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Holidays in Nassau & Paradise Island

We’re here to give you the inside scoop on why Nassau & Paradise Island in The Bahamas is where you should be planning your next long-haul beach holiday.

There are both budget-friendly and high-end options on the island, catering to budget conscious, honeymooners, and families alike. Plus, we have tips and tricks to help you save - or splurge - depending on what type of holiday you’re looking to book. Read on to learn more!

Nassau & Pardise Island at a glance

Colourful, lively and vibrant are all words used to describe Nassau. Located on the island of New Providence, Nassau is renowned as a playground for the rich and famous. However, the city itself has a lot more to offer than just pristine beaches and glamorous casinos, including cultural & culinary tours, art galleries, rum distilleries and a fascinating museum that brings the dark history of piracy in the Caribbean alive. Activities on the water abound, with SCUBA, SNUBA, shark diving and deep sea fishing plus a multitude of others available. Connected by a bridge across Nassau Harbour, Paradise Island is home to resort hotels including Atlantis and pristine beaches.

The official language is English, so you don’t have to worry about anything getting lost in translation. The official currency is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. Because of that, U.S. currency is widely accepted throughout Nassau & Paradise Island, so if you are travelling to the States before or after your trip there's no need to exchange your money twice. Of course, most major credit cards and traveller’s cheques are also accepted on the island.

Best time to visit

Nassau & Paradise Island in The Bahamas have a semi-tropical climate and experience mild temperatures year-round (rarely dipping below 16 °C). The sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, with temps ranging from 24 to 29 °C.

Peak season is from mid-December to mid-April, when the weather is the driest. It is no wonder that this is also the most expensive season, and the beaches and attractions can get full. Families travelling with children will want to book during these months as there will be plenty to do for young kids. We recommend booking early to get the best prices. Waiting too long could result in even higher prices or hotels being sold out.

Low season is between late-April through early-December, which also coincides with the hurricane season (June to November). If you plan a holiday during these months, know that you might not be able to do everything you wanted to, especially in the water. However, if you don’t mind a few days of rain mixed in with your sun, this is a great time to visit!

How to get here

Nassau is frequently referred to as the gateway to The Bahamas, as the international airport, Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS), has direct links with many popular departure cities, including London.

Virgin Atlantic flies up to three times a week direct from Heathrow to Nassau, departing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Plus, British Airways flies six times a week direct from London Heathrow to Nassau. For the summer season, Virgin moves to Monday and Friday departures, whilst British Airways will fly daily direct to Nassau.

Find cheap flights to Nassau & Paradise Island

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Transportation & getting around the island

The easiest way to get around is via taxi, which can also be hired by the hour. From the Nassau airport to downtown Nassau, you can expect to pay around £24. It is worth noting that fares are based on two passengers, and there is an additional charge for extra passengers and extra luggage.

For those on a budget, we recommend taking one of the local jitneys, which are buses that have routes in downtown Nassau and Cable Beach. It’s important to note that exact change is required and that you pay as you exit the bus, not when you get on.

Another cheap way to travel between Nassau and Paradise Island is by water taxi. The ride costs around £4.50, which is a bit steep since it’s only a 10-minute ride, but you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views of Nassau Harbour as an added bonus. Taxis leave every half hour on the hour from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

Not-to-be-missed sights & activities

Swimming with pigs

One of the more famous bucket-list-worthy activities in The Bahamas is swimming with the pigs! The most well-known place to do this is on Pig Beach, located on Big Major Cay, which is located quite a distance south of Nassau. However, if you’re staying on Nassau, the closest option is the Sandy Toes experience on Rose Island. You can easily book an excursion to visit the beach and experience swimming with the pigs. We’ve found a top-rated full day tour from around £200 per person.

We’ve also read that Adelaide beach, located on the Southside of New Providence island, has a few pigs that swim in the water, and you can also book shorter tours, in case you have other activities that you are interested in doing.

Go snorkelling at the Clifton Heritage Park

Snorkellers and divers will want to check out the Clifton Heritage Park. Located on the Western side of New Providence Island, this park features historical ruins, caves, nature trails and a diverse ecosystem. The park also has a sandy beach that you can snorkel at that has giant underwater sculptures as well as a famous plane wreck that you might remember from James Bond, Never Say Never Again. The entrance fee is $10 (£7.50) per person.

Visit Straw Market and buy a souvenir

We love shopping while on holiday, and it's also great when you can pick up a few souvenirs from your travels at a local market. Head to the Bay Street Straw Market, a traditional market that has roots dating back to the 1940s, where you can buy all different types of souvenirs and artisanal wares.

Check out the pirate museum or go for a rum tasting tour

Learn all about Nassau’s swashbuckling past at the interactive Pirates of Nassau museum located in downtown. Tickets cost $14 (£10) for adults and $7 (£5) for children aged 4-17. The museum is great for families, but if you’re on an adult-only holiday and want to skip the museum, then we recommend taking a rum tasting tour at John Watling's Distillery. The tour is free and great for learning more about the process and history. After the tour, stay and sample the three varieties of rum that are distilled on-site. Another option is to take a tour at Luna Distillery, located outside downtown Nassau. You can book a tour from $25.

