Horseshoe Bay beach, Bermuda, Central America
Michael DeFreitas/age fotostock
Bermuda’s most famous beach sits on the island’s south coast, in the parish of Southampton. In the summer, Horseshoe Bay is the number one destination for many visitors to Bermuda, drawn by the crescent of pink sand and clear blue water. In the winter, however, visiting the bay has a different appeal. Mike heads there most mornings to start his day with a walk along the sea accompanied by his dog, Harley. “While in the summer this is one of the island’s most popular beaches,” Mike says. “In winter, it’s all mine. There are a few joggers and maybe some paddle boarders but it’s a very quiet place. It’s like having your own private beach though one that’s massive and gorgeous.” Photo by Robyn Fleming, https://flic.kr/p/5WqJXz
Horseshoe Bay Beach for Snorkelers and Shutterbugs
When you see a photo of a Bermuda beach, it is probably Horseshoe Bay. Loved by snorkelers, swimmers, and shutterbugs, Horseshoe Bay is backed by limestone cliffs and fronted by coral reefs and crystal clear water rushing up to meet a horseshoe-shaped shoreline. Located in Southampton Parish on Bermuda’s South Shore, the large reef system allows snorkelers to get up close and personal with colorful fish and other sea life. In addition to the obvious natural beauty of the beach, the outdoor concerts, special events, beach volleyball, and kite competitions make Horseshoe Bay one of the most popular beaches on the island. Families with small children will appreciate the lifeguards, snack bar, gear rental, and changing room facilities. Horseshoe Baby Beach is just a walk away. This sheltered tidal pool is enclosed by protective rocks and offers a shallow and calm spot for the little ones. South Shore Park is also nearby for impromptu picnics. Horseshoe Bay Beach has been ranked among the Top 10 Beaches in the World by TripAdvisor.
Beauty at the Beach
Cliffs and coves, perfectly pink sand, and sparkling blue water put Bermuda’s beaches among the most beautiful in the world. Horseshoe Bay Beach is a crescent-shaped stretch of salmon-shaded sand bordered by gentle waves in tropical shades of aqua, turquoise, and sapphire. Beautiful offshore rock formations rise from the water at Tobacco Bay Beach while graceful palm trees, nearby reefs, and colorful tropical fish make John Smith’s Bay the subject of many photo sessions. Massive cliffs and boulders punctuate the coastline and create shallow pools at Jobson’s Cove. The elongated coastline of Warwick Long Bay is backed by the green of tropical trees and shrubs.
Horseshoe Bay Beach
This horseshoe-shaped strand of pink sand on the southwest coast is the archipelago’s most photographed—and with good reason. The sight of the blush-hued sands set between the ocean and rugged cliffs is spectacular. Chairs and snorkeling gear are available for rent; there’s also a well-priced beachside café. A walking trail winds over the dunes to neighboring coves.
Exploring the Nooks and Crannies of Horseshoe Bay Beach
Horseshoe Bay Beach is justifiably famous: a crescent of fine, pink-hued-if-you-squint-hard-enough sand kissing the impossibly turquoise-colored water; it’s easy to see why TripAdvisor has rated the beach among the top ten of the world. If, however, you’re looking for more from your beach than mere picture-postcard perfection, check out the eastern end. A profusion of large limestone rocks, tilted and twisted and generally battered by the elements, creates a series of small coves, nooks, and crannies, whose character and geometry—and very existence—ebb and flow with the tide. They are atmospheric and great fun to explore, and on a quiet day you’re bound to find one to claim as your own. And those times when the cruise ships are in port and it feels as though Bermuda is being invaded, you may even be able to escape the crowds, at least for a little while.
Walk from Horseshoe Bay to Warwick Long Bay
As well as a swath of perfect, powdery sand and a series of enticing nooks and crannies, the other thing Horseshoe Bay has going for it is that you can so easily walk to Warwick Long Bay. At the east end of the beach find the sandy track that leads through the scrubby dunes of South Shore Park. It’s a pleasant and mostly flat route, popular with strollers and joggers, and it’s impossible to get lost—just keep the ocean on your right (South Shore Road is on your left, though you only get the occasional glimpse). Although the distance is only about a mile, it can take some time to cover, depending on how curious you are: The view continually opens out to present you with yet another alluring beach or cove to explore, should you wish to scramble down. Jobson’s Cove is particularly pretty, and far less crowded than Horseshoe Bay, even though it’s so close. Just past Jobson’s Cove is Warwick Long Bay, whose west end is marked by two large boulders in the water. This beach is not a perfect crescent in the same way Horseshoe Bay is, but the sand is noticeably pinker. In fact, the sand gets pinker the further west of Horseshoe Bay you go, and at Warwick Long Bay it might even deserve the famous “pink” appellation. There’s a reef just off shore, public restrooms, and refreshments available during high season. Once you’ve had your fill, either return the way you came, or find one of the trails that lead back up from the beach to the road.