Self Drive Island Tour of Barbados by a Local

You’ve read my South Coast guide and have now seen more than enough of it. It is still such a small section of the island. You really need to do an island tour of Barbados. Don’t be afraid to drive here, it’s very easy. Here are a few tips for driving in Barbados.

  1. We drive on the left side of the road.
  2. The roads are narrow so take your time.
  3. Be aware of the busses as they have the tendency to just fly past you no matter how narrow that section of road is.
  4. Do not stop and take pictures in the middle of the road. Pull over somewhere or find a park and walk back to the spot.
  5. Use google maps. You can’t really get lost in Barbados but google maps can help you get around easier.


Island Tour of Barbados

Now that’s taken care of, you wont have to worry about traffic as most of this tour is on the north or east coast so it usually only busy with other tourists. Below is a map of all the points of interest along the way. The starting point I’ve picked is around Mount Gay’s Visitor Center along Spring Garden Highway. From here you continue straight along this road, heading north. You can stop and explore Holetown if you want or just continue up north to the first spot.


The first point of interest on our island tour of Barbados is Speightstown. Turn left at the roundabout and continue down Queen’s Street which is the main street in Speightstown. You will notice lots of old buildings as you drive through. It is such a pretty old town right on the sea. Continue through here and take the left turn back onto the highway where you will pass Port St. Charles marina followed by Port Ferdinand.

Island Tour Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Port Ferdinand Marina

Port Ferdinand is a luxurious complex with a spa, restaurant, you can even go on a catamaran cruise from here. It is just stunning.

After Port Ferdinand you continue along the coast through Six Men’s, a small fishing village. There are lots of chattel houses along this road and you will find lots of fisherman selling their catch of the day. After Six Men’s you follow the map and head towards Animal Flower Cave.

Animal Flower Cave

This is one of my favorite spots on the island, and you will see why when you get here. There is such a contrast between North point and the west coast.

North Point: Island Tour of Barbados

A view from Animal Flower Cave

You get to witness the power of the ocean up here. If you come on a good day there will be plenty more water action and massive splashes. Other days it can be dead calm (slightly disappointing). Head over to the other side to check out yet another spectacular view down the coast.

Island Tour of Barbados

Beautiful water at the Animal Flower Cave

You can also go down into the actual Animal Flower Cave but be very careful if you do because the waves here can be unpredictable. Now we move onto our next stop on our island tour of Barbados.

River Bay

Just about a 5 minute drive away from Animal Flower Cave is River Bay. This area is a little bay where the water funnels in and you could sit and bathe on the waters edge. Again, you must be very careful not to go out too far as the currents are unpredictable and you do not want to get swept out to sea. It makes for a pretty picture and you can take a little hike up the hill next to it for some great views.

River Bay Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

River Bay

Cove Bay

This little gem is a bit harder to find and if you get lost, I’m sorry. Just ask a local and they could point you in the right direction. It’s worth it when you find it.

Cove Bay Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Cove Bay

There are lots of palm trees around here along with plenty cows and Barbados’ Black Belly Sheep.

After Cove Bay you will head down the east coast which is beautiful rugged and wild.

Cherry Tree Hill & Morgan Lewis Windmill

One of my favourite views of the East Coast can be found at Cherry Tree Hill. Make your way towards St. Nicholas Abbey and then continue along the main road through the Mahogany trees. Get ready to be amazed as you reach the top, on a clear day you can see right down to St. Philip and Ragged Point Lighthouse.

Cherry Tree Hill: Island Tour of Barbados

Views of Barbados’ East Coast from Cherry Tree Hill

From here you will follow the winding road down towards Morgan Lewis windmill. It is the largest and only complete windmill in the Caribbean. Occasionally they attached the sails and run it and it is quite amazing to see.

Morgan Lewis Windmill Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Morgan Lewis Windmill

Cattlewash & Bathsheba

You continue driving down the coast and the first beach you will come to is Cattlewash. It is a popular spot for beach houses for locals (or foreigners) who want to get away for a long weekend. You shouldn’t swim in the water here since the currents are very strong but the beach is perfect for a long walk.

Cattlewash Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Cattlewash beach.

Continuing down the coast you will get to Bathsheba. Bathsheba is home to Barbados’ world famous surfing spot, Soup Bowl. There are a few bars dotted along here so you can watch the surfers while sipping on an ice cold Banks.


Bathsheba Beach Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Bathsheba beach

Bathsheba Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados



Bath is a beautiful area where you can also find lots of beach houses. You can swim in this area and there is a lifeguard on duty. It’s a great spot for a picnic on our island tour of Barbados.

Bath Barbados: Island Tour of Barbados

Bath Beach

St. John’s Church & Codrington College

Follow the map above, you will have to backtrack either way you go. St. John’s church is a beautiful gothic church built in 1836. It has stunning views of the East Coast and is definitely worth a stop.