Go for a walk in the Primeval Forest National Park

We think this small protected park is worth mentioning because it’s a view into how the island looked when the first explorers landed in The Bahamas in the 15th century. An entrance fee to the park costs $10 per person, but it is a nice break for those looking for a bit of refuge from the bustling city centre.

Beach days galore

Nassau has its fair share of sugar white beaches, and Cable Beach certainly fits the bill of a postcard beach. Located about three miles west of downtown Nassau, it’s calm, crystal clear waters and white sand beach often has it referred to as one of the best beaches on the island and a great alternative to the rowdy Junkanoo Beach.

On Paradise Island, we recommend visiting Cabbage Beach, another beautiful stretch of white-sand beach that is home to several big hotels. Those who are up for a little more than working on their tan can rent jet skis (around £170 for 1 hour) and snorkelling gear (from £12 per day) from beach huts along the two miles of coastline.

🏴‍☠️ Pirate tip If you venture a little further out from Downtown Nassau and go to the south side of the island to Adelaide Beach, you can find a quiet stretch of sand where the locals tend to hang out. Oh, and did we mention there are also pigs?

Where to stay

If you have Kids

If there’s one thing we know for certain, water parks are a hit at any age! Nassau & Paradise Island has four hotels that either have an on-site water park or free access to one nearby. If you are travelling with kids, we recommend booking one of these hotels.

Guests of Margaritaville Beach Resort have access to the Fins Up Water Park and the Parakeets Kid’s Club, which is a huge plus for families with children. The hotel also features a climbing wall, an entertainment complex, including virtual-reality sports, karaoke, bowling, billiards and a cinema. For the adults, you’ll have an on-site spa in case you are in need of some me-time.

Atlantis Paradise Island is made up of five different hotels, each of which has its own identity. All of them will grant you access to everything on-site, including the Atlantis Marine Habitat, which is the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, Dolphin Cay, and the Aquaventure water park. Maybe you’ve heard of the Mayan Temple’s The Leap of Faith, which is a water slide that has a 60-foot vertical drop, that also goes through a shark-filled lagoon. We’ve certainly added it to our bucket list!

🏴‍☠️ Pirate tip: Visitors who aren’t staying at the hotel will have to buy a day pass in order to gain access. Check the prices here.

A slightly cheaper option to the Atlantis Paradise Hotel is the Comfort Suites, which will still get you complimentary access to the Atlantis Resort, including Aquaventure Water Park, beaches and pools. Rooms start around, £300+ per night.

If you’re looking for a romantic holiday

Couples looking to celebrate their love in a romantic setting are certainly in the right place.

Goldwynn Resort & Residences is Nassau's newest hotel and is a great choice for couples. The ocean front resort is located directly on Cable Beach and features some pretty swanky amenities, including a gorgeous infinity pool, a full-service spa, and a butler service in select suite categories. They also offer wedding services for those looking to tie the knot in an all out grand ceremony or a romantic and intimate elopement. Rooms start around, £400 per night.

For those looking to get away from the large resort crowds, the Graycliff hotel is the answer. Tucked down a quaint street in a historic colonial mansion, the hotel has a very different feel to it in comparison to the larger resorts in Nassau. The hotel features lush tropical gardens surrounding a large outdoor pool. Interestingly, Winston Churchill used to stay in the pool cottage when he would visit Nassau. Rooms start around, £300+ per night.

If you’re looking to save

At first glance, it might not seem like Nassau & Paradise Island is a budget-friendly travel destination, however there are great options for those who are looking to save on accommodation and spend their money on other things, like excursions. These are our picks for budget-friendly stays.

Bay View Suites features spacious one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, which means you’ll not only be able to save on the room itself, but also you’ll have the opportunity to save by cooking for yourself. This allows you to splurge on a few meals at one of the amazing restaurants on the island, and it’s within walking distance of the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino if you’re looking to get a day pass.

The best part might just be the price, rooms start around £108 per night!

Okay, hear us out, pirates. While this resort doesn’t come with the cheapest price tag, it is all-inclusive, and we all know the value of an all-inclusive holiday. Sandals Royal Bahamian is no different. Everything, and we mean everything, is included in this stay. We’re talking private beach access, scuba diving and every other water and land sport imaginable, plus 5-star dining, entertainment and more.

If you want to splurge

If you’re looking for luxury, you’re sure to find it here, but it will cost you. Nassau & Paradise Island is a great destination for those hoping to enjoy the finer things in life – and there are quite a few hotels that will help you experience it in style. Personally, if we were to splurge, these would be our picks!

Those looking for a touch of luxury should head to Baha Mar Resort. The resort is located on Cable Beach and includes Rosewood Baha Mar, SLS Baha Mar and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Overall, Baha Mar is a stunning resort that is sure to make you feel like a million bucks. It's also home to the largest casino in the Caribbean. Plus, it’s great for families as well since you’ll have free, unlimited access to the Island’s newest water park, Baha Bay.

🏴‍☠️ Pirate tip: If you would still like to join in the fun at Baha Bay, it is possible to buy a day pass, though limited in numbers. Tickets cost $160 for adults and $65 for kids.

The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort is synonymous with luxury, and this hotel won’t disappoint. It’s known for catering to celebrities, and is set on a five-mile stretch of beach on Paradise Island with Versailles-inspired gardens. Suffice to say, it isn’t cheap, but we think it is definitely worth a splurge if you're celebrating something special.