Discovering Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas
Eleuthera, one of the outer islands in the Bahamas, is known for its pink sand beaches, turquoise ocean, and secluded snorkeling spots. Just a short flight from Nassau into one of Eleuthera’s three airports, this easily accessible island is still somewhat a secret and is still relatively undeveloped. If you are looking to truly get away from it all Eleuthera Island is a fantastic place to go.
Where to Stay
Aside from The Cove and the French Leave Resort, there are not very many hotels on Eleuthera. A great alternative would be to stay in a vacation rental like the Tops House in Governor’s Harbour. Located in the center of the island, this stunning villa was surprisingly reasonable and cost-effective for our family like the majority of the vacation homes we have rented over the years. We would never be able to afford to stay in a two-bedroom hotel suite of this size or caliber.
This two-bedroom home has a private pool, beautiful living space, a modern kitchen, lots of outdoor living space, and a washer and dryer. Our hosts Kathy and Bob were so warm and welcoming. On the first evening, Kathy even made us dinner which was a wonderful surprise after flying all day. Throughout our stay, she also brought us fresh vegetables from her garden.
Where to Eat
We prepared many of our meals at home. There are no large grocery stores on the island, you will need to gather your food from different markets. In Governors Harbor there are two small grocery stores, however, the biggest and best one is in Rock Sound. They even carry a few gluten-free products. Fair warning, everything costs almost double what it does in the United States. A half-gallon of milk is $7.50!
For fresh produce check out the wonderful farmer’s market on the southern end of the island. Another option for visitors traveling to Eleuthera is to bring dry goods and even frozen meat with them.
Most days you will find the local fisherman sharing the day’s catch on a stand right in the middle of town. This is by far the best source for fresh fish and lobster. They will filet your grouper or butterfly a lobster tail. Prices are very reasonable. I paid $10 for two of the tastiest lobster tails I have ever had.
If you do want to go out for a meal try the French Leave Resort in Governor’s Harbor. It has great food and beautiful views overlooking the marina.
What to Do on Eleuthera
Scuba Diving – When our 15-year-old son wanted to learn to Scuba dive in the Bahamas, we thought Eleuthera would be a great place to do it. We were right. The water is crystal clear and very calm. We spent a day with Al at Ocean Fox in Davis Harbor on the southern tip of the island. We highly recommend him for first-timers.
Beaches – Most days though we spent exploring the uncrowded beaches of the island of Eleuthera. Often we were the only ones there. Just the way we like it. Some of our favorites include French Leave Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and Twin Cove Beach.
Glass Window Bridge – Often referred to as the Narrowest Place on Earth, you must plan a visit to see one of nature’s true wonders where the Atlantic Ocean the Caribbean Sea collide. Located along Queen’s Highway, on the northern part of Eleuthera island, pull over after the bridge to experience the most scenic views of both the turquoise Caribbean Sea and the deep dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean.
Top 10 Tips for First Time Visitors to Eleuthera Island
- Cash is King – Not a lot of places accept credit cards. There are ATMs on the island, but the surcharge is $3 plus your foreign transaction fee.
- Tippy’s – You likely aren’t coming to Eleuthera for the cuisine. But if you are looking for a great meal be sure to make a reservation at Tippy’s one night.
- Island Farm– Located in Palmetto Point. Great place to find organic produce, freshly baked bread, cheese, salsa, and jams.
- Banks Road Deli – This deli is on the road to Tippy’s. Here you can buy sliced deli meats, cheese, pasta, and sauces. Additionally, they also have fresh croissants and baguettes early in the day.
- Bugs – They are vicious. There are no-see-ums and mosquitoes. Bring bug spray and/or sunscreen with bug spray in it.
- Bottled Water – We had a 5-gallon water dispenser in our house. I should have brought refillable water bottles from home to take to the beach with us.
- Car Rental – You will need one and it is very expensive! Between $55-65/day, plus pick up fees, etc. You won’t find a Hertz or Avis on the island. Your property agent can suggest where to rent cars.
- Beaches – Get out and discover as many beaches as you can. As cell service is unreliable, be sure to print the directions and take a map with you. We loved French Leaves (AKA Club Med) and Twin Cove.
- Harbour Island – Worthy of a day trip, take a water taxi from North Eleuthera over to Harbour Island. Once there you can rent golf right on the dock to explore the island. We had a lovely, but expensive, lunch at Sip Sip.