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South Shore Beaches in Bermuda (Credit: Bermuda Tourism Authority)

The Best Bermuda Beaches for Every Type of Beachgoer

South Shore Beaches in Bermuda (Credit: Bermuda Tourism Authority)
Contributor
Melinda Crow

Last updated
Oct 24, 2023

Read time
6 min read

Bermuda beaches include 34 stretches of idyllic sand (75 miles altogether) to dig your toes into and relax. And getting to Bermuda by cruise ship is easy via several cruise lines, some with extended seasons.

NCL can whisk you to Bermuda pink sand beaches (you know they aren’t all pink, though, right?) onboard a variety of ships sailing most of the year, including Norwegian Prima, Pearl, Joy and Getaway.

But it's not just NCL that can take you to those entrancing Bermuda beaches. Royal Caribbean cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore and Bayonne with ships like Vision and Liberty of the Seas. Other cruise lines with Bermuda itineraries include Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Oceania and Disney.

But once you arrive in port, how will you choose which beaches are the best for you? We’ve scoured the choices and placed them into categories for different types of beach lovers. Want to know which beaches have the best snorkeling in Bermuda, or where to go for peace and quiet? We’ve got you covered.

Best Bermuda Beaches Close to Bermuda Cruise Ports: Snorkel Park Beach and Tobacco Bay

St. George's (Photo:Peter Rooney/Shutterstock)

Snorkel Park Beach Is a Short Walk from Bermuda’s Most Popular Cruise Ports

Snorkel Park Beach is just a five-minute walk from King's Wharf and a few minutes farther from the Royal Naval Dockyards, making this the absolute easiest Bermuda beach for the majority of Bermuda cruisers.

That makes it popular, but the proximity to the ship also makes it ideal for families traveling with youngsters who may need a midday break back on the ship. The park has bathrooms, lockers, food and drinks and water sports equipment rentals.

Tobacco Bay Is Walkable from the St. George’s Cruise Terminal

The port at St. George’s is primarily used by premium and luxury cruise lines with stopovers in Bermuda. If you are cruising with Oceania, Windstar or Regent Seven Seas, Tobacco Bay is the closest beach to the port.

An easy 15-minute walk from the St. George’s Cruise Ship Terminal, Tobacco Bay was given its name because tobacco was dried on the beach in earlier centuries. Jagged limestone rocks separate the ocean from the bay, which results in shallow waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Coral reefs serve as home for a variety of marine life ranging from grouper to parrotfish.

After snorkeling, lounge on the beach with rental chairs and beach toys. You can find food vendors nearby, too. If you want to round out your beach experience, Fort St. Catherine provides you with an overview of Bermuda's history as well as ideal Instagram photo opps of the Atlantic Ocean.

Most Instagram-worthy Bermuda Beaches: Horseshoe Bay Cove, Jobson's Cove and Somerset Long Bay

Beyond the Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda (Photo: instacruising/Shutterstock)

Horseshoe Bay Cove: The "Can’t Miss" Pink Sand Beach in Bermuda

If you can see only one beach in your time on the island, or if it is your first time to Bermuda, make Horseshoe Bay in Southampton Parish your destination. Approximately a 35-minute ride on the Number 7 bus or shuttle from King's Wharf, Horseshoe is revered for its curved-moon shape expanse of pink sand, calm currents and warm breezes in the summertime.

Full amenities (such as umbrellas and equipment rental) are available, and a lifeguard is on duty during the summer months, making this a safe bet for families. Take the shuttle service (for a small fee) known as "To the Top" if you don't want to walk up the steep hill back to the main road of the bus route.

Jobson's Cove: One of the Most Photographed Beaches in Bermuda

Jobson's Cove, Bermuda (Photo: Felix Lipov/Shutterstock)

One of the most photographed and well-known spots on the island, Jobson's Cove is a short walk from Warwick Long Bay, and you'll find more exclusivity at Jobson's. Play hide-and-seek or search for shady shelter in one of the coves under the jagged limestone rock formations. Climb up the natural steps of the rocks for your perfect Instagram shot.

