Adventure, Beach and sun, Family, North America

Whilst northern countries in February are still in the throes of winter gloom, the Caribbean is as sunny and warm as ever, with some of the best beaches on earth providing perfect conditions for water sports of all kinds along with serious opportunities for relaxation.

The contrast couldn’t be greater, and with the temperatures hovering around 26 degrees Celsius visitors can enjoy exploring the colourful towns and cultural attractions without feeling too clammy, whilst the beaches are of course legendary. Here are a few suggestions to whet the appetite. You can find out more about the weather here.

Harrismith Beach, Barbados

Harrismith Beach is on Barbados, one of the iconic islands of the Caribbean. Any mention of Barbados conjures up images of pirates and treasure, and it still retains an atmosphere of exoticism and adventure even though the Jack Sparrows and Captain Morgans are long gone to Davy Jones’s locker. You can still have a castaway experience on this fine stretch of secluded sand because the resort scene is miles away on the island’s more developed beaches. Access is down a cliff face that has steps carved into it and there are the ruins of an old plantation overlooking the sea, bestowing a distinctly romantic air and giving the beach a charm often lacking in some others. For more info visit barbados.org/harrismith-beach-barbados.

Philipsburg, St Maarten

Philipsburg on St Maarten offers an unusually cosmopolitan destination as Caribbean beaches go, and has a very European feel about it. The island is more or less split between French and Dutch sides, and these have down the centuries brought with them their own distinctive architectural styles and cultural influences. There’s some great shopping near the beach areas, and plenty of good restaurants and bars. Philipsburg is on the Dutch side of St Maarten and has a lengthy Great Bay Beach Promenade where cruise ships can be viewed coming in to the port and leaving for other islands in the group. The beachfront itself is almost two miles in length, and the best section is generally reckoned to be at Cupecoy Beach for the fine quality of its sand and the proximity of local hotels and guesthouses. For more information on this beach go here.

Palomino Island, Puerto Rico

Palomino Island lies just off the tip of Puerto Rico and mostly consists of 100 acres of private beaches. It has a distinctly exclusive air about it and one of the best resorts in the Caribbean, the Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa, provides some of the trendiest spa treatments available anywhere. Access is by catamaran from the mainland, and visitors can enjoy some excellent snorkelling, wave-running and windsurfing along the miles of fine sand and clear turquoise waters. Check out this page for more things to do here.

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda is considered to be one of the most beautiful beach settings in the world, with exquisite pink sand and some fabulous nearby resorts to lodge at. The sand is actually made up of crushed seashells, calcium carbonate and coral and is an experience in itself for its strange but attractive coloration and fluffy feel. This is the most popular beach on the island and has years of experience in catering for visitors, so there are lifeguards, rental outlets and many great cafes, restaurants and other facilities within easy reach. Read more about Horseshoe bay here.