Barbados is divided into 11 parishes, each with their own distinct character, interconnected by a fairly decent road system of which the ABC highway is the main artery, running through the centre of the island connecting the island from one end to the other.
One of the best ways to get around and see all of the island is to rent a car.
St. Michael Parish, Barbados
Bridgetown is the capital and the busiest city of Barbados, hosting the main Duty Free Shopping areas on Broad Street, plus the majority of banks and financial institutions on the island. The varied architecture and historical buildings compliment the bustle of every day life. Less than 5 minutes walk from Bridgetown along Bay Street is the beautiful beach of Carlisle Bay. It's home to several boat wrecks, offering some of the best places to dive and snorkel. It's a hot spot for many of the catamaran tours and boat trips to moor and let you explore.
Christchurch Parish, Barbados
Home to the lively South Coast, Christchurch Parish offers visitors a multitude of accommodation options from guest houses, apartments to all-inclusive resorts. Windsurfers from around the world flock to Silver Sands and Maxwell beaches. The Barbados Windsurfing World Cup is held Annually in January at Silver Sands. The calmer waters can be found at Accra, Dover and Sandy Beach.
Oistins, of Christchurch Parish, is Barbados main fishing port, the daily catch is sold at the waterfront market. Every Friday evening a lively Fish Fry takes place where you can eat at simple local restaurants, dance to the lively calypso music and buy local crafts. Before leaving head towards the back of the square and watch the elderly locals dancing the old time two step. It's a must see!
St Lawrence Gap is the happening area, water sports are in abundance during the day, and at night the strip comes alive with happening restaurants, bars and nightclubs with the best DJ's and local bands playing music in to the early hours.
St. James Parish, Barbados
Situated on the West Coast, St. James Parish is famous for the white powdery beaches, luxurious hotels and world class restaurants, serving Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisine. It's also home to the protected Turtle colony where you can take a boat trip and swim one on one with this precious species. Holetown is the commercial heart of the St James, with banks, supermarkets, police station and local stores. Holetown Festival, which celebrates the landing of the first settlers in February 1627, includes a street parade, local exhibits and of course music and dancing.
St. Joseph Parish
Bathsheba on the East Coast is one the most spectacular places in Barbados. The lush vegetation and the wild Atlantic Ocean have formed a unique rugged coastline that is famous for the surf. The Caribbean Surfing Championships are held annually in early November at the 'Soup Bowl', which is the central beach area of Bathsheba. Houses and simple accommodation are rented to locals and visitors - Bathsheba is one of the most economical places to stay in Barbados.
The Andromeda Gardens, part of the Barbados National Trust, and the Flower Forest are both set on the hillside with spectacular views over little fishing villages. They both have a fine collection of tropical plants and flowering trees including orchids and the Compass Tree named as it grows pointing east and west.
St. Lucy Parish, Barbados
The North Point of Barbados, hosts one of the three working lighthouses in Barbados. The coast line is rugged and offers some spectacular views. The seas are rough and attract extreme surfers when the winds are high. The Animal Flower Cave is worth a visit. It is a cavern, home to sea anemones which form the shape of beautiful flowers.
St. Peter Parish, Barbados
Speightstown in St. Peter Parish is a sleepy fishing village with old English architecture. Heading inland you will find the Barbados Wildlife Reserve where a large mahogany forest is home to monkeys, porcupines, mongoose (to name a few), and tropical birds roam and fly freely through the trees. St Nicholas's Abbey is the oldest standing structure (1650) and is one of the only 3 remaining Jacobean houses within the Western Hemisphere.
St. Philip Parish, Barbados
St. Philip Parish is the location of two of the oldest hotels, Sam Lord's Castle and The Crane Beach. Both these hotels have fantastic architecture, spectacular views, luxury facilities and sandy cove beaches safe for swimming. Rugged Point is another hot spot for surfers.
St. Thomas Parish, Barbados
One of the most famous excursions is a trip to Harrison's Cave, unique within the Caribbean, and is claimed to be one of the wonders of the world. A half mile tram tour will show you the spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and the mystical wonders of the limestone cavern.
St. Andrew Parish, Barbados
The Scotland district in St. Andrew Parish is a scenic hilly area in the north east. A series of peaks including Mount Hillaby, the highest point of the island at 1100 feet, is located here.
Chalky Mount is the only part of the coral capped island where red clay is found. Potters have worked here since the last century. The pottery village has a full array of local crafts to buy.
St. John Parish, Barbados
Drive to the top of Hackleton Cliff; it's quoted to be the best view on Barbados. Nearby Codrington College is set within 5 acres of woodland, and it is the theological college of the Anglican Church.
St. George Parish, Barbados
Set inland within fields of rolling sugar cane, you will find the Gun Hill Signal Station, used and built by the British Army in 1818.