Sunday, October 01, 2006

Bermuda Vacations Defy Convention

by Caitlin Moore

Bermuda has the sound of a place nestled in the Caribbean with all the other fun-loving tropical islands, but in fact it exists in a realm of its own. You might be surprised to realize that it's actually located east of the States in the Atlantic Ocean, closer to North Carolina than to Florida. This doesn't mean it's cold and blustery, though; quite the opposite. Bermuda is a lush, lovely collection of islands that will satisfy your vacation cravings by transporting you to an unexpected and dreamlike atmosphere, far different than what you're used to.

The Gulf Stream lovingly warms Bermuda with gentle caresses, but the islands never become too hot to handle. Average summer temperatures float between 75 and 85 degrees, while winter is filled with pleasant 70 degree days. And, for hurricane-phobes, take note that while tropical storms do happen every few years, they are far less prevalent than in the Caribbean. That's just one more reason for heading off in a whole new direction.

Seventy five miles of coastline that surround rolling hills, interesting rock formations, and lots of space for replenishing one's energy supply characterize this sprawling archipelago. For some reason nature decided that this would be a good place to allow lava to cool and limestone to push up towards the sun, and what was born was a splendid sight to see. Not that it makes a big difference, but rather than being simply an island, Bermuda is a string of 181 distinct bodies of land. Some are larger islets and some are merely jutting rocks, but they combine to make a geologically unique and visually interesting vacation spot.

Explore the terrain while you're here, keeping your eyes open for the famous tree frogs that sing their songs and add a little extra color to the landscape. Endangered sea turtles and over 350 types of birds also make Bermuda their home, sometimes blending in, sometimes standing out, but always there if you take the time to look. Over the years, colonists and settlers have crafted a virtual paradise of plants and flowers, so in terms of natural wonders and beauty, there's plenty here to please your senses.

Of course, what's an island vacation without a thorough investigation of the beach scene? Bermuda is blessed with another extraordinary quality in the form of its coastal environment. You won't find regular-old sand here, instead it's something utterly pleasing, precious, and pink. Thanks to the coral reefs that surround the islands, the minute particles that go on to make up the sand have a decidedly rosy hue. Thus, the beaches are distinctively desirable and different, shifting your perceptions yet again. Just when you think you have this place figured out, it drops another surprise.

Most of the blushing beaches are public, welcome, and easily accessible. From South Shore Park to Horseshoe Bay, a coastal trail will lead you on your way as you traverse and enjoy the surroundings. If you stick around for a sunset, you'll be even more dazzled by the colorful splashes of brilliance everywhere you look, from land to sparkling sea.

Once you've gotten your bearings and realized the beauty of Bermuda, it'll be time to have a little fun. From fishing to parasailing, kayaking to sailing, the ocean will become your playground for as many hours a day as you please. On dry land, you'll be tempted to golf on a world-class course, zip around on a moped, go for a morning hike, schedule a spa session, learn to play cricket, and much more. After a few days of staying active yet relaxed, busy yet pampered, you'll realize that you've never felt better. A permanent move to Bermuda probably isn't in the cards, but don't despair. Take full advantage of this experience while you're here, and take notes so that your next trip can be even better.

Your first trip to Bermuda deserves all the trimmings, so instead of staying in a traditional hotel, think about the possibility of a vacation rental. A stone's throw away from the beach and all the activities of the town will provide convenience on a grand scale, and the plentiful amenities within the walls of your charming cottage, condo, or villa will complete the picture of perfection. From kitchen supplies to internet access, extra towels to a friendly lanai, all that you could ever imagine will be within reach should you decide to treat yourself to a lodging experience that matches the delights of Bermuda itself.

Go online to start researching Bermuda Vacation Rentals as well as the activities, sights and sounds that will fill your upcoming getaway, and prepare to discover a whole new range of relaxing and engaging opportunities.

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