Bring your own snorkeling gear to float among the parrotfish in crystal clear waters. There are no facilities on-site, so make sure you take advantage of the changing rooms and bathrooms at Warwick Long Bay and bring your own beach gear and bring snacks from town for your visit.

Somerset Long Bay Promises Adventure at Yet Another Pink Sand Beach in Bermuda

This stretch along the South Shore promises some of the most pristine beachfront in the world. If you want to add a nature walk and bird watching to your tanning session, check out the Somerset Long Bay Nature Reserve (an ideal activity for the family).

Somerset gives you the same salmon-colored sand found at Horseshoe Bay Beach but with fewer crowds, and Somerset is an ideal place to watch the sunset if you stay overnight on the island. Those who are more adventurous will be able to catch waves and wind during a kite-surfing session, which is popular on this beach.

Changing rooms and restrooms are available but snack bars are not, so make sure to grab some snacks before heading out to this beach for the day.

Best Bermuda Beaches for Snorkeling: Elbow Beach and Church Bay Beach

Shipwreck Partially Submerged on Bermuda Island (Photo: orangecrush/Shutterstock)

Elbow Beach: Complete With a Shipwreck

Elbow Beach -- affiliated with Elbow Beach Hotel, one of the island's oldest hotels -- is the beach closest to Hamilton. Graced with a mile of pastel pink sand, the beach is notable for snorkeling to the shipwreck of the Pollockshields.

This 323-foot cargo steamer, which was used as a German naval supply ship in World War I, was trapped in a storm and crashed into the shore reef in front of the hotel in 1915.

You can book a tour of the wreck with operators -- such as Blue Water Divers -- who will lead you via an underwater scooter to the ruins of the ship hull, propeller, boilers, rudder and hundreds of artillery shells scattered on the seafloor. Adventurous travelers also have the choice of booking an escorted snorkel and kayak adventure.

Church Bay Beach: Shoes or Booties Required, But Beauty Guaranteed

Church Bay is one of the best-known snorkeling spots on the island because of the reef's proximity to the shore. The waters there are deeper than at other popular beaches, so be prepared.

In an almost-hidden cove just off South Shore Road, the scene is set to discover an abundance of marine life among coral cliffs and coves but beware of jellyfish that lurk in colder months.

Wear water shoes or booties to avoid getting cut on rocks in and around the beach. In the summer months, you can rent snorkeling gear.

Best Bermuda Beach for Thrill Seekers: Admiralty House Park

Cliff jumpers love this destination. The activity became popular with tourists because of viral YouTube videos showing jumpers at the site, and you'll see a lot of young Bermudians making the plunge as well. Those who dare climb up the rock and dive into the water. As with any extreme activity, proceed with caution and ask others about the surrounding conditions.

Aqua shoes or neoprene booties may also be helpful in this case. The park is in Pembroke Parish, easily accessible by the city of Hamilton. The park also features a number of caves sectioned out by the British military in the 1800s.

Best Bermuda Beach for Families: Shelly Bay

Hamilton, Bermuda (Photo: Just dance/Shutterstock)

A low-key beach experience for those who want to get away from the bustle of Horseshoe Bay, Shelly Bay is a shallow beach that has gentle waves, allowing families with toddlers to swim with minimal stress from currents or surf.

Also notable: The beach, found between Hamilton and St. George, has a number of trees that supply shade. A playground with swings, slides and climbing frames supply alternative activities for youngsters, and you'll probably see cricket and soccer teams practicing on the weekends.

It's best to bring your own food and drinks here; a grocery store and ATM are available a half mile north of the beach.

Best Bermuda Beach for Peace and Quiet: Warwick Long Bay

Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda (Photo: orangecrush/Shutterstock)

Just over a mile from the popular Horseshoe Bay, South Shore Park on Warwick Long Bay isn't the most secluded beach on the island, but it is a good option if you're looking for something quieter.

Seek your bliss as you touch your toes on the soft pink sands or discover the hidden alcoves among the dunes and bluffs. Carefully climb one of the rocks for a better view of the blue waters.

Bring your favorite book as an ideal way to spend the afternoon on the beach. Rentals for snorkel equipment, chairs and umbrellas are available as well as a snack stand in the summer months.

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Publish date April 24, 2023
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