A dash of sunshine, a sprinkling of sand and a splash of nature – holidays to Hastings might just be the best Caribbean glow tonic.

Small-town perfection

On Barbados' south coast, the village of Hastings boasts some of the coolest hangout spots on the island – not to mention some of the most outgoing locals. In true Caribbean style, there are sandy beaches, tropical trees and coral reefs that are home to hawksbill turtles.

Meet the neighbours

At a five-minute drive away, the island's capital of Bridgetown is just one of the bustling cities nearby. It's got all the duty-free shopping you can carry, plus a UNESCO-listed enclave of 18th-century British military buildings. Meanwhile, St Lawrence Gap is known for its lively nightlife and lip-smacking rum drinks.

Life by the water

The main road runs parallel to the beach, with striking views along the way. Waterfront food stalls and restaurants serve everything from coconut bread to pizza, and there's even an English tea room. You'll also find a couple of shopping centres, like the Quayside Centre, where you can pick up handcrafted souvenirs to take home.

Sandy paradise

Hastings has two beaches, each with its own character. Hastings Beach is a palm-tree-dotted strip of soft white sand where you can sometimes swim with turtles in the crystal-clear shallows. The other one's Rockley Beach – a 15-minute walk away, this sandy stretch is popular with snorkelers and surfers.

At a Glance

  • Swim above coral reefs for glimpses of sea life
  • Lounge on the white sand of tropical Hastings Beach
  • Browse the boardwalk's shops and eateries