Eleuthera is one of the most special places I’ve ever been, more rural and beautiful than I could have imagined. Tiny towns dot Queen’s Highway, the one main road running the length of the 110 mile long, 1 mile wide island. The neon Caribbean flanks one side, while the rougher Atlantic defines the other. There are 135 beaches in total on the island. Since most of it is undeveloped, these beaches can prove pretty tricky to find. It’s definitely an adventure lover’s dream.
I could write a million words on what to expect once you get there, but it’s really something you have to experience for yourself. Before our trip, I scoured numerous forums and blogs so I knew how to plan. Here is a list I compiled of tips I either read or learned along the way.
- Book a place with a full kitchen. It’s extremely expensive to eat out, so you’ll want to cook some of your own meals. Groceries are also expensive. You may want to consider packing some nonperishables from home.
- You need a car to explore the island, preferably an SUV. Book one in advance and haggle the price a bit. Prices for these kind of services are negotiable in the Bahamas. (Oh & drive on the left-hand side of the road!)
- Stay in Gregory Town on the north central part of the island and do most of your exploring from there. (Google “Edge of the World Properties” to find our friend’s rental. Really gorgeous place right on the cove.) There’s so much to see nearby: Gaulding Cay, Queen’s Bath, Glass Window Bridge, the Cow and Bull, Surfer’s Beach, Hatchet Bay Cave…
- If you’re flying into ELH, stop at the North Eleuthera Shopping Center (Burchies) while you’re on that part of the island. Pick up basics, coffee, milk, bread, snacks and food for a few meals. Map out directions before you land.
- Laughing Lizard Café is a great place to stop for groceries too. There you’ll find organic produce, cheese, olives, baguettes, etc. It’s your best bet for fresh food near Gregory Town. (One of our favorite ways to spend our days was to get morning coffee here and order sandwiches to go then drive up to Gaulding Cay to spend the day relaxing.)
- Next door to the Laughing Lizard you can buy organic eggs. Walk up the hill and open the big, white gate. Someone will be out to greet you shortly.
- Just like food, alcohol is pretty expensive. Your best bet is to buy liquor, though we did splurge on a few cases of beer and a couple bottles of bubbly.
- Sunscreen & bug spray on repeat.
- Before you go buy The Beach Book, Eleuthera Bahamas Edition or The Elusive Beaches of Eleuthera. You’ll need one of them to find the best beaches on the island. Being undeveloped, there are rarely signs for beach access. Most locals are also happy to offer directions, just ask!
- Pirates Revenge hot sauce from Rebecca’s Beach Shop in Gregory Town is the shit. It makes for great souvenirs if you’re checking bags. Pete is also THE person to ask for directions, tips, life advice, etc. Tell him Amanda from San Francisco said hi.
We were lucky enough to get a full two weeks on the island, which gave us plenty of time to explore it top to bottom. We left happy and fulfilled, yet still knowing we barely scratched the surface. Here are the 35mm photographs I took of our adventures.