Grand Bahama | 6 island experiences

Grand Bahama | 6 island experiences


Facing Florida, Grand Bahama asserts its identity under the Caribbean sun. A look back at my week on this dream island!


The Bahamas is above all a unique archipelago, with subtle variations in blues and greens, stretching over 250,000 km2 between the coasts of Florida and Cuba. It’s a region of 16 destinations, comprising 700 islands, each with its own distinctive character. Their names alone conjure up images of paradise: crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches under the tropical sun, small islets and coral reefs. At least that’s how I pictured it! But why come to the Bahamas? simply for its tranquility, long deserted beaches, local festivities and ideal year-round weather conditions.

Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island are the main islands of the Bahamas, but there are hundreds more to explore (see below)! They are ideal for nature lovers and offer unspoilt beauty: pristine beaches, coral gardens and authentic villages.

On trouve The Abacos, Eleuthera & Harbour Island, The Exumas, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Andros, Bimini, Berry Islands, Cat Island, Long Island mais aussi les îles du sud avec Ragged Islands, Inagua, Mayaguana et Acklins/Crooked Island.

I invite you to discover Grand Bahama, the Bahamian island just a 30-minute flight from the Florida coast. It offers a marked contrast between the modern infrastructure of Freeport and Port Lucaya, with their wide, American-style avenues, and the unspoilt nature of 5 national parks. 150km long and 25km wide, its short vegetation is astonishing, with several hundred maritime pines planted everywhere. The soil is mainly sand and limestone, so we find a fairly classic culture and many things are imported. The mangrove swamps are very present, creating a natural barrier against rising waters and hurricanes. As the island borders the world’s third longest barrier reef, Grand Bahama serves as a nursery for fish and sharks. A forerunner in the field of ecology and a veritable cradle of ecotourism, the Bahamas archipelago offers a genuine eco-awareness program and creates eco-friendly accommodations focused on the well-being of the planet. Not everything on Grand Bahama is perfect, but the desire to improve and preserve this place is there, and you can feel it.

For a week, we were able to take part in a wide range of activities every day from our hotel: water sports, shark watching, kayaking, walks, lounging on the beaches… There really is a wide choice of nature outings to suit all tastes and desires! There really is a wide choice of nature outings to suit all tastes and desires! If you tell me you’re bored here, I won’t understand!

I give you my must-tries on Grand Bahama but Feel free to consult all our articles on the Bahamasto prepare for your trip:


The best way to discover the relief and vegetation of Grand Bahama Island is to spend a day exploring the Blues Holes in Kayak. And I’m taking you by car to the other end of the island! We cross a succession of pine trees to arrive at our first deserted beach Crabby Cay Beach, the starting point for exploring these blue marine holes that can be compared to the cenotes of Mexico. First impression: we’re all alone in the world on this beautiful beach! Kayaks in hand, we set off on the shallow waters towards the Blues Holes, the azure-blue underwater caves. This is where you’ll probably see your first starfish, and where you can go snorkeling in warm, clear water (watch out for the current, which can tire you out). This activity presents no difficulty if you’re accompanied by children, as you can easily get your footing just about anywhere. The aerial view is even more impressive, highlighting the contrasting relief!



In another setting, discover the beautiful Lucaya National Park, an island must-see. It owes its name to the tribe of Amerindians who lived on the islands when Christopher Columbus arrived. With two people in your kayak, you’ll head off into the mangroves for around 2 hours. Here, time seems to stand still, because there’s not a sound except that of your paddle in the water! It’s the perfect day to discover the lush vegetation, birdwatching and local flora.



I’m lucky enough to travel to the 4 corners of the world, and I have to admit that the beaches of the Bahamas are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! Imagine an afternoon lazing on the sandbank of the hidden beach of Gold Rock Beach ( which served as the setting for the film Pirates of the Caribbean) or play Robinson Crusoe on the paradise beach of Pelican Point Beach. This is where we ate with our feet in the sand and discovered our first local dishes: fried lobster and conch served with rice, just delicious! If I’d had more time on site, I’d also have liked to discover Fortune Bay beach 10 km from Port Lucaya, apparently you have to go at low tide! A word of advice: if you want to enjoy the show and walk on the sandbanks, try to find out when the tides are low. Sunsets are magical in the Bahamas, so I recommend that you see them from the comfort of your home. hotel on the beach or from your bedroom balcony.




On another note, you can opt for a safari jeep to discover the protected Grand Bahama National Park. The ride is very pleasant, in pretty, colorful and comfortable 4x4s that are easy to drive. This outing allows you to swim in turquoise waters, discover deep-blue caves and take a refreshing break in the beautiful botanical garden. « Garden of The Groves » home to small turtles in the pond, a few tropical birds and the Thatch Palm, an endemic palm species. Count $17/p admission.