Go back down the same road and follow the signs for Codrington College. It is the oldest Theological School in the Western Hemisphere. It’s driveway is lined with beautiful palm trees and there is a pond full of fish and ducks. It’s a beautiful spot to stop and get some more beautiful East Coast shots.

Bottom Bay & Crane Beach

Barbados guide

Views of Bottom Bay from above

Bottom Bay is a great place to stop. Lots of palm trees providing shade and the sound of the waves crashing makes it a perfect place to chill for a bit. Just be very careful as it is quite secluded. You could just snap some pictures and make your way towards the busier and safer Crane Beach. Located just below The Crane Hotel you walk along a stepping stone pathway on the rocks. 

This island tour easily takes a whole day depending on how long you stop for etc. Pack a cooler and grab some beers for the road. There are plenty of options for food as you drive along, or just pack some sandwiches and snacks for a picnic at one of the stops. It really is a great day out. You will pass out when you get home, it’s amazing how exhausting it is being in the sun all day!


Have anymore questions? Feel free to give me a message or leave a comment!



  • Leah December 16, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    You’ve definitely inspired me to want to visit Barbados. Looks like absolute paradise! I think Cherry Tree hill would be my favorite stop!

    • Stace December 17, 2016 at 8:12 am

      It is my favorite stop too! Especially on a beautiful day

  • Jean December 17, 2016 at 1:17 am

    These photos are gorgeous. I was pleasantly surprised by the windmill. Looks like it was a great day trip.

  • Vicki Louise December 17, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I didn’t realise there was so much more to Bradbados that beautiful beaches and resorts! You’ve definitely inspired me to visit!

    • Stace December 17, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Yes and this side of the island is the opposite of the west and south! It’s pretty awesome

  • Naomi December 17, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Wow it seems this island have so much more to offer than just plain beach time! I love your little map and the stops along the way! Excellent guide.

    • Stace December 17, 2016 at 10:05 am


  • Marlies - Crazy Dutch Abroad December 17, 2016 at 10:09 am

    It is great to read your post about Barbados since I am planning what destinations to visit in the Caribbean in 2017! Would love to do this trip on a scooter if that is available. Any experience in SCUBA diving or snorkelling Barbados by any chance?

    • Stace December 17, 2016 at 11:02 am

      There is alot of options for diving and snorkeling, I haven’t done much of it though. You can rent scooters! It’ll be quite cool to do it in an open sided car too

  • Reasons to Visit Barbados And Things I Love About The Island December 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    […] For such a small island (21 miles long and 14 miles wide), Barbados’ landscape is incredibly diverse. The north region is quiet, mountainous and spacious while the west coast is relatively flat and lively. One of the best ways to see the entire island is to rent a car and go on a self-drive tour. […]

  • Jimmy and Tina December 17, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Love how blue the water is at Port Ferdinand, very beautiful. Animal Flower Cave is absolutely breath taking, I love the sound of waves crashing, there is something just to soothing about it. Gorgeous photos!

    • Stace December 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you! Animal Flower Cave is the best way to sit and enjoy it!

  • Loudy December 18, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I will definitely visit this place one day, so much beauty in this post. I really love the rocky beach. Thank you for sharing it with us

  • Maja | Mexatia December 18, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I can’t help myself – whenever somebody mentions Barbados I think about Rihanna. 😀 Animal Flower Cave would definitely be my favorite place on the tour. Do you think one could do it in a couple of days as well? Slow to enjoy every place to the max.

    • Stace December 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Yes you can do the north and Bathsheba in one day and then go down around the South and south east another day

  • Nadine Smith December 19, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Barbados was never on my travel bucket list and after reading this, I realized that it should be! Everything looks scenic and breathtaking! The Cherry Tree Hill looks so picturesque!

    • Stace December 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Shame! Definitely add it and message me when you come! 😂

  • 6 Barbados Beaches You Can't Miss! * Ginger on the Go February 2, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    […] These are just a few of the fabulous beaches Barbados has to offer its visitors. Head down to the island to check them out for yourself! Let me know if you think I’ve missed any. I’m headed back to Barbados soon to do some more exploring! If you’re interested in a self guided tour around the island, check out Stacey’s Self Drive Island Tour of Barbados.  […]

  • Deb May 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Your information will come in handy next year as I will cerebrating my birthday next year in Barbados.

    • Stace May 25, 2017 at 2:42 pm

      Thats amazing! You will have the best time!

  • Deb May 25, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Your information will come in handy next year as I will be cerebrating my birthday next year in Barbados.

  • Joyce White December 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    We took a tour of the island while visiting Barbados. We enjoyed many of the spots you’ve highlighted here. Barbados is absolutely gorgeous and the people are amazing. We would love another visit one day.


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