The Pink-Sand Beaches of Bermuda
Bermuda’s shoreline is known for its carpet of soft pink sand that ranges in color from blush to coral. Created by tiny broken seashells mixed with soft white sand, the delicate hues of Bermuda’s beaches are complemented by turquoise waves and rugged boulders. From secluded strands to popular spots with lots of people watching, Bermuda’s pink sand coastline offers a beach for everybody.
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
Church Bay, Bermuda
Nearby reefs and big boulders keep Bermuda’s beaches calm and colorful for snorkelers and swimmers. Both Tobacco Bay & Church Bay offer great snorkeling conditions along beautiful shorelines. With one in the east and the other in the west, you could combine a day of snorkeling and sunrise/sunset viewing. Tobacco Bay is located on the northeastern side of the island near St. George. This small cove of calm water protects a variety of parrot, clown, and other tropical fish. Tobacco Bay has a snack bar and equipment rentals, restrooms, showers, and changing rooms. When you tire of swimming with the fishes, dry off with a short walk to the historic site of Fort St. Catherine. Its eastern location makes Tobacco Bay a prime sunrise spot. Located along the island’s western side in Southampton, Church Bay is a local favorite for snorkeling. Tucked into a small cove within cliffs of coral, the reefs are close to shore and offer lots of small hiding spaces in which to discover tropical sea life. Just watch out for the jellyfish. Youngsters will enjoy exploring the tidal pools formed by the many rocks. Forget to pack your snorkeling gear? No problem. You can rent equipment from Church Bay Beach Rentals during the summer months. Sunset seekers should not miss this beach.
West Whale Bay, Bermuda
Beaches in Bermuda range from popular, people-watching spots to secluded and serene strands. When it’s time to get away from it all, consider heading to one of these small and secluded, yet incredibly scenic, strips of sand. West Whale Bay Beach, in Southampton Parish, gets its name from, interestingly enough, actual whales. In March and April migrating whales can be seen from its shores. The water is pretty shallow at low tide, and you can float far out into the sapphire sea and enjoy the coral reefs. Whale Bay is one of those off-the-beaten-path Bermuda beaches – you must trek across a field and navigate a rather large rock formation - but once you see the view, you’ll be happy you took the extra effort to find it. For the ultimate in seclusion and romance, go at sunset. Two adjoining beaches on the South Shore, Chaplin Bay and Stonehole Bay, are so small they often disappear at high tide. East of Horseshoe Bay, they back up to the grassy green of South Shore Park. Limestone rock formations stretch across the pink beach, and the shoreline can be quite rocky. Check out the sunset scene and don’t forget your water shoes.
Cooper's Island Road
Along with the beautiful scenery, parents will appreciate the many amenities that make Bermuda’s beaches the perfect place for beach bums of all ages. Lifeguards, gentle water, and nearby facilities are always a welcome sight for parents of small children. Clearwater Beach, on the eastern end of the island, has clear, shallow water and a 36-acre public park with restrooms and a playground. Picnic facilities, shade trees, and gentle water make Shelly Bay a good choice for the smallest of surfers, swimmers, and shell seekers. Horseshoe Bay Beach has lifeguards, showers, restrooms, and a nearby café. John Smith’s Bay, Elbow Beach, and Somerset Long Bay are more great beaches for families with kids.
Bermuda is located along the northernmost coral reef system in the world and offers a variety of shipwrecks and colorful reefs for aquatic adventurers. PADI-certified diving professionals at Fantasea Diving and Watersports, near the Royal Naval Dockyard, offer beginner to advanced SCUBA lessons and dive trips. You can start a new diving hobby, complete your current requirements, or become certified to dive anywhere. The dive center also provides kayak eco tours and private charter boat snorkeling excursions, perfect for catching some rays or snapshots of colorful fish and inquisitive turtles. Other sightseeing adventures include an Old Bermuda Railway Bike Tour, a Railway Hike and Swim Tour, and the spirited Gosling’s Rum Tasting Cruise.
Steep cliffs, tufts of green shrubs, and blissfully blues skies serve as a backdrop to turquoise waves, coral formations, and a gently curving stretch of sand. Named one of the world’s 100 Best Beaches by CNN, Warwick Long Bay takes its name from its natural surroundings. The ½ mile path of perfectly pink sand is the longest shoreline in Bermuda. It gets strong southerly winds, but a nearby reef keeps waves on the moderate side. Near Jobson’s Cove and Chaplin Bay, Warwick Long Bay is located in Warwick Parish. For search purposes, it’s the most easterly of the beaches near South Shore Park. This tranquil bay is a popular spot for joggers, sunset seekers, and horseback riders from the nearby Spicelands Riding Centre. You can rent or buy water sports equipment on-site from Warwick Long Bay Beach Rentals. Because the beach is so solitary and secluded, it is an excellent spot for birdwatching. Lots of graceful Bermuda longtails can be seen soaring high above the rugged rocks and crystal clear water. Even though Warwick Long Bay is the longest beach in Bermuda, it’s rarely crowded because it does require a bit of extra effort to find. But isn’t that always how the best things are found?
Birders, hikers, and all manner of nature lovers score big with a visit to this former NASA tracking station and U.S. naval base on the northeast coast of Bermuda. Despite its name, Cooper’s Island is no longer an island, having been connected to St. David’s Island via land reclamation since the 1940s. While the U.S. military has moved on, the wildlife sanctuary is still home to the base of a radar tower that tracked shuttle movements in the early days of the Space Race. Today, the 12-acre reserve is crisscrossed with paths and fringed with pristine beaches. Of particular note is Clearwater Beach, which teems with conch and turtles. Inland, a restored lake and marshland are home to crabs and seabirds. The former radar tower makes an ideal perch for bird-watching.