Andros, Out Islands and Abaco Islands
Andros is the largest and least known of the larger islands. The largest coral reef in the world outside of Australia lies off the east coast. Behind the reef, the seabed drops down to almost 8 km depth (called »sea tongue«). Deep sea fishing is very popular here.
The Out Islands include all islands except New Providence (with the capital Nassau) and Grand Bahama (with Freeport). Unusually beautiful, powder-soft beaches and crystal-clear water are characteristic of the quite different islands. The Out Islands, while remote, are not cut off. They are served by Bahamasair (from Nassau), among others.
The Abaco Islands are a crescent-shaped chain of islands north of New Providence. Many of the towns have the dreamy atmosphere of fishing villages. The islanders are skilled shipbuilders. Treasure Cay has an excellent golf course and other recreational opportunities. Places to visit include the Alton Lowe Museum in New Plymouth, Elbow Cay, Green Turtle Cay and Marsh Harbor with the Northern Bahamas’ largest boat rentals.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Bahamas, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
Located between Andros and Florida, Bimini is said to have the best fishing in the world. Writer Ernest Hemingway lived at Blue Marlin Cottage in Alice Town; Memorabilia from his life are on display in the museum.
The “Cat Island” in the east offers Mount Alvernia , the highest point in the Bahamas (69 m), steep cliffs, a dense natural forest and fascinating caves of the Arawak Indians from the pre-Columbian period. On Mount Alvernia lies the hermitage built by Father Jerome. The Cat Island Regatta takes place in August.
Long Island and Conception Island
The almost 100 km long island is rarely more than 5 km wide. Rugged coastal headlands, grasslands, rolling hills and sandy beaches lapped by surf typify the island’s landscape. Divers can explore over 30 shipwrecks at Conception Island, and excursions are available from the Stella Maris resort on Long Island’s north end. The Long Island Regatta takes place at Salt Pond in May.
Near Cockburn Town, the largest town on San Salvador, Columbus is said to have landed first on his quest for the new world. However, other places make the same claim. Sport fishing and diving are the most popular pastimes on this island.
Eleuthera and Exuma Islands
This island is 177 km long but no more than 3 km wide in most places. Recommended excursions include Ocean Hole, Glass Window Bridge, Harbor Island (with Dunmore Town, one of the oldest settlements in the Bahamas), Spanish Wells on the north coast of the island, Preacher’s Cave and the underwater caves in Hatchet Bay. Eleuthera has particularly good diving spots.
The Exuma Islands are a 160 km long chain of islands whose surrounding waters are among the best in the world for sailing. In the National Land and Sea Park there are impressive coral reefs that are under protection. Inland are former plantation homes that are now abandoned and derelict. In April, the Family Island Regatta starts in Elizabeth Harbour.
Berry Island is popular with anglers with its unique sandy beach and attractive landscape. Great Harbor Cay has a golf course and marina. Divers can admire the underwater rock formations and coral reefs off Mamma Rhoda Rock.
Blue Lagoon Island
Visitors experience an exotic lagoon and get an up -close look at dolphins. 45 minute dolphin tours are offered with interesting information about the marine mammals and swimming with the dolphins in the lagoon.
Grand Bahama Island
West End and the young, modern city of Freeport/Lucaya are accessible by air. The island offers vacationers wide, white sandy beaches and two casinos. Excellent shopping at the International Bazaar and Port Lucaya Marketplace ensure a relaxing, fun-filled stay. The Rand Memorial Nature Center has an excellent nature trail and the Garden of the Groves features exotic flowers, waterfalls and colorful birds.
Nassau and Paradise Island
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is located on the island of New Providence. Find nice souvenirs at the colorful Straw Market and in the shops of Bay Street. In addition to old prints, photographs and maps, some art objects of the Arawak Indians are exhibited in the city library. The pretty St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, known as The Kirk for short, was built in 1810. Government House, a neoclassical mansion built in 1801, is the seat of the governor. Picturesque homes line charming West Hill Street; the most elegant now houses one of the island’s best restaurants, the Gregcliff, accommodated. The lovingly restored Lex House is one of the oldest structures in the Bahamas (1793). There are wonderful views of the harbor from the picturesque Fort Charlotte on West Bay Street, an 18th-century fort with moat, bastions and dungeons. A visit to the Ardastra Gardens with tropical plants and pink flamingos is also worthwhile. The Queen’s Staircase is a steep flight of natural stone carved into the rock that leads up to the 18C Fort Fincastle and Water Tower. An elevator takes tourists to the viewing platform of the 85 m high water tower. Sunbathing, diving, fishing or sailing are the most popular activities during the day. Crystal Cay Underwater Observatory and Maritime Museum is just minutes from downtown Nassau. Visitors experience the exotic underwater world up close; A special attraction is the feeding of the sharks (daily at 2.30 p.m.).