Some people like to travel so they can get out of their comfort zone and discover something completely new while others like to still feel like they’re in familiar territory. If you’re more like the latter group, then the Caribbean could be a great alternative to Amalfi or the South of France this summer. As you probably already know, the Caribbean is heavily infused with colonial influences but also with influence from more recent European immigrants. And it’s the unique mix of cultures in the region that makes it so beautiful. Let’s take a look at some of the best Caribbean islands for those looking for a touch of European charm.
Barbados is one of the most popular and most beautiful destinations in the Caribbean. One of the things that set Barbados apart is how pristinely colonial and pre-colonial architecture has been preserved. Barbados also has a large European expat community that has been living there for generations and left its mark on the island, so you should feel right at home.
Besides that, Barbados is known for having some of the best accommodations in the Caribbean and the world. You could book luxury villa rentals in Barbados or go for one of the many world-decorated 5-star hotels in the region if you’d like. Barbados also has a few budget accommodations for those who’d like to explore the island’s beauty on the cheap.
Martinique is one of France’s overseas territories and while it’s very Caribbean the French influence everywhere is undeniable. Most of the people speak French but you can expect to get service in English pretty much everywhere.
And you know how they say that you can’t throw a stone in Paris without hitting a bakery? Well, things are not that different in Martinique. The country’s most famous bakery, Chez Surena, has been serving fresh baguettes and macarons for over 100 years and they’re every bit as good as anything you’d find in France.
Martinique is also a great place for history buffs. This is where Napoleon’s first wife was born, and you can still see her birthplace which has been turned into a museum. You should also check the Schoelcher Library, which was established in the 19th century and is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Cuba is the place to go if you want to take a trip back in time and really know what times were like in the Spanish colonial era. The building has been preserved better than in virtually any other destination in the Caribbean. Even the people seem to be from another era.
But if you really want to enjoy old architecture, don’t go to Havana. Go to Trinidad and Cienfuegos which has been classified as a heritage site by UNESCO in 1993.
So, if you want to get a taste of the Caribbean with an Old-World twist, then you should check out these destinations. They have a little bit of something for everybody and are great for the family too, don’t be afraid to give any destination you like a closer look.