Nassau and Paradise Island Sightseeing
Duration: Half Day
One of the best ways to explore Nassau and Paradise Island during your holiday in the Bahamas is from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus – or even a private limousine. But for something even more special, why not treat yourself to a bird’s eye view of the stunning neighbouring islands by helicopter. Just select the sightseeing excursion that appeals to you most.
Extending more than 650 miles from the eastern coast of Florida to the south-eastern tip of Cuba, the Bahamas is a paradise archipelago comprising over 2000 cays and 700 islands. Nassau is the capital of the country and the commercial centre, located on the north-eastern edge of New Providence Island. Steeped in history, some of the most interesting historical buildings in the Bahamas can be found here, including colonial mansions, gothic cathedrals and ancient fortresses.
Some of the tour highlights include The Queen's Staircase (also known as the 66 Steps) which leads up to Fort Fincastle, a tiny castle built by Lord Dunmore at the end of the 18th century. The views form the top are spectacular. The 18th century Fort Charlotte, the largest fort in the Bahamas, is another popular tourist attraction, famous for its open battlements, moat and dungeons. Other buildings and areas of interest in Nassau include Parliament Square, Government House, the Water Tower, the majestic Christ Church Cathedral, Gregory Arch and Vendue House, once a marketplace where slaves were bought and sold.
One of the best ways to explore the heart of the city is by taking a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around Downtown Nassau. This part of the city is famous for its bustling Straw Market, which sells a variety of beautiful arts and crafts, as well as duty-free shops, jewellery stores and a good selection of restaurants – all aimed at the hoards of cruise ship passengers that arrive on the island every week.
After the city tour we travel a few miles west of Nassau to Cable Beach, one of the most popular beaches on the island. Over two miles of pristine white sands are lined with a fine collection of luxury hotels and resorts, in addition to gourmet restaurants, bars, stylish shops and the largest casino in the Caribbean. Aside from its crystal clear waters, the beach is particularly popular for water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and sport fishing.
We travel onwards across the bridge to Paradise Island, which is connected to New Providence Island by two bridges across Nassau harbour. Boasting glorious powdery white-sand beaches, excellent water sports facilities, an 18-hole golf course, shops, markets, restaurants and casinos, Paradise Island is one of the most glamorous resort centres in the world. If you explore the islands by helicopter you can see exactly what they have to offer by air whilst enjoying spectacular views of the stunning coastline and sparkling turquoise ocean.
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The Bahamas was awarded the title of "Leading Luxury Destination of the Caribbean” at the prestigious World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony 2016. The tropical archipelago nation scooped the award for the second year in a row at the glamorous regional ceremony which was held last month at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica.
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Sandals Resorts International has announced that the re-opening of Sandals Royal Bahamian will be postponed until 25th October, 2016. The hotel in Nassau was scheduled to open on 14th October, but damage from the hurricane has added extra work. Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma was also damaged and will remain closed until 15th December, 2016.
The failed Baha Bar mega resort in the Bahamas has been given a new lease of life after the Bahamas government and the Export-Import Bank of China recently signed an agreement. The contract states that construction of the resort will be completed and then sold to a "world-class" hotel group. Construction is scheduled to start in September and the new resort could open before the end of the 2016/2017 high season.