The Islands Of The Bahamas with their famous pink sands and turquoise sea are home to 16 main islands and thousands of cays and islets which offer of diverse experiences. Here we pick out ten of the best.
1. Bahamian People-to-People afternoon tea
In Nassau have afternoon tea and imposing Government House, the official residence of The Governor of The Bahamas. On the last Friday of the month the Bahamian People-to-People programme offers complimentary afternoon tea with a fashion show, live music and shuttle transfer, providing luxury and colonial for no charge.
2. Bahama Barrels: blend-your-own experience
The luxurious 18th century Graycliff is a Nassau institution and has recently introduced a range of experiences including Bahama Barrels, where you learn to blend your own in the oldest Church in the Bahamas (across the road from the main). Guided by Jason, a Californian, you learn all about production, grapes and tasting. The experience concludes when you blend, name and bottle your very own bottle to take home.
3. Island Hopping – Harbour Island or Eleuthera
Take a day trip from Nassau to Harbour Island or Eleuthera with Bahamas Ferries and navigate between the islands. Harbour Island is famous for its miles of candy-floss pink sand and celebrity guests, whereas Eleuthera has sweet pineapple farms dotting the landscape and ideal conditions for surfing on the Atlantic side. And if you fancy staying on the island, try glamping at The Other Side, a collection of luxury tents overlooking the ocean.
4. Meet the Dolphins at Blue Lagoon
Just three miles from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island, also known as Salt Cay, has water sports including paddle boarding and water bikes, as well as dolphins and sea lions. Visitors can swim with the animals and spend the day relaxing on a tranquil beach. It’s a great family day out.
5. Dive with Hammered Sharks
The iconic hammerhead sharks can be seen in The Out Island of Bimini from December to April. The Bahamas was made a shark sanctuary, making sharks illegal and shark tourism has flourished. Diving with the hammerhead sharks is an unforgettable adventure as the huge creatures swim around you and come within an arm’s length.
6. Swim with Pigs
The swimming pigs of The Exumas have become world famous but they can also be spotted on other islands including The Abacos. It is an incongruous but fascinating thing to see entire families of pigs running along a tropical beach in the sunshine and trotting into the water for a refreshing swim. Visitors can join them in the sea for dip when the pigs swim up for any free carrots.
7. Sail and dive in Abaco Islands
The 120-mile–long chain of The Abacos is ideal for boating and sailing. Book a day trip with Brendal, who has run the dive centre on Green Turtle Cay. He will regale you with tall tales while showing you how to feed rays by placing bits of fish between your toes. Stop for snorkelling before a lunch on a deserted beach with fresh fish and lobster prepared by Brendal himself.
Or sea dogs can hire a boat for the day and make their own tour around the coast stopping at uninhabited cays or the historic New Plymouth with its colourful 18th century buildings.