Bottom Bay

Beginning just south of Ragged Point, the string of beaches on the southeast coast starts at Bottom Bay, 7 km east of Six Cross Roads via Highway 5, and 800 m from the highway down a turning at Apple Hall (buses can drop at this junction).

This has to be the most beautiful beach in Barbados and one of the best in the Caribbean. What is more, it is often deserted, even in high season, but even with a few couples on the beach you will feel as though you’ve got the place to yourself. Steep cliffs surround the small bay and the sand is a glorious pale coral pink. You can park on the clifftop and then walk down steps carved between the cliffs on to a huge expanse of sand, where a clump of palm trees grows in true holiday brochure fashion. Sometimes there are boys on the beach who will offer to climb up to get coconuts down for you to drink the cool milk.

There is a little hut under the coconut palms where you can usually hire sun loungers and umbrellas, but it is not always open mid-week or in low season. The only shade is under the palm trees or the cliffs, but with few other people around, that is usually plenty. The sea is often rough with quite big waves, better for jumping and splashing about than swimming. This area is becoming a popular part of the island to live in, and many new homes are being built on the clifftops.

While there are no hotels in Bottom Bay, some places are available as holiday rentals. A short walk south along the cliff from Bottom Bay overlooking Cave Bay are the ruins of Harrismith plantation house that was built in 1920 and was once a hotel. You can park near this building; a long flight of stone steps carved into the cliff leads down to the beach. Also known as Harrismith Beach, Cave Bay has no facilities, and the strip of sand is narrower than that at Bottom Bay but palm trees grow behind the beach for shade and there is a lagoon formed by a reef, which gives protection for bathers.