A tropical paradise favoured by Blackbeard and James Bond
Having been founded by the British in 1650, Nassau is now the capital of the Bahamas, which recognizes Queen Elizabeth as its monarch but has its own representative government. The Bahamas, made up of 29 low, flat islands, lie east of Florida and north of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. The majority of Bahamians are descendants of slaves and, nowadays, mostly work in the booming tourist industry. For a short period in its history, the Bahamas were a Pirate Republic ruled by the infamous Blackbeard. The islands’ stunning tropical scenery tempted the makers of James Bond to make no fewer than 3 films there, including Thunderball and Casino Royale. Many cruise ships drop anchor in the islands. The biggest super-resort is Atlantis, on Paradise Island drawing holidaymakers every year.
Go for relaxing days and exciting nights. The list of daytime activities is very impressive: swim with dolphins, enter a fishing competition, dive, golf, sail, and snorkel or play a game of tennis. For your evenings, seafood restaurants, bars and clubs abound with cheap rum being the drink of choice.
When to go?
The islands have a tropical, monsoon climate; temperatures rise to 33°C in the summer and seldom drop below 27°C in winter. Beware hurricanes during the summer months and there is a lot of rainfall between June and October. Spring is the most popular time to visit. Catch the mardi gras-style Junkanoo street carnival which takes place any day during the month of June.
How to get there?
Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) is 16km west of Nassau; there is no public transport to the city, but a taxi-ride will cost you around $25. None of the low-cost carriers operate here, but flights are available with conventional airlines from the UK, the USA, Canada, Caribbean destinations and a few European destinations.
Take a Surrey Ride in a horse carriage around the island. Visit the fun Pirate Museum or view Bahamian art at the National Art Gallery. See flamingoes and parakeets at the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo. Stroll around the Old Town and admire the pink Parliament Building, fronted by a statue of Queen Victoria.