbados Marathon which takes place in December.
A word of caution, though. Running is best done in the early morning before the sun gets too hot, and always take water with you.
4. Water Sports
The island’s position in the Caribbean means the waters to the east and west side of Barbados are different. On the west coast, facing away from the Atlantic, the sea is generally calmer and the waves smaller. This makes it the best place for activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, jet-skiing and parasailing. You’ll find plenty of resorts and private operators offering these fun sports up and down the coast.
Further south the wind, waves and the water sports get a little more energetic. The south of the island has the best conditions for wind and kite-surfing, particularly around South Point.
Once you start heading east, you’re on the Atlantic coast which produces the perfect waves for surfing. When the waves are particularly high, you’ll sometimes see some of the world’s top surfers turning up to ride the biggest rollers.
During the hot Caribbean days, there’s nothing better than cooling off in the water. Every resort and hotel will have a pool, sometimes several of them. There’ll be pools which you can exercise in, some with dip and sip bars where you can enjoy an iced drink, and plenty of places for the children to splash around in.
For a completely different experience, however, there is always the sea. The best place to swim on Barbados is off the calm west coast, and it’s here where the true magic of the Barbados coast can be found. Put on a snorkelling mask, stick your head under the water and you’ll be able to see the amazing sea life that the island has to offer. A Little further out, there are coral reefs with tropical fish, turtles and even majestic manta rays. Head for Folkestone for some of the best snorkelling.
If you want to get up close and personal with the sea life, take a diving trip. Here you can swim among the reefs and see the stunning corals, fish, octopuses, seahorses and other creatures at close quarters. Remember to take an underwater camera with you if you do.
Head to Carlisle Bay if you fancy diving amongst the shipwrecks. There are half a dozen wrecks in close proximity off the shore and there are several diving operators that will take you out to explore.
Fun and exhilarating, polo is a popular sport on Barbados and attracts visiting players from around the world. Even Prince Harry has played there. The island has four polo pitches, mainly based on the west coast, and it is possible to hire horses and facilities to play or even take lessons if you want to learn. Alternatively, you can sit in the sunshine and spectate at one of the thrilling matches that take place.
For those who like to get moving on wheels, there are a number of activities available to help you discover the island. These include the seat-gripping jeep safaris in the steeper climbs of the Scotland District and the more tranquil hoverboard trips through the island’s stunning interior. If the track is more your thing, you can always take pole position at the Bushy Park go-karting circuit.
Fishing is a popular activity on Barbados and there is the opportunity to cast your line onshore and offshore. The coastal waters are great for shore-based fly-fishing and it’s a great way to spend a relaxing day catching some of the unusual species that live in the warm waters.
For catching the bigger fish, however, it’s best to take a boat and sail to the deeper reefs. Here you’ll find the more challenging catches, such as marlin and tuna. You can charter yachts for a full or half-day with fishing tackle and bait included in the price.
If these great activities tempt you to pay us a visit in Barbados, check out the superb apartments and villas here at the Royal Westmoreland.