Bermuda Travel Guide


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Bermuda

 

Bermuda, or the Bermuda Islands (formerly known as the Somers Isles), is a British Overseas Territory.  Many mistakenly believe that Bermuda is part of the Caribbean, but it actually sits in the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,000 miles north-east of Miami, Florida and east of North Carolina, USA.

 

The Bermuda Islands consist of over 130 islands, but the main island with its capital of Hamilton, is what we tend to think of as Bermuda. The entire area of Bermuda fits into approx. 20.5 square miles (53.5 km) and has 75 miles (120km) of dramatic coastline. The spoken language is English (with a Bermudian accent) and some Portuguese.  The population of Bermuda is more than fifty percent black, 34 percent white and the rest made up of many other races.
 
Bermuda is famous for tales of the mysterious Bermuda Triangle which is believed by many to have been the cause of shipping and aeroplane disasters and disappearances. 

 

The islands were discovered by Europeans shortly after the turn of the 15th century; however, the discovery of Bermuda is mainly linked to the Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez.  Portuguese and Spanish ships were frequent visitors to the islands for replenishment of supplies. No attempt was made to permanently settle the islands until the 1600s when the British made it a Crown Colony in 1684. 

 

It has an interesting military history (having also been known as ‘the Gibraltar of the West’) for its involvement in American wars, and for its Royal Navy base. Bermuda was granted a constitution in 1968, along with a prime minister and autonomy in all but foreign relations, domestic security matters and foreign relations.

 

During the 20th century Bermuda became an increasingly popular destination for wealthy tourists from Britain, Canada and America. It is also an important offshore banking and financial centre.  The island now attracts millions of visitors each year.  Tourists arrive via cruise ships, private yachts, or flights into Bermuda International airport.  Flights from London take approximately seven hours. Be warned that there are no car rental agencies on Bermuda, but there are mopeds and scooters for hire for exploring.  There is a good public bus system as well as taxis and ferries.

 

Bermuda is a popular destination for many reasons.  The weather, clear water, and gorgeous pink-sand beaches should be enough to tempt most visitors.  It has many other attractions, including an excellent music festival in October each year.  There are plenty of art galleries and exhibitions to browse.  Shoppers will love it for the tax advantages.  The historic town of St. George’s is a World Heritage Site.  It is a popular destination for scuba divers for its excellent wreck-diving and colourful coral reefs.  Visibility underwater is very good in the clear blue water surrounding the island which is often no more than 40 feet deep.  Swimmers can even snorkel out to some of the coral reefs from the shore. 


The capital, Hamilton, is a port city and the main hub of Bermuda’s commercial and tourist industry located roughly in the middle of the main island.

 

Great efforts to conserve the islands’ beauty are made by the residents to protect the ecosystem of the islands.  The Bermuda National Trust and Audubon Society are two of the organisations working to care for the natural beauty that exists throughout the islands and in the many parks and nature reserves.  Bermuda is a popular spot for bird watchers, with more than 350 species of birds and being a stop-off for migrating birds. 

 

The underground crystal caves are a must-see, located 120 feet (36.6M) beneath the ground, where tours are available to admire the stalagmites and stalactites.  If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, this could be the place to make that dream come true at Dolphinquest - located in the Bermuda Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard. 

Bermuda also boasts a zoo, aquarium and botanical gardens.  There is plenty going on in the arts and entertainment world, with theatres, concerts, and classical music.  It also hosts an international film festival every year.  There are plenty of fine restaurants, hotels and resorts.

 

Bermuda is popular for golf, sailing, fishing and water sports of all kinds.  It is known for its national cricket team, and football (soccer) is also very popular.  Bermuda is well known in sailing circles for the famous Newport-Bermuda Yacht Race which takes place during June when yachts of all sizes race between Newport, Rhode Island and Bermuda. 

 

 



 

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