Reviewed as the ‘Sexiest Beach Escapes’ by Bing Travel and Forbes Traveller and awarded the ‘Best Secret Island on Earth’ by Travel and Leisure, Eleuthera is the paradise on earth. It is the fourth most populated island of The Bahamas. The people are chiefly dependent on agriculture and fishing for their livelihood. From endless pineapple fields to white-and-pink sand beaches, Eleuthera is an island of casual sophistication. ‘It’s like the quintessential Caribbean, Victorian little town that has frozen in time’ said David Barlin on Eleuthera. The island got its name from the Greek adjective eleutheros which means ‘free’. It is believed that the island was uninhabited till 1648 when the European settlers known as the ‘Eleutherian Adventurers’ came here and gave the island its current name.
This 110 mile long island with its blue coloured waters and naturally gifted beauty is the haven of tropical vacation activities. Eleuthera Bahamas is surrounded by the best of two ocean worlds; the Caribbean Sea known as the Exuma Sound and the Atlantic ocean famous for its surfing and Surfers Beach. Eleuthera is indeed the perfect destination! It has anything and everything under the sun in its 100 mile narrow strip of land. The island also has magnificent shoreline views often visited by the sun. The place makes you feel like God has sliced off a part of heaven for men to enjoy on earth. As New York Times proclaimed, “Eleuthera is for beach bums!”
The chief mode of transport is via airlines. Once you arrive at an Eleuthera airport you can travel via car rentals. As there is only one highway called Queen’s, it is relatively easy to find your way around the island. On reaching Eleuthera you can also take the help of rental cars, guides, and taxis. The island is an excellent ideal of an out- island Bahamas and a trip around the island is an adventure beyond imagination. Rich in colour, history and culture, sin doubt one falls head over heels in love with the island at one glance. Restaurants and eateries found in every nook and corner of the island provides you everything from home cooked island specialities to a luxurious gourmet.
Fish lovers, this is the ideal place where you get to savour conch, lobster and oysters in one platter! Jerked chicken is a unique culinary delight and for those not-a-foodie types there’s burger, fries and pizza too. The island is also famous for its pineapple plantations. At local restaurants we get to taste pineapple tarts in plenty. The annual pineapple festival is celebrated every June in Gregory Town honouring the tradition of pineapple farming that began in the 18th century. This four day festival features local culture, food, pineapples and a Jankanoo party. But it is the resorts, villas and quaint inns that capture the attention of the visitors. In fact it’s the villas and beach front cottages that gave Eleuthera the reputation of being the friendliest place in the Caribbean. Frequent visitors include Robert De Niro, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.
Eleuthera is also the best when it comes to sightseeing. The island is a perfect blend of history and modernity. The Lighthouse and the Lighthouse Beach in the southern tip of the island are one among the popular points of interest in Eleuthera. A trip to the Caribbean island is incomplete without a glance at the Glass Window Bridge, the narrowest place on earth where the Atlantic bumps right into the aquamarine Caribbean Sea. With the help of a guide you can also enjoy the mystique surrounding its mysterious caves. The art and architecture of Eleuthera was greatly influenced by its original settlers of the 1700’s. A walk around the streets takes you through some old and odd New England architecture.
Eleuthera is also famous for the high cliffs on the eastern side of this Bahamas Island. The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, the first national park of Eleuthera is home to 171 species of indigenous plants. The Preserve is frequented by local teachers and students as well as tourists. The Hatchet Bay caves and Surfer’s Beach in the north and the Ocean Hole in the south are other major attractions. Eleuthera also has some of the best dive sites in the world; the famous called the ‘Current Cut’. You can also visit the Preacher’s Cave which was home to the Eleutherian Adventurers. Recent studies have also excavated remains of the Arawaks (one of the ancient indigenous tribes of the Caribbean) at the site. The National Geographic Traveller claims the Bahamas Island to be ‘a laid-back paradise for scuba divers and anyone else in search of a real place’.
The island maintains a pleasant weather throughout the year and the cool breeze by the seashore keeps you fairly comfortable through day and night. Every part of the island is equally majestic. It never stops surprising you at every turn you take! Eleuthera gives you the feeling of an Old World Charm as you travel around its historical landmarks and also takes you to the world of glitz and glamour while basking yourself on the pink sand beaches. If you are searching for solitude by a turquoise blue ocean with a warm breeze and sandy beaches, Eleuthera is definitely your place!