*featured image is of a moondoor, said to be good luck to newly wedded couples if you kiss under it!
“Bermuda is the right country for a jaded man to “loaf” in. There are no harassments; the deep peace and quiet of the country sink into one’s body and bones and give his conscience a rest and chloroform the legion of invisible small devils that are always trying to whitewash his hair” – Mark Twain
As M is working 7 days a week now without vacation time, it’s increasingly difficult to satisfy our affinity for going SOMEWHERE NEW ALL THE TIME EVERY DAY. But he was able to ask for two whole days off in the middle of July to spend a weekend (Saturday morning- Monday morning) with me exploring the tiny island of Bermuda while I was there for a school trip! We tried to do everything possible in the short amount of time we had – no worries as we generally always hate sitting still anyway.
Firstly, Bermuda is a very expensive island, even though it’s completely feasible to tour in a weekend trip from NYC. The flight was only 2 hours (contrary to popular thought, Bermuda is actually not part of the Caribbean, but is a tiny island off the coast of North Carolina), and we were able to snag $200ish tickets (free for me as I was traveling for work). Everything else, however, is very expensive as it’s filled with honeymooners and old couples on cruises. We wanted to experience as much as possible though, and we were only there for two days, so we splurged on a few experiences.
We saved money on transportation relying mostly on the bus. Unfortunately, since Bermuda runs on island time, the buses were pretty infrequent, especially on a weekend. We rode the bus whenever we could (buy a pack of tokens at the bus or ferry terminal in Hamilton to save money, otherwise $4-$5 a trip) and took a few taxis at night when we were waiting for the bus for too long. On the bright side, everywhere on the island is accessible by bus or ferry (also considered public transportation), with the City of Hamilton acting as the center (lucky us, as our cottage was very near the center of the city).
We rented our cottage from bermudarentals, opting to rent from people living in Bermuda instead of staying in a hotel or renting from AirBnB. I think this was our cheapest option. Beaches, of course, were free – and absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear though; we struggled on Sunday to find any stores open to rent or sell us goggles. Our favorite beaches were Horseshoe Bay (touristy, but definitely beautiful), Church Bay (for snorkeling), and Elbow Beach (for stereotypical endless white sand and blue water beaches). Watch out for the swarms of Portugese Man-Of-War though!
swimming out on our own to do some snorkeling. Lots of riptides, oops!
gopro was the best investment I’ve made in a while!
One of the coolest experiences we had was snorkeling around shipwrecks in the Bermuda Triangle. We rented a tour from snorkelbermuda, which was great since it was a small, one-man boat rather than a huge tour boat that the visitors offices try to push on you. We dove for a few hours in the middle of the ocean, swimming among fish and diving to explore hundred-year-old shipwrecks.
these crazy kids dove off the cliff
no filter needed, again
Another cool, but touristy, experience we had was visiting the Crystal and Fantasy Caves. The admission price is a bit steep, but definitely very magical and a change from the endless beaches-although you can totally spend your whole time on the beaches!
Most of the big cruise ships dock on the West Side of the island, called the “Royal Dockyard”. It’s easiest to take a 20-minute ferry ride from Hamilton to get to the dockyard, and that area of the country is very nice to walk around. We visited the National Museum of Bermuda and watched dolphins swim at DolphinQuest for a few hours while we waited for our shipwreck dive.
Overall- a beautiful island getaway. The beaches are as beautiful as you can possibly imagine. But, just not a super budget-friendly choice, although good if you’re trying to save vacation days. The food was also mediocre (mostly British pub food influenced-not as much seafood as you would think, since they regulate fishing pretty strongly to protect their reefs) and very expensive. Buy a bottle of liquor at Duty Free at the airport before you exit, as that’ll be the cheapest alcohol you’ll get!