A treasure trove of experiences awaits for those who are eager to explore.
With its spectacular beaches, preserved colonial architecture and rich British and maritime heritage, Bermuda packs an impressive array of sights into its 21 square miles. And deciding how to tackle all there is to see here is likely to be your only vacation stressor. But thanks to the island’s diminutive size and convenient public transport, scooter rental and taxi services, it’s easy to buzz around Bermuda and hit many of the best-loved attractions during even a short stay.
Go back in history with a walk along the cobbled streets of St. George’s, explore the walls and towers of Bermuda’s more than 90 historic forts, snorkel amongst colourful parrot fish in a quiet cove or just go for a sunset stroll along a pink-sand beach. Whether your itinerary is chock-full of activities or more relaxed and mellow, it’s all about making the most of your time in a destination that’s delightfully far from ordinary.
Whilst there are no booming metropolises in Bermuda, the island does have three main “urban” areas worthy of a visit. Start by diving into the island’s fascinating history with a sightseeing tour of St. George’s, located on the far eastern tip of Bermuda, where a townscape of traditional merchant homes with lime-washed roofs make for postcard scenery in UNESCO-protected surrounds.
St. George’s traces its roots back to 1609, when the Sea Venture wrecked just offshore, bringing the first settlers to Bermuda. St. Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell, right near downtown’s main square, is the most important historical sight in St. George’s. The church dates to 1612 (rebuilt in 1713 after the original structure was destroyed in a hurricane) and is considered the oldest Anglican church in continual use in the Western Hemisphere. Be sure to walk through the surrounding cemetery to read interesting epitaphs on crumbling tombstones that pay homage to early settlers, then make the short walk uphill to see the Unfinished Church, a magnificent Gothic structure that was built (but never finished) in the 1870s to replace St. Peter’s Church.
Just 10 miles away, Hamilton — Bermuda’s capital since 1815 and the island’s financial centre — is the place to go for shopping or café-hopping with the island’s international populace along Front Street and Reid Street. The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in Hamilton offers a (dry!) look under the seas, with activities and exhibits for all ages and the chance to see some fascinating artefacts recovered from Bermuda’s many shipwrecks. And you can catch a ferry from Hamilton to reach Bermuda’s far West End and Royal Naval Dockyard (aka Dockyard), where you can visit the National Museum of Bermuda, head out on a Jet Ski tour from Snorkel Park Beach or the Dockyard Watersports Centre, or indulge in some tax-free shopping at The Bermuda Craft Market, Dockyard Glassworks and Clocktower Mall.