- We drive on the left side of the road.
- The roads are narrow so take your time.
- Be aware of the busses as they have the tendency to just fly past you no matter how narrow that section of road is.
- 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.
- Use google maps. You can’t really get lost but google maps can help you when you are driving around Barbados.
How long does it take to drive around Barbados? If you are doing your own driving tour in Barbados, you can get around the island in approximately 3 hours. This obviously doesn’t include the time at each location, so this island tour could take about half a day to do.
Island Tour of Barbados
Now that’s taken care of, you wont have to worry about traffic as most of this island tour of Barbados 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.
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 our island tour of Barbados, and you will see why when you get here. There is such a contrast between North point and the west coast.
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.
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 while driving around Barbados.
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.
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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.
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 favorite 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.
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.
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.
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. A great spot to take a break while driving around 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.
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
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 of Barbados 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!
Check out some alternative ways to spend time around Barbados.
Have anymore questions? Feel free to give me a message or leave a comment!
You’ve definitely inspired me to want to visit Barbados. Looks like absolute paradise! I think Cherry Tree hill would be my favorite stop!
It is my favorite stop too! Especially on a beautiful day
These photos are gorgeous. I was pleasantly surprised by the windmill. Looks like it was a great day trip.
I didn’t realise there was so much more to Bradbados that beautiful beaches and resorts! You’ve definitely inspired me to visit!
Yes and this side of the island is the opposite of the west and south! It’s pretty awesome
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.
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?
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
Hi I was wondering how you managed to do this self drive island your? Are cars easily hired in Barbados for tourists? Do you have an recommendations for car hire company’s?and do you know how much it would cost For a days rental? Thank you
Hi Chloe! Apologies for the late response! There are a few car rental companies on the island with Stoute’s and Drive-a-matic being 2 of the biggest ones. There is also one called Holetown Rentals located on the west coast. It depends on what kind of car you are looking to rental and the prices can range from about $50usd to 100usd per day. It also depends when you are travelling to the island, as im not sure if some require a minimum rental period as well in high season. Feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] if you have more questions!
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!
Thank you! Animal Flower Cave is the best way to sit and enjoy it!
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
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.
Yes you can do the north and Bathsheba in one day and then go down around the South and south east another day
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!
Shame! Definitely add it and message me when you come! 😂
Thank you for sharing. Your information will come in handy next year as I will cerebrating my birthday next year in Barbados.
Thats amazing! You will have the best time!
Thank you for sharing. Your information will come in handy next year as I will be cerebrating my birthday next year in Barbados.
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.
Looks like an amazing route – can’t wait to give it a try when I go over later this year! x
Heading to Barbados Nov 5-12 and this tour is exactly what we’ve been wanting to do when we arrive! Do we have to drive or is there a driver we could hire to go around the island? thank you for putting this website together, so much good information and we are super excited to go! We are staying at a VRBO on Brighton Beach.
This post is so that you can rent a car and drive it yourself, if you are looking to hire a driver then you might be looking at approximately $80usd or more for this tour! If you need anymore information before your trip then please email us!