Blue seas, pink-tinged sands and a balmy climate are what await tourists stepping off cheap flights to Bermuda. Add to that more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world, historical parishes, fantastic diving and friendly people and Bermuda is heaven on earth.
The 20-square-mile island in the North Atlantic is composed of about 180 islands, connected by bridges and divided into nine parishes. It has a very British way of doing things. It is, after all, a British overseas territory, albeit one with a high degree of self-rule. Culturally, Bermuda is an exciting mix of colonial history and African heritage. The business end of Bermuda may be British, but its music and dance have African influences.
The history of Bermuda can be enjoyed at leisure. The Town of St. George is the oldest English-speaking colonial town still in existence and the former capital of Bermuda. A World Heritage site, it is famous for its town square and harbor and very British street names, like Petticoat Alley and Old Maid’s Lane. Hamilton is capital now, home to the government, courts and several international companies.
Prior to establishing official status as a North American country, Spanish and Portuguese ships used the islands of Bermuda as a replenishment spot for fresh meat and water. However, legends of spirits and devils, and a continual pattern of storms and devastating island conditions, kept sailors from settling in Bermuda. The island was dubbed the “Isle of Devils,” and it wasn’t until the mid-1600s that travelers finally settled here. But don’t let the stories fool you into not booking a flight to Bermuda. Today, travelers booking trips to Bermuda explore an underwater world full of sea wrecks and coral reefs. Swim with a school of fish and explore undersea caves in what some consider to be the best scuba diving in North America. For visitors not quite ready for an underground expedition, there is much to see near the top of the water so grab some snorkeling gear and start swimming. Once back on land, take advantage of Bermuda’s historic attractions including the Royal Navy Dockyard and Museum, the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Botanical Gardens, numerous lighthouses and the Crystal Caves. Whatever your reason for booking Bermuda flights and activities, take time to explore the beauty of Bermuda. Book a flight to Bermuda for a perfect balance of class and relaxation.
Bermuda’s Atlantic location is a prime spot for beautiful weather year-round, with sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. The winters average a pleasant temperature of 70 degrees and summer temperatures range between 75 and 85 degrees.
Peak season occurs during other islands’ off seasons. Most visitors arrive between March and November when temperatures are a comfortable 75-80F. It’s perfect swimming weather too, with water temperatures about 84 degrees. Rainfall in Bermuda comes as quick, short-lived showers. Officially, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but Bermuda tends to escape and the U.S. takes the hit. This is because of Bermuda’s northerly latitude and the Atlantic waters that flow around its shores.
Bermuda’s off season is the opposite of that in the Caribbean. It begins in December and lasts until the start of March. Some facilities are limited in the winter months but room rates are much less expensive and cheap flights to Bermuda can be found during this period. For travelers primarily interested in playing tennis or golf, this is the time to come. Short but heavy showers can occur during any time of the year so it is advisable to bring suitable clothing.
The most popular time to visit Bermuda is between May and October, but you can enjoy beautiful weather and lower prices in March and April. If you’re a golfer, head to Bermuda in the winter, when resorts (and golf courses!) are less crowded and rates are low. If you’re planning on flying during high season, start looking for your flight about eight months out. During the less popular times of year, you’ll need less lead time.
You can only fly directly to Bermuda from a few airports, so most travelers have to change planes on their journey. From New York or Newark, count a flight of about 2.5 hours, then add the travel time needed to reach those airports from your starting point (for example, about six hours from Los Angeles, plus transfer time within the airport and layover time waiting for your island-bound flight).
JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines fly nonstop to Bermuda from various East Coast hubs, including New York, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia. From Canada, you can connect directly to Bermuda from Toronto and Halifax via Air Canada, and British Airways flies directly from London.
You’re not required to wear long Bermuda shorts when you visit Bermuda, but you should know that you can wear them with a dress shirt and tie at the high-end restaurants that require a tie. Even though Bermuda is a resort destination, the casual wear that you find on most islands is only acceptable at the beach and pool in Bermuda, so do pack a tie (men) and a nice dress (women) if you plan to leave the beach. A light jacket is a must, as is an umbrella, and you’ll also need sunscreen, a sun hat and sunglasses.
Bermuda is a small island and public transportation is limited. There are no hire cars or trains, so bus, ferry, taxi or moped are the only options.
Ferries are certainly the most enjoyable and relaxing way to get around. Enjoy the views, enjoy life on the ocean wave, and, often, get to your destination quicker than you would by bus. There are three year-round ferry services linking Hamilton-Paget-Warwick, Hamilton-Rockaway and Hamilton-West End (Somerset)-Dockyard. There are also high-speed catamarans that ply the seas in summer.
The bus network is good, though the buses aren’t speedy. The cheapest way to use them is to get a bus pass, which you can buy in Hamilton or St George. The bus system consists of pink and blue air-conditioned buses. Tokens, tickets and passes are available from the PTB Central Terminal in Hamilton and at several hotels and guest houses and from the Visitors Service Bureau.
Though cars are not available to hire for foreigners, mopeds are. This is a popular way of getting around for many tourists, but do take care on the roads, which have sharp turns and are not always well covered.
In Hamilton and St George you can also take a horse-drawn carriage to your destination.
The pink sand and crystal blue water of Bermuda may keep you at the beach for your entire vacation, and no one could blame you if that’s your choice. Head to Elbow Beach for the pinkest sand and Horseshoe Bay Beach for the mandatory photo op at the island’s most photographed destination. Tobacco Bay is where to head if you want to enjoy an adult libation while lounging on the sand, and Warwick Long Bay Beach features gentle winds and waves with horseback riding available.
Bermuda’s natural wonders don’t stop at the shoreline, however. Head underground to take a guided tour of the Crystal and Fantasy Caves, where a couple of boys in 1907 discovered amazing crystal formations surround an underground lake.
Bermuda’s golf courses let you enjoy striking beauty while playing; if you spring for the greens fees at the Port Royal Golf Club, you may cross paths with visiting celebrities as well. Check out Turtle Hill and Tucker’s Point clubs as well. Cricket is also a major sport in Bermuda, so catch a local game if you visit during the season.
A visit to the Bermuda Maritime Museum lets you understand this island’s past, including its involvement with the slave trade, and a visit to the historic town of St. George takes you back to the 18th century, with historic simulations during high season. Don’t forget to take some time to pamper yourself at Bermuda’s fine restaurants and spas, and head to the Royal Naval Dockyard to visit local art galleries, craft shops and pubs.
From Bermuda, you can fly nonstop to New York, Boston, Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia, making connections in those cities to get anywhere else you want to go.
To get to the airport in Bermuda, you should plan on taking a taxi or an airport shuttle. Don’t count on using public transportation, which requires not just cash but coins (no bills accepted), and which won’t let you board with luggage larger than a backpack or handbag.
(prices quoted are from London)