Bermuda Destination Guide: An insider’s guide to the island

Bermuda isn’t perhaps the most popular destination for Europeans and Briton’s in particular, despite the fact it is the largest overseas territory of the United Kingdom. In fact many people incorrectly assume it is part of the Caribbean Islands, which are in fact much further south. Bermuda itself lies at a latitude of 32degrees N and is therefore just outside the Tropics regions and is indeed warmed by the Gulf Stream. In fact temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees C even in winter, and the Island can be extremely humid in summer.

My sister and brother in law emigrated here in July 2006 and therefore we had the opportunity to visit over the Christmas period for a ten-day break (made even more attractive by the fact I got our tickets for free with BA miles!)

beach-bermuda

A Little Bit of History

The Island, which is in fact little more than 20 square kilometres is actually a collection of around 180 islands, the larger ones linked by bridges to form the Bermuda as we know it, while the smaller ones are probably too numerous to count. The islands are surrounded by a coral reef, the most northerly in the world.

The Islands were uninhabited and undiscovered until the earliest 16th century, during which Spanish and Portuguese sailors visited the island, although they did not stay. The British arrived in the early 17th century, following a shipwreck and the island was claimed for the crown and attempts were made to settle on the island. Despite its strong links with Britain, Bermuda was also of importance to America, particularly during their civil war.

Nowadays the island has the highest GDP per capita of anywhere in the world, and is around $70K.International Finance is the largest source of trade, followed by tourism. The population is approximately 70% black and 30% white, with a large number of expats working in the financial sectors. The Island is subdivided into nine parishes and the main town is Hamilton.

Bermuda travel

Getting there

The most logical choice from the UK is the once a day scheduled direct service from Gatwick to Bermuda. The flight leaves Gatwick just after 2pm in the afternoon, and arrives in Bermuda around 6pm, having gained 4 hours en route. The return flight leaves at 810pm and arrives in the UK at around 630am the following morning, again a fairly reasonable journey. The actual flying time can be anything from under six to seven hours, depending on the winds. Our flight home was only 5.75 hours, however the incoming flight had been delayed by the winds.