For its size, just 21-square-miles, from tip to tip, Bermuda packs in a huge range of adventures. And whether you’re looking to tap your inner thrill-seeker or prefer to dive into the defining cultural highlights of this unique destination, it’s up to you to pick your own Bermuda adventure.
Travelers who love to get out on the water will naturally find so much to explore, as the ocean is intrinsic to everything in Bermuda. But you might be surprised to learn just how much there is to see and do here on dry land, too. And the manner in which you set out exploring the island can be as low-key or energetic as you like.
Sailing is Bermuda’s lifeblood and has played a role in the country since its founding. Great Sound is the most idyllic spot to venture out onto the turquoise water and test the fair winds. Book a sunset cruise or private sailboat charter, or simply paddle out on a kayak to navigate these near perfect waters that are naturally protected by land on three sides.
Anglers can spend a day fishing the island’s nearshore reefs aboard the Ellen B with Baxter’s Reef Fishing. The intimate six-passenger charter provides everything you need to enjoy an afternoon casting out a line for hogfish, bonefish and other inshore species. Let the crew clean, filet and pack your catch so you can give it the chef-preparation at an island restaurant.
One of the best ways to take in a varied view of the island over the course of an afternoon (and burn some calories, too!) is to plan an adventure along the Bermuda Railway Trail. The 18 miles of pathways were used by the national railway between 1931 and 1948, and have been designated a recreation area for pedestrians and cyclists since 1984. Bermudians and visitors alike head out for a stroll or run on the trail. And you can rent a bicycle, too, to cover even more terrain. The route winds through some of Bermuda’s most picturesque landscapes between St. George’s, on the island’s eastern end, and along the scenic northern shore to Somerset, in the west.
Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, on the southeastern tip of Bermuda, is another special place. Here, woodlands are surrounded by water on all sides and walking trails lead through unspoiled forest areas to the beach and lookouts, with views of Castle Harbour and beyond. Pack a lunch to spend your day picnicking and swimming or stroll along a boardwalk through a salt marsh to take in some of Bermuda’s best birdwatching.
And for the island’s most spectacular on-high views (no airplane required), climb 185 steps up the spiraling staircase at Gibbs’ Hill Lighthouse. It dates back to 1846 and is one of only two cast-iron lighthouses still in existence. Sweeping views of the South Shore and Little Sound await from your perch some 117 feet up. And when you make your way back down to the ground, you can pause for pizza or some fresh seafood at the cozy onsite restaurant, The Dining Room, inside the former lighthouse keeper’s cottage.
For all its inspiring vistas, it’s no surprise that Bermuda has an artistic side, too. The island delivers with impressive collections at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, which is set within the beautiful Bermuda Botanical Gardens and dedicated to works by Bermudian artists. And at the Bermuda National Gallery, located within Hamilton’s City Hall, admire the collection of European paintings and African masks as well as sculptures, photography and rotating exhibitions.
Some of the best history-inspired adventures on the island can be found in the quaint Town of St. George, which dates to 1612. Bermuda’s first English settlement, it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can step back in time while wandering the narrow lanes on foot or opting for a horse-drawn tour. The clack of hooves is the soundtrack as you set out from King’s Square with Bronco Stables Horse and Carriage Co. on a horse-drawn carriage ride past some of the island’s most beautiful views and historic landmarks. The tour takes in the Unfinished Church, a beautiful edifice that dates to the 1870s and was left unfinished, and Somers Garden, a favorite green space dedicated to the founder of Bermuda where locals love to stroll. And the highlight comes when you arrive at Gates Fort to enjoy views of Town Cut and St. George Harbor.
In Bermuda, you see, adventure comes calling by many different names. It’s up to you to find the fun that best suits your travel style.