With over 700 idyllic islands nestled in the glistening turquoise waters of the Atlantic, The Bahamas is the literal definition of paradise on Earth. This awe-inspiring archipelago offers an island for every kind of traveller. From sipping Bahama Mamas all day to exploring the most exquisite beaches (including those frequented by swimming pigs), those seeking adventure will find it in spades. Among the many places in The Bahamas to experience soul-stirring escapades and pastel-coloured New England style, Eleuthera and Harbour Island stand out as particularly sublime examples of Bahamian beauty.
Located about 60 miles east of Nassau, these island neighbours are connected by a five-minute ferry across sky blue waters. Eleuthera and Harbour Island are where nature’s raw majesty blends with bustling streetscapes, vibrant cultural festivals and special seasonal events. Despite their proximity, each island has its own distinct character: while Harbour Island is a quaint seaside town known only to a few, Eleuthera is a sprawling stretch of wild beauty and one of the largest destinations in The Bahamas.
A trip to Eleuthera and Harbour Island will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Both islands proudly claimed a spot on Travel + Leisure’s (T+L) list of the 25 best islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and The Bahamas, winning acclaim for sweeping views, friendly locals and stunning pink-sand beaches.
Ready to add Eleuthera and Harbour Island to your itinerary? Here are some blockbuster must-visit sights that combine cool on-the-water activities with a vintage city vibe to get you inspired.
Pink Sand Beaches:
Harbour Island is an endless beach of the most unimaginably perfect coral-pink sand. Encompassing an expanse of over three powdery-pink miles, this beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. The sand’s almost indescribable pale pink colour comes from materials left behind by foraminifera (a tiny marine creature that has pink and red-coloured shells) and thousands of broken coral pieces. The pink stands out more in the wet sand at the water’s edge. Unlike other parts of the world, the sand here is always cool, so you can walk freely with bare feet.
The Glass Window Bridge:
This magnificent natural formation is considered a showstopping wonder and will undoubtedly leave you breathless as you drink in the glorious panoramic view. Known as the “narrowest place on Earth,” you can find this bridge on the northern end of Eleuthera, stretching across a 30-foot sliver of land. It is one of the few places on Earth where you can compare the dark, churning waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the road to the smooth turquoise shallows of the Bight of Eleuthera. This contrast is arresting, particularly from the air. Travellers have been known to spend up to an hour walking up and down the bridge or climbing the rocky bluff just north for the best view.
Explore the town of Dunmore:
On the Harbour Island side is Dunmore Town, widely regarded by travellers as a picturesque slice of Caribbean magic. Life here is tranquil and peaceful, with colourful clapboard houses and an excellent local spirit. The pretty town is lined with pastel-coloured cottages, white picket fences and gorgeous gardens bursting with bougainvillea, oleander and hibiscus. Despite being a small town there are many great restaurants, ranging from upscale options like the Rock House and The Dunmore to funkier low-key hangouts like Brian’s BBQ. This superb seafront village is for visitors who want to get away from the more touristy spots on the island and explore the more secluded side.
The Queen’s Bath:
These natural pools on the Atlantic side of Eleuthera are located 0.6 miles (1 km) south of the famous Glass Window Bridge. The Queen’s Bath consists of therapeutic natural hot tubs made of limestone and filled with the crystal, clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. During high tide, waves crash over the rocks filling the pools with water and small sea life. During low tide, the sun warms up the water in these pools, making them as warm as bathwater. You can crawl around on the rocks and wade in the pools while you watch the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. You are also able to observe aquatic wildlife up close in the pools. The tides bring in a variety of sea life, including sea urchins and small fish.
Source: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism