15 Best Non-touristy Things to do in Bermuda you MUST see!
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The beautiful little island of Bermuda lies in the North Atlantic ocean and is a tourists dream come true.
You’d be surprised with how many amazing things you can do on such a small island.
This is why Bermuda is one of our favourite vacations ever, its truly stunning and you’ll see exactly why as you read on.
With some of the best beaches in the world it can get busy. So, that’s why we’ve put together a list of the best non touristy things to do in Bermuda that you will love!
Let’s get started…
Only accessible by boat Castle Island is less visited by tourists, as it’s a little tricky to get to as it requires climbing up rocky terrain and not everyone knows about this lovely secluded island.
Once on the island, you’ll be greeted with incredible views of mainland Bermuda which are postcard perfect.
There are also two beaches which are perfect for snorkeling and having picnics with friends and family.
On any given day you could have the place completely to yourself. Try to get here early on a weekday for more chance of enjoying this island alone.
You’ll find a slice of heaven at this incredible beach which is located along Warwick Long Bay, not far from the stunning Fairmont Southampton Hotel (read our review)
It’s pink sand and crystal clear waters are surrounded by jagged rock formations and lush green trees which circle the cove.
The water is calm, shallow and peaceful, which is perfect for families with young children interested in snorkeling with tropical fish.
During our visit to Jobson’s Cove we had the beach pretty much to yourselves, mid-afternoon a few couples appeared but it wasn’t overcrowded at all.
There are so many secluded beaches along this stretch, so you don’t need to worry about it being packed. We had numerous beaches all to ourselves.
Tom Moore’s Jungle – Blue Hole
Located opposite the Grotto Bay Resort you’ll find Tom Moore’s Jungle and the amazing blue hole.
Along the trail, you’ll encounter hidden secluded beaches and a nature trail that is spread across the 12 acres of land.
On your way around the trail, you’ll quickly find the amazing Blue Hole. Where you can do some cliff jumping and go for a swim in the lagoon amongst the mangroves.
There is a viewing deck where you can watch if you’re not feeling brave enough. It’s a great place for a picnic too, as there plenty of benches and tables for this!
Previously occupied by the U.S Military and NASA during World War 2, Coopers Island is now home to unspoiled walking trails, beautiful beaches and perfect for birdwatching.
This peaceful 12-acre nature reserve has the perfect mixture of beaches and forests making it a perfect retreat where you can go hiking, snorkeling, bird watching, and even turtle spotting.
Chances are you won’t bump into many people here, allowing you to take in the beauty this island has to offer with no distractions.
Let me introduce one of Bermuda’s true hidden gems, Astwood Cove! This is one of my favorite places and we had the beach all to ourselves, be warned though it is a little bit tricky to get to with its steep winding path.
Not only do you get an incredible picture-perfect beach, at the top of the trail you’ll get a bird’s eye view of it from the field above.
Which are equipped with a play area and picnic tables for your leisure. The beach features jagged rock formations, pink sand and turquoise waters with colorful fish. There’s also plenty of parking access and a bus stop right outside.
Head down to Grotto Bay Beach Resort (read our review) and make sure you visit Cathedral Cave. As the cave is situated inside a resort, this puts people off visiting, therefore it’s always empty.
Make sure you hold on to the handrail as you enter the cave, as it’s very wet and slippery.
To sum it up in one word “WOW”. It is absolutely incredible. This was one of our highlights while in Bermuda as we’ve never done anything like that before.
There are steps into the freezing cold water so you can easily get in and out. The water is crystal clear and you’ll get some amazing pictures here.
Once you’re finished in the cave, you could head down to the beach at Grotto Bay where you can snorkel inside a shipwreck not far from the shore.
The Unfinished Church
Due to poor planning, insufficient funds and natural disasters this church never actually got completed, hence its name “the Unfinished Church”.
Unfortunately, you can’t actually walk inside the church as locked gates prevent you from entering.
Don’t let that put you off though, as it’s really interesting to see and you’ll get some great pictures regardless.
Not only that if you carry on walking further up the road you’ll make it to Tobacco Bay, which is a gorgeous beach with great snorkeling.
Admiralty House Park
Located near the Spanish Port just a few miles north of Hamilton you’ll find picturesque walking trails, ruins, underground tunnels and beautiful secluded beaches.
This is a great place for cliff jumping and you will often see locals doing backflips into the sea.
Make sure you visit Clarence Cove which is a great little hidden gem that is rarely visited by tourists. The beach is quiet and perfect for relaxing, the lagoon-like waters and jagged cliffs make it an impressive sight to behold.
Although Nonsuch Island is not too far away, it’s one of the most isolated islands to visit in Bermuda.
As such, the island only offers two tours a week to visit, with only a handful of people on each tour. So, if you want to visit this little paradise then arrange and book well in advance.
Here, you’ll be able to hike around this postcard-perfect Nature Reserve and all the flora and fauna are native to Bermuda.
If you’re lucky enough to get on a tour, you’ll have great fun hiking, swimming, and learning about nature, wildlife, and the island’s history.
Nonsuch Island is most certainly non-touristy due to the lack of tourists that can actually visit the island each week, so again, book in advance!
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Climb the 185-step winding spiral staircase to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse where you’ll be greeted with a stunning view of South Shore, Little Sound, Hamilton, and the Royal Navy Dockyard.
The view some the top is breathtaking, although be warned it is very windy up there, it’s worth it.
We were impressed with how nice and friendly the staff was. They challenged my son to count how many steps there were, and if he was close they would give him a free surprise…
He was about 15 steps short, but they gave him a lighthouse keyring anyway and he took it everywhere with him throughout the vacation.
