Time difference: GMT -4 hours
Currency: Bermuda Dollar (USD used in resorts)
Flight time: 7 hours
All destinations are unique, but Bermuda is a mass of contradictions that makes it hard to know where to pin it. Many people assume it’s in the Caribbean, but it’s over 1,000 kilometres off the coast of North Carolina. It’s a British Overseas Territory, which means it’s got red telephone boxes and beat bobbies, but it’s got a distinctly un-British climate of almost year-round sunshine. It also uses the Bermuda dollar. To top it off, it’s a great seafaring nation on the edge of the Bermuda triangle; the mind boggles. In fact, Bermuda is a stylish, naturally beautiful and relaxed getaway destination packed with quirks that make it unlike anywhere else you’d visit. Think a laid back version of Britain, but with much better weather.
The charming seaside capital of Hamilton is a pleasure to explore and the island is dotted with fantastic restaurants, some run by Michelin-starred chefs. As you’d imagine, the seafood is fantastic, with snare marlin and Bluefin tuna inhabiting the surrounding waters – you can go fishing for them yourself, or remain a passive participant and dive among the shipwrecks, coral reefs and abundant marine life. Back on shore, land lubbers will appreciate the gleaming pink sands of lovely, famous Horseshoe Bay and Astwood Cove, fringed by spiky cacti and colourful succulents. You can relax on the beach and enjoy all the traditional accoutrements that come with sunny island living, or make like the locals and indulge in a traditional afternoon tea – scones and all.
The Britishisms do not stop here. The quaint capital is like a pastel-painted seaside town on the south coast (albeit one with more sunshine and a better paint job). The bustling harbourfront bobs with little boats that look like they’ve nipped across from Cornwall, while the resorts employ old-fashioned, formal service; polite British sensibilities of ‘good morning, good afternoon, goodnight’ will take you far here. Despite its influences from elsewhere, including Africa, Ireland, America and Portugal, British rule has endured so expect to spot British police, furious games of cricket and the ubiquitous red telephone boxes. And yes, afternoon tea really is an institution. Extra points if you follow it up with a Dark ‘n Stormy – the island’s national drink.