It’s called blue tourism here, and you can see why. I think the Bahamas archipelago is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the world for snorkeling and diving. There are over 1,000 dive sites spread across all the islands, and snorkeling is accessible to all, from the youngest to the oldest, from novices to the most experienced. The equipment is reduced to the bare minimum for guaranteed sensations. You can take your diving certificates at one of the 23 centers in the Bahamas or on one of the 5 liveaboard dive boats. We come to the Bahamas to swim with dolphins in the open sea, dive with reef or tiger sharks and discover the great wealth of marine life. On the island of Grand Bahama, there’s a well-known diving center, the Reef Oasis dive club, the one located in the Fortuna Beach Hotel in which we stayed. We set off for half a day (around 3 hours) to discover the seabed, with a first snorkeling stop of around 40 minutes and, for me, a dive at Peterson Cay National Park. The corals are quite intact and colorful, and the visibility was very good that day, so perfect for observing fish and corals. We headed for a second long-awaited spot, renowned for its grey reef sharks and nurse sharks. We even saw a grouper! Armed with our wetsuits, masks, flippers and snorkels, we jumped into the water holding on to each other by a rope, for a different but very exciting and emotionally-charged experience. Equipped with chain mail, the instructor, trained for this type of experience, sets off in a tank some twenty meters underwater, as close as possible to the sharks, gently approaching them to stroke and reassure them. The aim of this excursion is to raise awareness of the fact that sharks are not dangerous and are essential to the functioning of the animal food chain and our ecosystem. Some are endangered, so we need to protect them and get to know them better. This outing is very well supervised by professionals and is quite unforgettable, I must say!




Port Lucaya is a small local open-air market with a number of colorful sheds. There are duty-free stores, souvenir and accessory stores, a few banks, liquor stores, restaurants (like Sabor’s on the harbor, which looked nice, but also Agave, Zorba’s and Rum Runners), local Bahamian goods, as well as specialty shacks and handicrafts, all in a festive atmosphere with smiling, welcoming locals. This is where I found a pretty bohemian shell cross made on the island, an old car license plate and a few decorative objects to hang. Haggling is highly recommended and works quite well! Go early to have time to stroll around and enjoy a good conch salad in the yellow hut at Daddy’s Brown Conch salad stand!




I have very fond memories of the Bahamians, they are very smiling people with a sense of welcome and festivity. All the Wednesday evenings around 8 p.m., the Smith Point « Fish Fry », a popular spot for locals to dine and dance with their feet in the sand. In a friendly atmosphere, we ordered local cocktails, fried fish and conch salads while listening to local music. The evening continued a little further on at Taino beach, in the Outriggers guinguette. To ensure that travelers always receive the best possible service, the Ministry of Tourism has set up an original, unique and personalized welcome package, the « People to People » which goes beyond the usual tourist activities by promoting encounters with islanders and creating lasting links. Welcomed for the day, visitors discover an authentic aspect of Bahamian life, a different history and culture. The host family is chosen according to the age, profession or interests of the travelers. Next time I go back, I’ll give this concept a try!



The Bahamas is a paradise for fishing, fish, shellfish and lobster (which can be eaten all year round, except from April to July, when fishing is prohibited)! You’ll find it on every table and in every form: soup, fritters, stew… So before you leave, you must try the “conch salad ” also called conch salad, a salad prepared with tomatoes, onions, celery and this famous raw shellfish, then marinated in lime and orange juice, with chillies. It could be likened to ceviche, and it’s absolutely delicious! During your excursions, Bahamian dishes are often on offer, so let yourself be tempted by conch or lobster fritters accompanied by fried rice – very good and hearty!




Sipping at the hotel Fortuna Beach great cocktails by the pool, in the four-poster beds or on the beach loungers watching the sun set. To mention just a few of the well-known ones I’ve tested, there’s the Bahama Mama based on rum and coconut rum, lemon, orange and pineapple juices, grenadine, and also the Gombay Smash with rum and coconut rum, Galliano, pineapple juice and orange juice. There’s also the Yellow Bird (white rum, brandy, banana liqueur, orange juice) and locally brewed beers such as “Sand” lager or “Kalik”
If you want the perfect place to sip a drink, head to Banana Bay, my favorite. It’s a place just the way I like it: palm-fringed, idyllic, tranquil, colorful, feet in the sand with a breathtaking beach view! It’s only a 15-minute bike ride from the hotel, and rentals are free!




As you can imagine, this was my first time in the Bahamas, but I can’t wait to go back, to discover other islands and other atmospheres, to dive in other blue holes, to play Robinsons on untouched beaches, to taste conch ceviches and grilled lobsters, and to dance in guinguettes with the locals.

To request a quote and a tailor-made trip for an authentic discovery of the Bahamas, contact me by email at I invite you to read the customized travel where I present my business as a licensed travel agency.

Before you leave, I invite you to consult all our articles on the Bahamas to help you prepare for your trip:





This article is our experience. This trip was made possible thanks to a collaboration with the hotel chain Viva Wyndham and theBahamas Tourist Board whom we thank for their invitation and this discovery.





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