Harbour Island Day Away
Duration: Half Day
A holiday in the Caribbean conjures up images of white sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms and clear turquoise waters, and the Bahamas is no exception. Despite being part of the Caribbean, however, this tropical archipelago is actually located in the Atlantic Ocean, extending more than 650 miles from the eastern coast of Florida to the southeastern tip of Cuba.
There are over 2000 cays and 700 beautiful islands to discover here, including numerous Out Islands, which comprise all of the Bahamas except the major islands of New Providence, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama. One of the most famous of these Out Islands is the beautiful Harbour Island, located off Eleuthera Island’s north coast.
Aside from its stunning natural beauty, Harbour Island is renowned for its unique, three-mile-long pink sandy beach, which runs along the east side of this small island. This beach has been rated as the best in the Bahamas by many visitors, travel companies and guides, and it’s not hard to see why. Protected by coral reef, the alluring clear turquoise waters provide one of the safest swimming and snorkelling spots in the Bahamas.
Combined with the sweeping pink sands, you can’t get much closer to paradise. You may be wondering why the sand here is pink, but it’s no big mystery. Surprisingly, the pink sand doesn’t come from the coral, but from the red and pink shells of microscopic coral insects called Foraminifera, which live underneath the reefs and on the sea floor – thus creating a soft carpet of pastel pink as they are washed up with the white sand on shore.
Aside from the beaches, there are numerous historical landmarks to discover whilst you are on the island. Explore the historic Dunmore Town, one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas and the first capital. Over 300 years old, this quaint town is a delight to walk around with its tropical flowers, narrow streets and picturesque, colonial architecture.
You will notice a unique blend of both New England and Caribbean architectural styles here, evident in the pastel-coloured clapboard houses and charming white picket fences. Visit the "Hill Steps," which were cut out of solid rock by convicts in the 17th century, and discover “Titus Hole”, an open-mouthed cave overlooking the harbour, which is believed to have been the first jail on Harbour Island. The churches here are also worth visiting, including St. John’s Anglican Church and the Wesley Methodist Church, as well as the Loyalist Cottage, the home of an original island settler.
A day trip to Harbour Island should be at the top of your list during your holiday in the Bahamas, so don’t leave without discovering this Caribbean gem. An island tour of Harbour Island by golf cart is included in the tour, as well as lunch, free time to visit the beach and hotel transfers.
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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.