Andrew Forbes visits the Atlantic Archipelago of Bermuda and checks out some of the latest adventure activities on offer for active visitors
The colour of the clear, sparkling clear water of the bay appeared to change to an inky dark as we entered the mangrove preserve. Sounds of the outside world became muffled, as we peacefully navigated the narrow channels of calm water that ran between the sculptural tidal trees.
Stand-Up Paddle boarding
My tour through the unique ecosystem of the mangroves was just one of many bucket list moments during my recent visit to Bermuda. This journey of connecting with nature was made even more memorable as we were on stand-up paddleboards. I’d often seen these boards out on the ocean, but this was the first time I had taken the plunge and tried it myself – and yes, I did take the plunge as I managed to fall in a few times!
My host for this morning of fun and adventure was Ian Bridges, whose BermudAdventure company curates a range of experiences for guests, depending on their level of expertise, fitness and interests. Stand up paddle boarding is great fun; the basics are easily mastered within about 10 – 15 minutes, and the warm, clear, shallow waters of a Bermudan bay is the perfect place to get the hang of it.
Bermuda’s beaches beckon visitors from across the world; super-fine pink sand, clear waters and an unspoilt coastline all adds up to a compelling #nofilter vacation. Yet travel trends are evolving and sun, sea and sand may be relaxing – but the demand to explore off the beaten track and create truly memorable moments is growing exponentially.
Bermuda is embracing this trend, and a growing number of locally-run businesses are now offering an exciting range of activities.
If reconnecting with nature with a gentle stand-up paddle boarding excursion seems too tame for you, how about diving the ancient wreck of the Mary Celestia; cliff-jumping; or adrenalin-pumping flyboarding? Go Bermuda, the official trip planning website of the islands, highlights some 40 outdoor on-land and on-sea adventures on offer to visitors…and I was lucky to try a few.
Jet Ski Safari
One of the most thrilling Bermuda experiences was undoubtedly the Jet Ski Tour with local firm, KS Water Sports.
Combining the exhilaration of skimming across the water at speed, with the chance to swim with turtles, this tour was one of the best moments of the Bermuda trip. We headed out to one of the many shipwrecks on the reefs (the H.M.S. Vixen); reached the tip of the infamous Bermuda Triangle; and even had time to stop in a sheltered cove and watch the turtles – magical!
The tour is ideal for all levels of experience. There were two guides, one leading the small group of 6, and another at the back. The style of the tour is professional, friendly and relaxed – everyone in the group was made to feel comfortable.
Those wanting to enjoy more speed could get wet and wild up-front with the lead guide, whilst those at the back could take things at their own pace.
Catamaran Sailing Cruise
Those of you that follow me know that I love the finer things in life, so the luxury of a private yacht charter was perfect!
As a guest of Happy Cat Sailing (Seasplash Bermuda) we experienced Bermuda from the very best perspective – from the deck of a 34-ft. catamaran with a cocktail in hand.
The yacht also offers snorkelling gear, and it’s really worth experiencing the abundant life that lies just below the water surface.
Captain Richie creates a tailored sailing and snorkelling itinerary for guests, whilst Maureen makes sure everyone is having the best time on board, with refreshments, drinks and loads of tips for enjoying the island.
This bucket list moment has an exclusive feel, and is great for families too, as all ages can enjoy being out on the water. It’s the ultimate luxury to just drop anchor and jump in and snorkel amongst the colourful fish!
Luxury Spa – in a Cave
Ok, so having a spa treatment doesn’t exactly sound like a bucket list moment – but when it’s offered in a floating cabana above a crystal-clear lagoon within an ancient cave, surrounded by dramatic stalactites, then it certainly becomes one!
Within the grounds of the Grotto Bay Beach Resort are two spectacular caves. Cathedral Cave has a deep lake, and thanks to a platform and steps, guests can enjoy the unique experience of swimming in the lake, beneath the cathedral like cave ceiling.
The adjacent Prospero Cave has been transformed into the Natura Spa, with private cabanas floating on the cave lagoon. Discreet lighting highlights the spectacular natural features and the clear lake water – a massage here is unforgettable!
Twizy – the ultimate rental vehicle
Discovering Bermuda just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to the introduction on the island of Twizy electric cars, available for rent from Current Vehicles. These zippy, compact twin seaters make getting from A to B part of the holiday fun – you can read about my experience of driving a Twizy car in Bermuda here.
During my magical few days on Bermuda, I realised that that’s a great deal more to this popular upscale beach holiday destination. Sun, sand and sea are abundant, but so too are unforgettable bucket list moments.
For further inspiration for Bermuda travel planning, check out the island’s official travel & tourism website, Go To Bermuda.