A quick guide to the best Bermuda snorkelling sites via beach or boat.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Before you get into the water, do a little research by taking a trip to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo and familiarize yourself with the names of the local species and what you can expect to find when you go exploring. It's sure to enhance your appreciation and enjoyment.
Next, decide whether you want to venture out by boat or snorkel from the beach. Both are sure to serve up some interesting sights. Let's start with the beach.
SNORKELLING FROM THE BEACH
Ask locals for guidance and they’ll be torn on which beach deserves top honours for snorkellers, but no matter which beach you choose, the water will be clear and warm (average 82 degrees Fahrenheit in summer), the visibility excellent (up to 80 feet) and the marine life varied and colourful. Here are a few top spots:
- Church Bay: Close to The Reefs hotel, you’ll find high cliffs and a ribbon of spectacular reefs close to the shore. It's a gorgeous location with thriving marine life. Bring your own snorkel gear and exercise caution, as the South Shore can get a little choppy.
- Tobacco Bay: If you’re staying at the East End of the island, this is your best bet. You'll find a sheltered bay with shallow water and lots of rocky coves to explore. Be ready to encounter a school of sky-blue parrotfish as you swim around huge rocks that jut out of the sea.
- John Smith’s Bay: A small, pretty beach that is popular with locals and only 15 minutes from Hamilton. Bear right (as you look out to sea) for the best snorkelling; the fish tend to congregate by the rocks.
- West Whale Bay: Close to the world-famous Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, tiny West Whale Bay Beach is secluded and never crowded. The snorkelling is great but check out the tide times in advance; the beach vanishes at high tide.
- Snorkel Park: This is a great, well-organized beach facility with chairs, umbrellas and snorkel gear for rent. It's located in Royal Naval Dockyard and is ideal for families.