Barbados is probably the most developed of all the Caribbean islands, yet it retains a distinct character and is resolutely West Indian. Although the beaches are brilliant and rival those elsewhere, the variety of other attractions and things to do are what mark this particular idyll out.
Swim, dive, kite surf and simply relax on the sand on the sheltered south and west coasts; Carlisle Bay near the capital Georgetown has 200 wrecks to explore. The capital itself has a wealth of history to uncover either in the Barbados Museum or nearby Garrison area.
Head inland though to explore the limestone hills and discover the real Barbados and Bajan culture. Visit seventeenth century plantation houses and botanical gardens, listen out for calypso rhythms and sample real Bajan rums and you'll get an idea of what makes the country tick.