Once again, there were only a small handful of other tourists here and we were the only ones at the top. There were no queues or overcrowding whatsoever.
Fort St. Catherine
Towering above the pink-sandy beaches and offering panoramic views as far as the eye can see, sits Fort St. Catherine.
Situated on the north-eastern tip of St. George this fort is a great place to explore whatever age you are. Children will love running around and exploring the many tunnels, towers, and its drawbridge.
Away from the typical tourist route, you’ll feel like you have the fort all to yourself and with an entrance fee of only $7 it’s well worth a visit.
There are also lots of empty beaches and coves around the fort which you can explore, so bring your swimming gear and towels with you.
Bermuda Railway Trail
If you want to go off the beaten path then try your hand at one of the many hiking trails on the “Railway Trail”.
This trail spans all the way from one end of the island to the other, and today, you can explore 18 miles of these amazing trails which offer an unparalleled way to see and explore this beautiful island.
There are so many hidden gems on this trail that you will not find on the typical “things to do” lists.
Including hidden intimate beaches, panoramic ocean views and you’ll also get to learn about the history of Bermuda and the trail itself along the way.
A lovely walk I would recommend is starting from Elbow Beach to Gibbs Lighthouse or from Horseshoe Bay if you’re after something a little shorter.
Bermuda Glow Worms
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Bermuda then you should get booked onto a Glow Worm tour.
This amazing spectacle takes place two nights after a full moon and 56-minutes after sunset. The bioluminescence takes place over the ocean and lasts between 10 and 30 minutes.
Such a sight can rarely be seen elsewhere in the world, so it’s something you should definitely try and capture. A memory that will last a lifetime.
Some of the best places to see the glow worms are in:
- Flatt’s Inlet
- Ferry Reach Bridge
- Nonsuch Island
- Mangrove Bay
- Ely’s Harbor
Said to be the smallest drawbridge in the world, Somerset Bridge is just wide enough to fit the mast of a sailboat through.
You’ll either need an appointment or wait for a friendly passer-by to help lift the gate for you.
There are also great views from the top of the drawbridge of the little harbor and turquoise waters.
So, if you’re in Bermuda why not pop down to Somerset Bridge, just so you can say you’ve been to the smallest drawbridge in the world.
Spittal Pond Nature Reserve
This 64-acre nature reserve is the largest on the island which features winding trails that lead to dramatic coastal views, lush greenery and an abundance of wildlife.
The trail is lovely and you won’t find many tourists around here. You may, however, bump into a few locals walking their dog.
Overall a nice pleasant walk with lots of wildlife and great views of the ocean and the pond. The trail is well marked and goes around in a loop.
If you’re interested in the history of the reserve, its wildlife and Bermuda in general then consider getting a guided tour.
My Top Bermuda Tips
Here are some of my top tips if you’re planning on visiting some or all of these non-touristy things to do while you’re in Bermuda.
See what you want to see
Don’t get bogged down with doing “non-touristy” things, just enjoy your vacation and see whatever you want to see. For example, Horseshoe Bay and Tobacco Bay would be classed as “touristy”, however, I wouldn’t miss them or the world. They’re amazing places to visit. So, if you like the look of something just go and see it.
Get there early
If you’re planning on visiting more “touristy” places but want to try and minimize the risk of crowds as much as possible, then get there early. Set your alarm for 6 am and get to your destination.
Get a guide
Getting a taxi tour or a private tour for the day might be more expensive but you’ll get to uncover other hidden gems that only the locals know about, such as new viewpoints and hidden beaches that aren’t splattered all over the internet.
Plan your route
Carefully plan your routes and take into consideration lunch and traffic etc. Use Google maps to plot your itinerary and find the fastest route. This way you’ll have more time to spend at each place.
Split your itinerary
I would consider splitting your days up depending on how long you’re on the island. You don’t want to cram too much in and not get to see things properly. I would recommend breaking it down into manageable itineraries, that way you can fully appreciate the beauty of each place you visit, and actually enjoy it.
Check cruise schedule
If you’re worried about too many tourists then I would highly recommend you check the cruise ship schedule and see when they’re in port. I would then organize your itinerary around this, If a ship is in port then just have a beach day at your hotel or pick one of the great things to do above and hope for the best.
Essential Gear for Your Tour
Here are some of my recommended travel gear to consider getting when exploring Bermuda. These are the essentials I bring everywhere with me!
It goes without saying, you should get a good camera for any vacation, the last thing you want is blurry or pixelated images.
We recommend a mid-range level SLR camera like the Canon EOS 4000D (View on Amazon), we’re not professional photographers so we don’t need to spend thousands on a camera alone.
If you’re adventurous and are planning on biking, hiking and snorkeling in Bermuda then you have to get a GoPro (View on Amazon).
They’re easy to carry, high quality and you can take them underwater, hiking and from beach to beach without any worry of damage. Perfect for capturing those memories on the go without weighing you down.
If you’re going to do the Railway Trail or other hiking trails then you’re going to need a good quality travel backpack to carry all your essentials.
We recommend the Osprey Porter 46 backpack. It has amazing reviews on Amazon and is will last you a lifetime.
I would recommend a durable high quality pair of water shoes when exploring Bermuda, such as the Body Glove Water Shoes on Amazon.
If you’re like me and love exploring and climbing then you’ll need a pair of these as the rocks are very jagged and sharp. If you want to avoid cut feet, then get a pair of these.
If you fancy something cheaper than a GoPro then I would recommend getting an underwater case for your cellphone, like this universal phone pouch on Amazon.
With so many amazing beaches and great snorkeling locations around the island, you’ll be able to capture all those memories without breaking the bank.