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12 Top-Rated Beaches in Bermuda

Written by Lavanya Sunkara
Sep 4, 2019

Sink your toes into the velvety pink sands of Bermuda's world-famous beaches, known for their azure waters and dramatic rock formations. This island in the middle of the North Atlantic is just a short plane ride away from major eastern U.S. cities, and enjoys a year-round subtropical climate. Whether you are arriving on a cruise ship or by flight, the pastel-colored houses and gorgeous coastal scenery of this British overseas territory will immediately put you in a cheerful vacation mood.

The beaches, most of which are found on the picturesque south shore of the island, come in a variety of hues, the most popular of which is coral pink, the color that dominates the houses lining Bermuda's St. George and capital of Hamilton. Bermuda's enormous offshore reef, stretching out from the eastern side, provides a vast area to explore on snorkeling and diving adventures, with many shipwrecks providing opportunities to explore sunken treasures and marine life that thrives under the waves.

Find your own slice of paradise with our list of the best beaches in Bermuda.

1. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish

Horseshoe Bay Beach

The moment you set your eyes on Horseshoe Bay Beach, you will realize why Bermuda is known for its beaches. This blush-pink-sand beach is among the top beaches in the world, and is a popular tourist attraction. Its crystal-blue waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, especially when you venture away from the main stretch. Fragments of shells and corals lend their hue to make this beach one of the most beautiful pink-sand beaches in the world.

Located in Southampton Parish on the South Shore of Bermuda, this crescent-moon-shaped beach gets crowded during the busy cruise ship season from spring to late fall. Amenities like umbrella and equipment rentals are available, and lifeguards are on duty from May to September.

Port Royal Cove, an enclosed bay with calmer waves is ideal for families with little children. For older kids, there are plenty of caves in the surrounding rock formation to explore. If you get hungry, grab a bite at the beach snack bar, which sells sandwiches and hamburgers, or try the pop-up concessions for snow cones and treats.

The beach can be reached via public transportation by taking the No. 7 bus from the City of Hamilton or the Royal Naval Dockyard. You can also drive or ride a scooter. The best time to visit is early in the morning, when you can catch the sunrise atop the tallest rock formation. Many of the hotels offer free shuttles to the South Shore beaches. The closest top-rated resorts nearby include Fairmont Southampton and The Reefs Resort & Club.

2. Jobson's Cove Beach, Warwick Parish

Jobson's Cove Beach

A popular wedding proposal spot, Jobson's Cove is idyllic, with iconic Bermuda pink sand and turquoise blue waters. This tiny but popular beach is almost entirely encircled by steep limestone and hardened volcanic rock formations. Its shallow swimming-pool-like lagoon is calm enough for children to swim and play. Snorkelers can enjoy seeing tropical fish in the comfort of the cove setting. Be sure to bring your own food, as well as beach and snorkeling gear because there are no facilities in the area.

Jobson's Cove, named after a 17th-century settler, William Jobson, who owned the property, is located within the South Shore Park in Warwick parish and can be reached via a walking trail along the unspoiled Warwick Long Bay from Horseshoe Bay Beach. Changing rooms and bathrooms are available on Warwick Long Bay. Beachgoers can climb up the rocks for picture-perfect views of the Atlantic.

3. Warwick Long Bay Beach, Warwick Parish

Warwick Long Bay Beach

Framed by cedar trees, coastal grasses and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Warwick Long Bay Beach on the South Shore is a long unspoiled pink sand beach. It is Bermuda's longest beach and faces a partially submerged, jagged coral reef just off the shore. The coral reef keeps the waves small, making it a good spot for snorkeling in search of colorful tropical fish. Just 60 meters from the shoreline, you can swim alongside bright blue parrotfish.

If snorkeling isn't your thing, bring your favorite book and sit and relax as the waves lap onto the soft pink-hued sand. The beach is also a good place to go for a nice moon-lit stroll. There are no facilities at the beach, except for bathrooms in the car park. In the summer, you will find concession stands selling snacks and beach gear rentals.

4. Elbow Beach, Paget Parish

Elbow Beach

Curving gently on the Southeastern coast of Bermuda, Elbow Beach stretches for nearly 1.5 kilometers from Elbow Beach Resort. Reefs close to the shore provide a protective barrier, causing calmer waters for beachgoers to enjoy paddleboarding, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Those interested in shipwrecks can book a tour with an operator like Blue Water Divers to get up close to the wreck of Pollokshields, a cargo steamer that crashed into the reef in 1915.

Elbow Beach is one of the closest beaches to the City of Hamilton, and gets a bit crowded from the guests at the three hotels nearby, especially during spring break. Though part of the beach is privately owned by the Elbow Beach Bermuda Resort, most of it is public.

5. Church Bay Beach, Southampton Parish

Church Bay Beach

The aquarium-like waters and coral reefs close to the shore make Church Bay Beach a snorkeler's paradise. So, strap on those flippers and head for this popular snorkeling destination on the South Shore. With abundant marine life and calm conditions caused by the sheltered bay, Church Bay invites visitors to explore the underwater world of Bermuda.

Swim and snorkel among parrotfish and angelfish, and take a break to picnic at Church Bay Park, which overlooks the beach. You can rent snorkeling equipment and buy snacks at the park's concession stand. Restrooms are also available. Be aware that the waters here are deeper than in other beaches and harbor jellyfish in the colder months.

