An ocean wilderness set within a cultural mecca, Bermuda is filled with hidden coves, calm bays and crystal-clear waters, which are home to more than 300 shipwrecks and coral reefs teeming with colorful tropical fish.
“Come to Bermuda for the water experience,” said Philippe Rouja, PhD, a marine anthropologist and custodian of shipwrecks. “It’s astounding.”
In the summer, water temperatures average 82 degrees, water clarity is up to 80 feet and extra buoyancy created by high salt density makes snorkeling a breeze.
Begin your water adventures with a swim in Horseshoe Bay, where the water is crisp, clear and warm, then enjoy a stroll along the wide, picturesque beach. Take a morning course from one of many certified dive shops throughout the island; by the afternoon you can be out in the ocean.
“Few places in the world offer easier snorkeling and diving access,” Rouja said.
In the summer, water temperatures average 82 degrees.
Dive or snorkel from the beach or join a catamaran tour to the Montana, a Civil War blockade runner that wrecked in 1863.
“On the shipwreck, you’re experiencing what people spend years training for,” Rouja said. “You feel like you’re on the edge of the world. It’s incredible.”
Drift along the island’s calm water on a guided ecotour aboard a glass-bottom kayak, or rent paddleboards and glide peacefully past quaint homes and tangled mangroves.
Many of Bermuda’s beaches are extremely child-friendly, Rouja said. Tranquil, scenic and surrounded by craggy cliffs, West Whale Bay Beach’s shallow waters make it ideal for younger children. Bring older kids to Church Bay and snorkel among bright coral reefs brimming with marine life. Baby Beach, a small cove on the western end of Horseshoe Bay Beach, is a giant protected rock pool where parrot fish swim right in to greet you.
“It was one of my daughter’s favorites when she was young,” Rouja said. “The water is spectacular. No one can believe it’s just a short flight from New York.”
As seen in NY Times Magazine.