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Brimming with colonial charm, natural wonders
When you arrive in Barbados on an
MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise
, begin your exploration with the capital, Bridgetown. There are many attractions in this small Caribbean city, but by all means pause to admire its many colonial buildings, the Parliament Building and the statue of
standing in what is currently called the
National Heroes Square
Barbados has retained somewhat of a British feel, with its place names, cricket, horse-racing and polo, Anglican parish churches and even a hilly district known as Scotland. But the Britishness can be exaggerated, for this is a distinctly West Indian country, covered by a patchwork of sugarcane fields and dotted with tiny rum shops.
Garrison Historic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with magnificent 18th- and 19th-century buildings, is a must-see stop, featuring one of the world's finest collection of cannons. It also includes the George Washington House, where the American patriot spent six weeks of his life.
St. John's Church, in the eastern parish of the same name, is the fifth reconstruction of the oldest local church, in Barbadian Gothic style. Perched on a cliff 800 feet above the sea, it dates back to 1836. Its interior hosts a sculpture by 18th-century British artist Richard Westmacott, while its churchyard contains the tomb of Ferdinando Paleologus, a direct descendant of the brother of Constantine XI, the last Byzantine emperor.
to discover the island’s history at the
Barbados Museum and Historical Society
in the St. Michael neighbourhood. And tour
Sunbury Plantation House
, located in the tranquil St. Philip countryside. Dating back to 1650, it’s a living monument to plantation life and a bygone era.
Harrison’s Cave, in St. Thomas district, is a wonder of nature with its stalactites, stalagmites, streams, lakes and waterfalls. In one of the caverns, the play of light on the rocks is so in-tense that it has been nicknamed “ The Crystal Room”.
For some fun at the beach, head to
Pirates Cove, one of the best beaches on Barbados. Featuring palm trees and chickee huts, white sand and crystal-clear water, it’s the perfect place to relax, just a stone’s throw from Bridgetown.
If you’re brave enough to
dive into the deep
, set out on an
inside a real
, the Atlantis, to explore the coral reef and discover the beauty that the depths reveal.