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Travel Bermuda - Your Complete Information Guide To This Quintessential Island   by Sarah White

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In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, 570 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, lies an island filled with pink sand beaches, pastel cottages and quintessential British traditions. With a landmass of only 21 square miles, it is one of the smallest territories in the world. Bermuda actually consists of around 140 islands, of which 8 of these are linked by bridges to form a continuous fishhook shaped area of land that runs 22 miles in length and only 2 miles across at its widest point. This is the Bermuda that most everyone knows because the other islands are uninhabited and some are only rocks.

Town Buildings and Waterfront, St. George's Island, St. George's Parish, Bermuda
Town Buildings and Waterfront, St. George's Island, St. George's Parish, Bermuda
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Bermuda is a different island in many ways from those that you generally think about such as the Caribbean. It is very polite and slightly restrained in the sense that you won't find laid-back locals wandering around barefoot and offering you piña coladas. It is somewhat formal in dress, as you'll see the female residents in stockings and heels and the men in jackets, ties, Bermuda shorts, and knee socks despite the beautiful weather. Golf and tennis are popular pastimes and you will find that most visitors, as well as Bermudians, are over 40. It is a wonderful and charming island that offers many things to see and do with great places to go.

Horseshoe Bay, South Coast Beaches, Southampton Parish, Bermuda
Horseshoe Bay, South Coast Beaches, Southampton Parish, Bermuda
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Bermuda weather is very temperate, not too hot and not too cold. It is a semi-tropical island that doesn't have a rainy season and there is no one month that receives an excess of rain. Showers can be heavy at times but you'll find that the skies clear quickly and that it doesn't usually affect your outdoor plans. The temperature rarely rises above 85 F, (29.5 C) perfect for sun bathing, swimming and all water sports and there is always a cool breeze at night. May to October are the warmest months with an average high of 82 F and an average low of 74 F. The coldest part of the year runs from January to March with average highs of 69 F and lows 60 F.

The Department of Tourism promotes 2 seasons for Bermuda weather; summer's "beach and sizzle" and winter's "golf and spa." In summer, the island is filled with activities; hotel barbecues and evening dances to set off your daytime sightseeing trips, and the public beaches never close. During the off-season which runs from Nov-Mar, you'll find that the pace slows down significantly. Some of the sightseeing, dive, snorkeling, and water-skiing boats are dry-docked and only taxis operate tours of the island. There are also a few hotels and restaurants that will close, although having said that, most hotels in Bermuda do stay open and you'll find the prices slashed up to 40%. This is a great time to travel with perfect weather for golf and tennis, you can still rent boats, tour the islands and the best part? You can travel Bermuda and take full advantage of the uncrowded beaches, shops, restaurants, and walking tours and totally enjoy the beautiful sunny days.

Chaplin Bay, South Coast Beaches, Southampton Parish, Bermuda,
Chaplin Bay, South Coast Beaches, Southampton Parish, Bermuda
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If you're looking to rent a car while you travel Bermuda, you are going to be out of luck, as there are no car rentals available there! You can get around with public buses, ferries, rent a moped or scooter, you can use taxis - or even hire a horse and carriage. The bus system is fantastic, running on schedule all day, although there is no late system. Exact change, tokens or tickets are required. Tokens can be purchased at some hotels and guest houses, sub-post offices, and at the Central Terminal in Hamilton on Church Street. You can also get multi-day Transportation Passes for three or seven days that allow for unlimited bus trips which will save you some money. Metered taxis can be found at the airport and most large hotels and they can also double as tour operators if you want to put together your own sightseeing tour of the island. Bermuda taxi operators are among the world's finest and their knowledge and commentary can make for an unforgettable tour. You can rent them by the day, hour or mile. All taxis are metered and the tariff is fixed by law so rates are the same for all: $4 for the first mile, $1.40 for each additional mile and higher rates after 10 pm. Ferries are a scenic way to get around and can sometimes be much faster than the bus. They connect Hamilton with Paget, Warwick and the Somerset/Dockyard area. Moped rentals are available by the 1/2 day, day, week and long-term. The cost varies according to length of rental and type of cycle. Horse and Carriage tours are a nice way to see Bermuda. By day the drivers will point out the sights, and for the evenings it is very romantic.

The currency here is the Bermuda dollar and it has a 1-1 ratio to the US dollar. Both currencies are equally accepted at all establishments but the US dollar is the currency of choice because unlike the Bermuda dollar, it's exchangeable everywhere in the world. Average room prices vary as such: Low - $100/120 Mid - $120/180 High - $200+, average meal prices are: Low - $5/10 Mid - $10/25 High - $25-30. All hotels in Bermuda are subject to a 7.25% hotel tax which is added to your bill at check-out and there is also a departure tax but this is included in the price of your air ticket. When it comes to tipping, most restaurants add a 15% service charge to your bill, so just check to see if it is there so that you don't end up tipping twice and of course, if it's not there, this is the average. Hotels also generally add a service charge and this is 10%. For taxis, a tip of around 10% is average.

Bermuda has more sights to see than you will be able to visit in a single vacation, here are a just a few of the highlights. Visit the awesome underground of Bermuda, with one of the highest concentrations of limestone caves in the world, it offers a dream world that has even been the inspiration for many creative achievements including Hensen Associates "Fraggle Rock" muppets. Make sure to take a visit to the Crystal Caves or Leamington Caves, both are along the Harrington Sound Road. The Royal Naval Dockyard which began in 1809, can be seen today restored as an entertainment and shopping complex, with restaurants, crafts market, arts centre, Bermuda Maritime Museum, historic Commissioner's House, cinema, and the Clocktower shopping mall. The Botanical Gardens which feature over 1000 varieties of plant life spread out over 36 acres of landscape and are open all year from sunrise to sunset. Take time to visit the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo where you can take self guided tours if you choose and learn about Bermuda's beginnings, whaling industry, captivating undersea exploration, and fragile environment. The aquarium, museum and zoo are internationally recognized as a centre for the preservation and reintroduction of threatened species.