6. Tobacco Bay Beach, St. George's Parish

Tobacco Bay Beach

Tied with Church Bay Beach as the best place to snorkel, Tobacco Bay Beach sits on a sheltered bay located in the historic St. George's Parish on the island's East End. It was here that in the early 1600s, shipwrecked sailors from Sea Venture found wild tobacco growing and named it in its honor.

You won't find any tobacco here today, but there are plenty of water adventures at this beloved beach, now a Bermuda National Park. Go snorkeling in the clear, shallow waters in search of colorful fish. The water is good for paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming. Equipment can be rented at kiosks located on the beach.

If you get hungry, enjoy local favorites like wahoo nuggets and sandwiches at the on-site restaurant. On summer nights, the scene becomes livelier with bonfires and live music.

You can explore the nearby attractions of St. George's, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the nearby Fort St. Catherine. Tobacco Bay can be reached by a bus ride from the Royal Naval Dockyard (which goes along the entire length of the island), or by the Orange Route ferry. If you are already in St. George, take the bus from the Visitor Services Center in King's Square.

7. West Whale Beach, Southampton Parish

West of Horseshoe Bay Beach lies West Whale Beach, which gained its name from being the former whaling grounds on the island. Whaling no longer exists, but this secluded beach in the western end of Southampton Parish remains one of the best places to spot migrating humpback whales in late winter and early spring. The whales are seen on their journey to their northern feeding grounds.

Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and set up either early in the morning or early evening at West Whale Bay Park or on the cliffs nearby to look for these magnificent creatures breaching. Often, you may see local residents fishing for bonefish, pompano, or barracuda. Nearby, you can visit the remains of the historic Whale Bay Fort built in the mid-1700s. The lawns around the fort offer beautiful grounds for a picnic with views of the Atlantic.

8. Shelly Bay, Hamilton Parish

Shelly Bay | Zepfanman.com / photo modified

At the family-friendly Shelly Bay beach on the North Shore, you'll rarely find crowds. There's always a spot waiting for you, along with calm waters, soft pale pink sands, and a row of trees providing shade.

Located just north of Flatts Village, a 15-minute drive from Hamilton, Shelly Bay makes for a good choice for families with younger kids, as the water remains shallow, even at high tide. The boardwalk meanders through a nature reserve on the western side of the beach. A nearby park has picnic tables and a playground with swings, climbing frames, and slides. You can even catch a game of cricket or soccer on the weekends.

9. St. Catherine's Beach, St. George's Parish

St. Catherine's Beach and Fort St. Catherine

If you are looking to combine a beach outing with a bit of history, head to Fort St. Catherine in St. George's Parish. The island's largest fort dates back to the early 1600s and underneath the historic walls lies the St. Catherine's Beach.

The fort houses a museum dedicated to sharing the history of Bermuda and life on the island in the 17th century via artifacts and exhibits. Cross the drawbridge to explore the many tunnels and towers that still stand at the fort, thanks to numerous upgrades that took place in the 19th century.

10. Somerset Long Bay, Sandys Parish

Somerset Long Bay provides an ideal beach escape if you are looking for isolation and picturesque views. Located on the West End of the island, this crescent-shaped, salmon-colored beach features tranquil waters and walking trails through a nature reserve.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can catch some waves on a board or try kitesurfing. The park is family-friendly and has bathrooms, a picnic area, and playground. There are no food concessions, so be sure to bring your own snacks.

The freshwater ponds in the nature reserve, managed by the Bermuda Audubon Society, are a habitat for migrating birds during spring and fall. The society has replanted native trees like Bermuda cedar and palmetto to attract more birds to the area.

11. Astwood Cove, Warwick Parish

Astwood Cove | kansasphoto / photo modified

Combine a hiking trip with beach time on a day trip to Astwood Cove, a hidden gem on a remote stretch on the southern shore of the island. Cliffs surround this secluded piece of beach, and a steep, winding trail connects Astwood Park and the beach.

The park offers sweeping views of the ocean, and the postcard-worthy beach below, and has picnic tables, bathrooms, and parking. The beach rarely gets any visitors, so you may very well be the only ones here; it's a nice romantic spot for couples, too.

12. Clearwater Beach & Turtle Bay, St. George's Parish

Pristine Clearwater Beach, St. George's Parish

Not to be confused with the Clearwater Beach in Florida, this 36-acre public park on St. David island consists of two spacious stretches of beach known as Clearwater Beach and Turtle Bay. These beaches are close to the L. F. Wade International Airport on the southeastern coast of Bermuda. The park also features a playground, plenty of nature trails, and views of the outer islands. Both of the beaches were created artificially for army personnel by the U.S. Navy when the area was used as a Naval Air Station.

The nearby Cooper's Island Nature Reserve, which was formerly occupied by NASA tracking station, is now a 12-acre nature reserve, part of the Bermuda national park system. It plays host to a number of tropical birds and loggerhead turtles. Go on a leisurely hike to enjoy wildlife sightings and idyllic views all around.

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Where to Stay: There is no shortage of luxurious accommodations on the island. Think private beaches, golf courses, beach clubs, and indulgent spas. Choose the perfect hotel for your Bermudian getaway with our list of the best hotels in Bermuda.

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