Just 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina, bathed in the warmth of the Gulf Stream, this veddy British outpost in the Atlantic features pink sand beaches, crystal-clear waters for boating, diving, snorkeling and swimming, great shopping, fine dining, lots of history, great golf and some of the finest hotels in the world. It’s a great destination for romance, relaxation and recreation.
It is always something of a delightful surprise to happen upon the 130-or-so islands that make up the nation of Bermuda, sitting in the middle of the Gulfstream in the Atlantic Ocean, some 600 miles due east of Cape Hatteras, and realize you have arrived in a very tiny bit of Britain.
The oldest colony in the British Commonwealth, Bermuda is quintessentially British in so many ways: it is dignified, erudite, literate, peaceful, and friendly. They love golf, tennis played on grass, all things sailing and involving boats, afternoon tea, and a nice G&T before dinner (unless they opt for a Dark & Stormy instead).
Quiet men, sometimes dressed in Bermuda shorts, knee socks and business jackets, quietly compound their money in tidy offices in downtown Hamilton. Schoolchildren all wear neat uniforms every day. The beaches feature soft pink sand. Almost every square inch of the place is manicured to a fault.
Yet Bermuda is anything but a boring place to visit. It’s got sunshine, the sea, shopping and all kinds of sports to pursue. You can go there to relax, or go there to be as active as you want.
And despite the stiff upper lip and usual British reserve that underlies these islands, the people of Bermuda add the right amount of spice and sizzle. Descendants of slaves, seafarers who’ve washed up ashore from all four corners of the globe, as well as second sons of the landed gentry looking for a place to make it in the world … all of these disparate and diverse personalities give the island a delightful lilt in language, and an outlook of life that’s welcoming.
It’s not the Caribbean, exactly; and it’s not Great Britain, exactly. It is Bermuda, exactly: a unique and beautiful little corner of the world that’s a joy to visit for the first time, or the tenth.
English is the official language of Bermuda.
The currency in Bermuda is the Bermuda dollar, which is kept on par with the U.S. Dollar. US currency is generally accepted everywhere on the island.
The electrical current is the same as in the United States: 110v, 60Hz, AC.
Internet connections and WiFi spots are found throughout the country. Most major hotels provide good accessibility.
Residents of the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom do not require visas to enter Bermuda. A passport and return or onward air ticket is required. Other nationalities may require a visa, obtainable from the British consulate in their country.
Tap water is generally considered safe in Bermuda. Most fresh water is captured from rainfall and treated.
Bermuda is in the Atlantic time zone, -4 from GMT. When it is noon in New York, it is 1 p.m. in Bermuda.
The summer months (May through October) are considered high season in Bermuda. But the climate is generally mild year round. During winter (December through March), temperatures average 65-70°F; in summer, 75-85°F.