Eleuthera + Harbour Island, Bahamas Travel Guide
Around March 30th, Andrew and I both channeled our inner Verruca Salt and declared we needed warmth and we needed it now. It sounds dramatic, but if you've ever experienced a spring like the one we are currently having in New England, you would understand the primal need to get to the sun. I just wanted a few days of warmth in a place with a little character before my brain exploded. Ok, now that is a tad dramatic, but it's precisely how I felt. Don't judge.
We searched and searched (and reached out to you via instagram) under piles of blankets and layers of clothes, and we finally settled on the gorgeous "Out Islands" of the Bahamas. I'm typically anti high rise hotels or touristy areas when we are traveling - so Nassau didn't appeal to me as much, but when we saw all the beautiful images of the islands of Eleuthera and Harbour Island, we were sold on the Bahamas. (It also helped that it's on the same time zone, it doesn't require a ton in regards to customs, and it's rather easy to get to from the east coast).
We booked a tad late for these tiny islands (it seems there are a lot of people who come back year after year - and I don't blame them one bit), but we were so excited that one of our hotel choices, The Cove - Eleuthera, still had availability. We grabbed a reservation, and waited not so patiently to arrive. I will say, we were totally surprised when we landed how underdeveloped the islands are (Eleuthera in particular). It's just amazing, because anywhere else in the world - there would be restaurants, numerous hotels, shops, etc - but here it seemed like you had the gorgeous turquoise water and pink coastlines to yourself to share with the amazing locals. It's pretty special. And exactly what we were looking for.
The property at The Cove was gorgeous - rows and rows of palm trees, two private beaches, and an infinite pool that dreams are made of - we were thrilled when we arrived. I'm sure many people come and never leave the resort, because they have everything you could possibly want for an amazing relaxing vacation right there. The only complaint I overheard from guests is that the food prices were a tad expensive - but being as remote as we were, it really wasn't that surprising. There aren't a ton of local restaurants in the area of the island of Eleuthera we explored, so definitely keep that in mind if you are planning a trip!
WHAT TO SEE IN ELEUTHERA
WHERE TO EAT
HOW TO GET AROUND
Car rentals are a tad different here than in most places. From what we hear, it can be a little rough around the edges (old cars, etc). We didn't rent a car because we figured we could just take taxis the day we were off the resort, but here are the places our hotel recommended to us:
Lutra Renta Car
Ph: 1-242-335-1526 or 1-242-424-8313
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: 1-242-6223 or 1-242-470-2332
Email - email@example.com
Ph: 1-242-470-2578 or 1-242-424-0424
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bernishka Rentals James Cistern
We aren't great about sitting still on vacation, but we REALLY wanted this vacation to be a relaxing one, so we did our very best to actually relax while we were away. BUT, we couldn't resist a day trip to Harbour Island - or "Briland" as the locals call it. We initially wanted to stay on this charming little island, but hotels were booked to the brim by the time we booked (not surprising since we booked like 2 days before, and it's a tiny island - 3 miles long by 0.5 miles long). So we were excited to visit.
We loved it here. Now, I will say, for every adorable, multi million dollar cottage there is another house equally dilapidated. Or with a collection of run down cars in the yard. Or a home to true locals of the island complete with chickens. This sounds like a negative, but I think it adds to the island vibe. So many people sold Harbour Island to us before as a very chic island - and it was - but I loved that the local presence was still so vibrant. It gives the island that much more character. It's pretty, but not perfect. Which is my favorite combo. And the locals are absolutely fabulous.
We spent our day on Harbour Island exploring every nook and cranny (which is possible on such a small island). We walked miles on the pink sand beach stopping for cocktails along the way, or to sun our pale little faces. It was a wonderful way to spend the day. Definitely one of those dream days you think of in the depth of winter. So I'll be filing it away for sure.
The only way to get to Harbour Island is by boat. Water Taxi is the way of choice and is just a short ride from the North Eleuthera airport. . Taxis are about $5 and leave every 5 minutes or so for a short boat ride to your destination.
Once you get to the island, I highly recommend renting a golf cart from one of the many available. If you don't get one right on the dock, don't fret - there is a rental spot right at the end of the dock. Carts go for about $50 a day, and they are THE way people get around because the island is so small.
Or if anyone knows how I can rent one of these beauties, I would be more than open to that too. If only we could find a way to bring Otto & Clementine down too!
I think it goes without saying, we had a great time on this trip. It not only warmed me up literally, but it warmed my cold New England soul again too. We both felt so rejuvenated, and loved discovering a new-to-us place that we will surely return to at some point. Dreams of annual return trips in April danced in our little heads, and I can only hope we can make that a reality - because as much as I love you, New England, your springs leave much to be desired. Just being honest.