Best Islands in the Bahamas – Idyllic white sand beaches, azure waters and a relaxed way of life mean that a visit to the Bahamas is high on most people’s bucket lists. However, the Bahamas is a vast archipelago made up of more than 2,000 islands and cays, some of which aren’t even inhabited. With so many stunning islands on offer, how do you choose which one to visit? Whether you’re looking for the best beach in the Bahamas, or you would prefer your holiday to have an exciting nightlife, there is an island in the Bahamas to suit every type of vacation. Visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide for information on all of the Grand Bahama beaches, or visit us on Pinterest.
Bahamas Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit the Bahamas is from mid-December to mid-April, the country’s peak season. Though temperatures here are great year-round, the islands fall within the hurricane belt, so hurricanes may be a factor between June 1 and Nov. 30. Most of these months (plus May) also fall within the region’s rainy season, which can leave you with fewer days spent enjoying the islands’ outdoor activities. But keep in mind that mid-December to mid-April’s sublime weather attracts hordes of tourists, so prices will be at their highest and crowds at their thickest during these months.
Located just 50 miles from the Florida coast, Bimini has a fascinating history and culture due to its close proximity to the United States. Rumored to be a part of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, Bimini is made For the ultimate fairy-tale getaway, head to Harbour Island. With pastel-colored cottages, swaying palm trees and alluring blush-tinted sand, this dreamy oasis is worthy of a postcard. Spend a day exploring the quaint streets of Dunmore Town on a golf cart (the island’s primary mode of transportation), then refuel with a delicious lunch of conch fritters (shellfish that is battered and deep-fried with vegetables and seasonings). When you’re ready to hit the beach, Harbour Island’s illustrious Pink Sand Beach provides excellent swimming and snorkeling conditions, while the Lone Tree at Girl’s Bank Beach is a must for photographers. For my information on Harbour Island, visit The Best of Harbour Island. Best Harbour Island Hotel: Rock House
Famed for its cobalt blue water, white sand beaches and friendly swimming pigs, this chain of 365 cays along the Atlantic Ocean is so esteemed that many of its islands are privately owned by celebrities (including Johnny Depp and Tyler Perry). Head to Coco Plum Beach for prime sand dollar hunting or get your feet wet at the renowned Tropic of Cancer Beach. Meanwhile, divers should suit up for a swim at Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the world’s first land and sea reserve, or Thunderball Grotto, a fascinating underwater cave featured in the 1965 James Bond flick, “Thunderball.” Head to The Best of the Exuma Islands guide for more information on the Exumas. Best Hotel on the Exumas: Saint Francis Resort & Marina
Boasting a ton of resort hotels and more airports than any other Bahamian island, Eleuthera may be easy to visit – but it’s definitely not easy to leave. Dramatic cliffs, miles of unspoiled coastline and some of the sweetest pineapples in the world make this picturesque island ideal for long, leisurely days by the water. Hang 10 at Surfer’s Beach or spend an evening on Lighthouse Beach, a stretch of pink sand best for romantic strolls. For an unforgettable experience, see where the aquamarine waters of the Bight of Eleuthera meet the dark blue Atlantic Ocean at the Glass Window Bridge. Get more information on the Best Eleuthera Hotels and Resorts here. Best Eleuthera Hotel: Villa Allamanda
Grand Bahama Island
Visit Grand Bahama Island if your idea of a perfect island getaway includes ample water sports. Snorkel in some of the Bahamas’ best blue holes or go diving with tiger sharks at Tiger Beach. Lucaya Beach and Taino Beach are both top-notch shores, but the rippled sand at Gold Rock Beach in Lucayan National Park has been known to attract photographers and cinephiles (it is featured in several of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films). In the evening, head to Count Basie Square in Port Lucaya Marketplace for dinner, drinks and traditional goombay music. For more information on Grand Bahama, visit The Best Grand Bahama Guide here. Best Grand Bahama Island Hotel: Bell Channel Inn
Spanning 120 miles, the boating capital of the Bahamas is home to the Sea of Abaco, a naturally protected body of water with stellar fishing and premier sailing. Marsh Harbour’s myriad restaurants, resorts and marinas make a great home base for island hoppers, while Hope Town, a charming village known for its colorful cottages and iconic Elbow Reef Lighthouse, appeals to history buffs. Don your scuba diving gear to explore the underwater caverns of Walker’s Cay, or stroll the sandbar at Tahiti Beach. Only accessible by bike, boat or on foot, this secluded stretch of shore is perfect for leisurely beach days. For The Best of the Abaco Islands, visit here. Best Hotel on the Abacos: Lofty Fig Villas
Although this unpretentious island lacks the flashiness of Nassau and Great Exuma, it is precisely this low profile that keeps its beaches pristine and uncrowded. Go kite surfing at Greenwood Beach, search for sand dollars along Fernandez Bay or chat with locals at New Bight Beach. Afterward, visitors can hike Mount Alvernia, the highest point in the Bahamas, or embrace the island’s folklore by trying to spot the fabled mermaids in Mermaid Hole. Visit in June when the annual Rake ‘n’ Scrape music festival lights up the island with a farmers market, battle of the bands and quadrille dancing. For more information on Cat Island, visit The Best Cat Island Guide here. Best Cat Island Hotel: Shanna’s Cove Resort
If your perfect vacation includes glitzy resorts, sparkling white sand beaches and family-friendly activities, head to Paradise Island. The massive Atlantis, Paradise Island resort complex is the island’s crowning jewel, sheltering the world’s largest open-air marine habitat and one of the Caribbean’s largest casinos and water parks. Book your stay with the resort or purchase a day pass to enjoy amenities, such as the Predator Lagoon, Aquaventure and Dolphin Cay. Keep in mind that Paradise Island is primarily a tourist destination, so expect crowds. For more information, visit the Best Nassau Travel Guide here. Best Paradise Island Hotel: Warwick Paradise Island
Long Island, Bahamas
Along the western shore of Long Island, pristine white sand beaches frame the calm, sapphire waters of the Great Bahama Bank. Here, visitors can sunbathe, swim or spot exotic birds along the coast of Cape Santa Maria Beach. Meanwhile, dramatic cliffs tower over the Atlantic Ocean on Long Island’s eastern shore, where bone fishing, scuba diving and sailing are popular pursuits. Hold your breath for a thrilling free dive of Dean’s Blue Hole, the world’s second deepest blue hole, or explore the stalactites at Hamilton’s Cave, the largest cave system in the Bahamas. Best Long Island Bahamas Hotel: Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas