Self-Guided Bermuda Islands Discovery Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Destinations:
Bermuda
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W14BM
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
15 Days Land only
Min age: 12

Trip Overview

This self-guided walking holiday is the perfect mix of gentle walking and independent exploring allowing you to discover the quintessential island paradise of Bermuda at your own pace. Warmed by the temperate Gulf Stream, this sub-tropical gem, seemingly adrift in the North Atlantic Ocean is a stunning archipelago of 181 islands and islets, the eight largest of which form the fishhook-shaped mainland. Famed for its stunning turquoise waters in a whole rainbow of blues, incredible pink sands and coral reefs home to hundreds of colourful fish, Bermuda is a beach-lover's heaven and, as Britain's oldest colony, it is packed with history too. Beyond the postcard-worthy bays, the islands offer a lush interior alive with a multitude of birds and flowers, making it perfect to explore on foot. As Mark Twain commented, 'You go to heaven if you want. I'd rather stay here in Bermuda'.

At a Glance

  • 14 nights accommodation 
  • Centre-based
  • 6 idyllic walks and independent local exploring
  • Fabulous year-round climate

Trip Highlights

  • Discover a pocket-sized paradise of sugary pink sands, secret turquoise bays, sea grottoes and pastel villages
  • Luxurious hotel with swimming pool, tennis court, panoramic ocean views and outstanding cuisine
  • Gentle traffic-free trails, spectacular coastal paths, lush woodland tracks
  • Lots of opportunities for independent exploring
  • Colourful flowers, birds and fish. Also look out for humpback whales

Is This Trip for You?

A traffic-free trail spans Bermuda's diminutive 21-mile length and we provide detailed routes for 6 different walks, each exploring it's own diverse sections of the islands. From hidden sea grottoes to panoramic forts, lush flower-speckled fields to the sun-kissed sands of the South Shore Trail, the kaleidoscope of colour is unforgettable and the diversity of flora and fauna unbeatable. To help you get around, a 14-day travel pass is included, allowing unlimited access to the modern and efficient bus and ferry networks. Our local partner, Tim Rogers, will brief you about how everything works; he has a wealth of knowledge about Bermuda's flora, fauna and history.

Terrain varies between earthen surfaces, sandy trails, asphalt and gravel.The walking is predominantly flat with no real ascents or descents but walking boots are recommended.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. We have suggested that 12yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the fortnight to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Route notes and maps, for the walks, are provided pre-departure.

Adult min age:
12
Min group size:
1
Max group size:
6

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Hamilton, Bermuda
End City:
Hamilton, Bermuda

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Bermuda

    Your base in Bermuda for the next 14 nights is the exclusive 64-room 4H-rated Coco Reef Hotel, staying in a Deluxe Ocean View Room (with either balcony or terrace). The hotel is just 15 minutes from the capital, Hamilton and perfect for independent exploring.

    You stay at the Coco Reef Resort for 14 nights on a Room Only basis.

    Breakfast and evening meals are available at a supplement - please request prices at time of booking.

  • Days 2-7

    The Walking Routes

    Bermuda is the perfect destination for a mix of relaxation and gentle walking. We provide six detailed walking routes to help you discover the historic, cultural and natural highlights of the island, but there's no set itinerary so you're free to choose when and where to walk - you are on holiday after all!

    To help you get around, a 14-day travel pass is included, allowing unlimited access to the modern and efficient bus and ferry networks. Our local partner, Tim Rogers, has a wealth of knowledge about Bermuda's flora, fauna and history, and will brief you about how everything works.

    You're free to choose when and where to walk:

    Somerset and Ireland Island 7km/4.5mi/2hr or 8km/5mi/3hr

    Begin at Somerset Bridge, the world's smallest drawbridge, and follow the Railway Trail lined with unusual screw palm and cedar, reaching C19 Fort Scaur, with stunning views to Hamilton. Onwards to sleepy Somerset Village for lunch by pretty Mangrove Bay, you then follow a coastal track out along Ireland Island to Bermuda's most westerly end.

    Exploring the East End 11km/7mi/4.5hr

    You start the day in charming St George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's time to explore the tangle of colourful streets and pretty harbour, before a dazzling path lined with prickly pear and casuarina leads to Gates Bay where Sir George Somers first came ashore in 1609. You continue along a herb-scented coastal track to Ferry Reach, with its C17 forts and Corsican tower.

    St David's and Cooper's Island 4km/2.5mi/2hr or 5km/3mi/2.5hr

    At tranquil St David's, fragrant hibiscus scents the salty ocean air as you visit Red Hole bay. Then it's on to St David's Battery, with cliff views stretching infinitely across the ocean, before heading over to Cooper's Island, Bermuda's newest nature reserve, a truly isolated and unspoilt area.

    Sights of the South Shore 13km/8mi/3.5hr

    From Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, balcony views span the entire west end across the azure waters of Great Sound, dotted with white sailboats. From here you descend to the sugary pink sands of the South Shore Trail, a string of nine gorgeous bays linked by a scented path of flowering morning glory and oleander. There's time for a dip at Chaplin Bay before a shaded path leads past cassava fields to the hotel, in time for a dip in the hotel's pool.

    Coast and Caves 12km/7.5mi/4.5hr

    Colourful prickly poppies dot the sparkling coastal route towards Flatts Village, where friendly locals cast their nets into the azure expanse of Harrington Sound, an inland lake littered with sea grottoes. It's then onwards with views over the northern shore to reach Blue Hole Park, a tiny treasure trove of caves filled with aquamarine waters. Maybe savour a Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail after visiting the fascinating Crystal Caves, then take the bus back to the hotel.

    Botanical Gardens and Spittal Pond 5km/3mi/1.5hr or 4km/2.5mi/2.5hr

    Alive with the noisy chatter of yellow kiskadee, a gentle allspice-scented trail brings you to Paget Marsh, a wetland oasis, home to herons and warblers. Then it's on to the Botanical Gardens - John Lennon's Double Fantasy album is named after the purple flower he spotted here - before heading to Spittal Pond; maybe spot herons, egrets and flamingos before following the coastal path, vibrant with sea lavender, looking out for humpback whales basking in the warm Atlantic waters.

  • Days 8-14

    Independent Exploring

    There's plenty to see and do for the remainder of your stay, with the hotel's private beach an obvious attraction! The island boasts many other beautiful beaches, such as Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay, and several excellent golf courses too.

    Pay a visit to the island's capital, Hamilton, and stroll along the harbour where pastel-coloured colonial buildings mix with high-end shops. Perhaps visit the stone Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity and climb the tower for glorious city views befroe relaxing in one of the many harbour-side cafes for a spot of people watching.

    The Royal Naval Dockyard is also well worth a visit: once the largest naval base outside the UK, the beautifully restored buildings now house a museum that offers a fascinating glimpse into the UK's and Bermuda's naval past. Nearby you'll also find the National Museum of Bermuda where you can discover more about the island's history and wildlife and pay a visit to Dolphin Quest to learn more about these fascinating animals, while the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo on the shores of Harringston Sound, offers the chance to see seals, turtles, fish, monkeys, birds, and the first living coral reef exhibit in the world.

  • Day 15

    Leave Bermuda

    The British Airways flight leaves in the early evening, so you have most of the day at leisure.

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotel

Coco Reef enjoys one of the best locations in Bermuda, right on the edge of one of the most stunning beaches of the South Shore with pink sands, several reefs and quintessentially Bermudian azure waters! The hotel has 64 rooms divided between four pastel coloured buildings set over two floors. The rooms have a 'tropical' feel utilising traditional Bermudian colours and are decorated with wicker furniture and floral furnishings. All have private facilities with bathtub and shower as well as a balcony or terrace too equipped with furniture, mostly with good ocean views.

All the rooms are identical and the only difference is location. The Deluxe Ocean View Rooms are located at the top of the hill on the same level as the Lobby building and the Beach Front Rooms are located at the bottom of the hill overlooking the main lawn with a staircase down onto the beaches. They offer panoramic views of the ocean and beach. Every room in both categories has a view of the ocean from the bed itself!

As your stay at the Coco Reef is on a room only basis, please let us know if you would like to add breakfast, or breakfast and evening meal to your stay. Prices for breakfast are from £194 per person per week; prices for breakfast and evening meal are from £708 per person per week.

Room upgrades: Beach Front Double Room - Beach Front rooms are located closer to the beach than the Ocean View Rooms.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

This holiday is on a Room Only basis however buffet breakfasts and evening meals can be paid for in advance as a supplement.

Bermudian cuisine is based around seafood, not surprising given its location. A real speciality is the fish chowder; a divinely thick soup made with rockfish or snapper and flavoured with a splash of sherry pepper sauce or local rum. Other traditional dishes include ‘Peas and Plenty’ (black-eyed peas with onions, pork and rice), paw-paw casserole and Hoppin’ John (peas and rice).

Fish is often served as a main course and rockfish or wahoo have to be tried! They are both ‘meaty’ white fish with a delicate flavour. Cod fishcakes are popular too as well as ‘johnnycakes’ (cornmeal griddle 1cakes).

Rum is the local spirit of choice and has been blended on the island by Gosling Brothers since the 1860s. Two local specialities made from dark rum are the ‘dark ‘n’ stormy’ (rum mixed two-to-one with ginger beer) and the ‘rum swizzle’ (rum with pineapple and orange juices and grenadine). As a general rule, dark ‘n’ stormy is considered the ‘national’ tipple favoured by locals and the rum swizzle generally preferred by visitors! Why not try both and make up your own mind?!

Transportation

The local representative is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Bermuda has a fabulous year-round climate. The warmest month to visit is August (average temp. 28 C) and February being the coolest (average temp. 18 C). On average the wettest month is October.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

For flight inclusive prices transfers included from Bermuda airport at 18:30, and back to Bermuda airport at 17:45.

For land only packages and those booked on non-standard flights transfers are available at a supplement.

 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Hamilton
Location end:
Hamilton

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Good walking boots
Small daypack for camera, guidebook, etc.
Water bottle to use when walking and sightseeing (2 litres)
Sun cream
Hat
Sunglasses
Waterproofs
Warm clothes
Mosquito repellent

Optional Equipment

Swimming costume

Walking poles

Practical Information

Passport

Bermuda

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Bermuda

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians and Australians. If you are a passport holder from another country further information can be found here.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Bermuda

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis B and Tetanus. The risk of malaria is not normally present but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Bermuda's Timezone:
Atlantic/Bermuda ADT (GMT -03:00)

Electricity

Bermuda's Electricity:

110 V. 60 Hz. A flat 2 pronged plug is required, the same used in the US and Canada. 

Money

Bermuda's Currency

The national currency of Bermuda is the Bermudian Dollar (BMD), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately to the UK£ and to the US$.

The Bermudian dollar (BMD) is fixed, through gold to the U.S. dollar on an equal basis, so BMD $1 equals US $1. US dollars are generally accepted in shops, restaurants, and hotels. Currency from the United Kingdom and other foreign countries is usually not accepted, but can be easily exchanged for Bermudian dollars at banks and hotels. Exchange rate to GBP is currently 1.24 to £1.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available in the larger towns, but we recommend taking some USD or Bermudian dollars cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need extra money for all meals unless the Breakfasts and Dinners are paid for in advance. Eating out, for lunch, in Bermuda can range between BMD $18-25 without drinks. Alternatively, picnic supplies are widely available from grocery stores, markets and cafes.

National Trust Card

If you have a membership card, make sure you take this with you to Bermuda, as you will receive discount/free entry to many museums and attractions. Details will be given to you locally during your briefing.

Tipping

A service charge (typically 10%-17%) is added to most restaurant bills, it's customary to leave something extra if the service has been good, however, it isn't necessary. Be wary of whether a service charge (normally the basic 15%) has been included in the bill before leaving more! Check your bill and don't be shy about asking if you're not sure what's included.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.