Traditional White Stone Roofs on Colourful Bermuda Houses
Traditional White Stone Roofs on Colourful Bermuda Houses
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If diving and snorkeling are your thing, you will find some 350 shipwrecks that are scattered among the reef formations, making it an ever changing, living museum under the sea. Another great way to see this amazing world is through a Glass Bottom Boat Tour, offered during the days and nights. And let's not forget the endless array of the beautiful Bermuda beaches. With their pink sand and limestone dunes, you will find that the beaches on the south-shore are more scenic than those on the north-shore. The most popular, also the most crowded by tourists and locals is Horseshoe Bay Beach. Your best bet is to pick up "Bermuda's Guide to Beaches and Transportation," a free publication available at most hotels and in all Visitors Service Bureaus. It combines map and bus/ferry schedules, showing you the locations of the beaches and how to reach them.

Whether you are looking to visit a bustling city like the capitol of Hamilton, which offers plenty of shopping and sightseeing during the day; dinner, drinks and dancing by night to a lazy day on the beach, to the World Heritage Site and historic Town of St. George; Bermuda will cater to all of your needs. It can be a relaxed vacation destination or an international business center. It is a mix of ancient and new worlds, friendly people and there are so many things for you to take part in and enjoy. Whatever your desire, Bermuda is sure to welcome you."

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Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa Bermuda
Secluded cottage resort with four private beaches Set on a 30-acre peninsula between the ocean and a large bay on the west end, this resort features four private beaches and pink cottages. Accommodations consist of ocean-view, air-conditioned rooms, suites, and individual cottages, one dating to the late 17th century. Tranquil resort, a health spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and an aura of Bermudian history draw an international clientele. The resort offers 94 guestrooms and suites in one- and two-story pink-and-white cottages scattered over a 30-acre peninsula on Bermuda's west side. Some cottages are available only as complete units. One cottage dates from the late 17th century. 
Coco Reef Bermuda
Situated on the beach, this Paget resort is close to Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Paget Marsh and Nature Reserve, and Bermuda Botanical Gardens. Area attractions include Horseshoe Bay  and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. Coco Reef Bermuda has a private beach and an outdoor pool. Business amenities at this 3.0-star property include high-speed Internet access, meeting rooms for small groups, and business services. Coco Reef Bermuda has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar. This property provides an airport shuttle (surcharge). The staff can arrange wedding services, event catering, and tour assistance. Additional amenities include a concierge desk, a coffee shop/café, and air conditioning in public areas.
Elbow Beach Bermuda
This spa property is situated on a Paget beach. Elbow Beach, Horseshoe Bay, and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse are area attractions. Elbow Beach has a private beach, tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a fitness facility. Elbow Beach features a full-service spa. Business amenities include a business center, wireless Internet access, meeting rooms for small groups, and business services. Elbow Beach has a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a poolside bar. 24-hour room service is available. Event facilities at this 4.0-star property consist of conference rooms and banquet facilities. 
Grotto Bay Beach Resort Bermuda
Less than one mile from Bermuda International Airport lies the inviting Grotto Bay Beach Resort in Crawl, Bermuda. This resort is located near many of Bermuda's major attractions, including Crystal Caves, Devil's Hole Aquarium, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and the historic town of St. George. Along the resort's shoreline, two theatrically lighted limestone caves provide a dramatic alternative to swimming in the ocean or splashing in the resort's freshwater, freeform pool. Guests can also enjoy the seclusion of the garden's spa tub. A beautiful pink-sand beach invites sunbathers to stretch out next to the calm waters of Grotto Bay.
Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa
This Warwick property is situated near the beach, close to Belmont Hills Golf Club and Warwick Pond. Also nearby are Horseshoe Bay and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa has a golf course, tennis courts, a health club, an outdoor pool, and a spa tub. The onsite spa at this 4.0-star property offers massage and treatment rooms, facial treatments, body treatments, and beauty services. Business amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, meeting rooms for small groups, and business services. Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa has a bar/lounge and a poolside bar. Room service is available during limited hours. 
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess Bermuda
The Fairmont Hamilton Princess (Bermuda), sister hotel to The Plaza Hotel in New York City, The Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta and The Fairmont San Francisco, opened its doors amidst hibiscus bushes and a natural harbor in 1885. The resort stands three blocks from Hamilton City Center. Complimentary shuttle service is available to the Fairmont Southampton Hotel's golf, beach, spa and tennis facilities. Harbor-side alfresco dining is featured at Harley's Restaurant and Terrace, where prime aged beef and breakfast buffets are available. Afternoon tea is served at Heritage Court, while unique butler service is available for candlelight dinners on guestroom terraces.
The Fairmont Southampton Hotel Bermuda
Glistening seas, pink sand beaches and verdant landscaping surround the regal Fairmont Southampton Hotel in Bermuda. Unique attractions within walking distance include the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and Railway Trail, both within one-quarter mile of the Fairmont Southampton Hotel. Pre-dinner cocktails are offered at Waterlot Inn's outdoor terrace and gardens, while steaks are served under the restaurant's beamed ceilings. From Caribbean fare to international cuisine, the resort features a variety of options, including seafood, Italian, lounges and family-friendly cafes. An award-winning, par-three golf course offers dramatic elevation changes, two water hazards and breathtaking vistas.
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