Jun 11, 2009 12:07PM
● By Super Admin
If escape is what you truly desire, Eleuthera, Bahamas is your destination. From the Greek word for “freedom,” this 110-mile-long and barely two-mile-wide island off of the east coast of Nassau, Bahamas, is a retreat and an adventure that offers just that – true freedom.
If an all-inclusive, purely pampering, touristy trip is what you crave, Eleuthera may not be for you. But if you want a serene, secluded getaway, with uninhibited freedom and exciting escapades, start packing! Here you will find quality and authenticity amongst the stretches of unspoiled sand and unadulterated lush greenery. Eleuthera is an ideal destination for the frugal and adventurous. A short flight from south Florida, this tropical destination allows visitors to do their own exploring and also see how the locals live.
Because there are very few hotel chains or high-rise condominium rentals (yet) on mainland Eleuthera, the optimum choice is to rent a home or a resort cottage. There are several vacation rental sites you can peruse to find your perfect Caribbean abode. Style recommends saand.com. Choose a bungalow on the Caribbean side, or a cliffside Atlantic Ocean-view home. Either way, you’ll be steps from the pale sand and translucent glassy water.
Rental homes differ in size and style, and include varied amenities. Many homes include adventure gear – kayaks, bikes, surfboards, paddleboats and snorkeling equipment. Choose rentals that provide some type of water vehicle and take full advantage of Eleuthera’s best features – warm climate and pristine turquoise waters. Many homes are also equipped with cable television, Internet, washer-dryers, books, and even games. Rental properties also include caretakers that can assist in making travel, dining or recreation arrangements.
If resort refuge suits your vacationing fashion, The Cove is calling. The Cove offers 26 rooms and suites coupled with luxurious amenities and immaculate views of clear cerulean waters. Complimentary features include bicycles, snorkel gear, tennis, kayas and a fitness center. Whether The Cove is your lodging locale or not, a trip to their dining room for a top-notch meal is a must! thecoveeleuthera.com
Rent a car for a day and drive the length of the island. Driving on the opposite side of the road may prove to be a difficult task for some, but hopefully one easily mastered by most. Traffic lights and speed limit signs are sparse, so wearing a good driver’s hat is essential. And when exploring, it’s important to keep track of time, as there are few, if any street lamps to guide you back to your house (a lesson learned the hard way). Drive over the glass window bridge and absorb the serenity of peaceful blue-green waters. Visit historic sites and local landmarks along the scenic drive.
Observing the native people and how they live is a beneficial and enriching part of vacationing. Whether it’s a booming metropolis in the United States or a developing nation, studying how people inhabit their environment is intriguing and offers a certain reality and perspective. Although Eleuthera is not a thriving tourist island like its Caribbean counterparts, the people of Eleuthera nonetheless are kind and welcoming of those visiting their beautiful Caribbean jewel.
The Glass Window Bridge. Originally a natural arch of stone, and the narrowest part of Eleuthera Island, the now man-made structure connects North and Central Eleuthera. This beautiful overpass is the point where the deep blue waters of the Atlantic meet the aquamarine Caribbean.
Harbour Island. This island is off of the northern tip of Eleuthera and can be reached by water taxi. Golf carts and scooters are the main mode of transportation, and can be rented easily. Celebrities are famed to own homes on this prestigious plot, famous for its pink sand beaches. Harbour Island makes for a great day trip and the perfect place to pick up souvenirs such as handcrafted jewelry, calypso drums (who doesn’t need one of those?), seaglass art, and an array of hand-woven baskets and bags.
Pam’s Island Made Gift Shop. Known all over the island – mainly because it’s one of the only gift shops – for unique and authentic gifts and crafts, jewelry and art, and a friendly face.
Surfer’s Beach. A surfer’s dream complete with uninterrupted rolling waves and no one to get in your way. Resident “Surfer Bum” Pete will most likely greet you...and even offer one of his boards for your enjoyment. Surfers from around the globe seek out Eleuthera for the Bahamas’ best break.
If you are a planner and you’re thrifty (like this writer), bring all of the necessary and sometimes precautionary items on your trip. Essential items will vary depending on the season. The rainy season lasts through May…so mosquitoes are abundant through June. Goods are significantly more expensive on the island due to the fact that most products are imported. Purchase insect repellent and sunscreen at the airport (it will be surprisingly cheaper). Eleuthera’s location allows for direct and intense sun rays to penetrate the skin quickly. (Another lesson learned the hard way.) It’s imperative to lather up with SPF before venturing outside.
The beauty in this vacation, other than the island’s natural surroundings, is that you can do as much or as little as you wish. Spend your days kayaking the blue-green waters, deep-sea fishing and diving, cave exploring, searching for sea glass and conch shells, or simply walking along the stretch of plush beach and lounging waterside. Escape from frenzied workdays and demanding schedules, and experience Eleuthera.