Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Abundant open-water swimming, mild weather and an active community make this stunning island a training paradise. Enter to win a trip to Bermuda here!
Many people mistakenly think of Bermuda as a Caribbean island when it’s in fact located farther north—about 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina. It’s less than a two-hour flight from most East Coast cities, and there are daily flights on several U.S. and Canadian airlines. It also doesn’t have the Caribbean heat—its warmest months (May through October) see temperatures in the mid-80s, and the average high in the middle of winter is around 70 degrees. (Also, don’t be deterred by the Bermuda Triangle myth—it was debunked in the 1970s.)
There are a variety of accommodations in Bermuda’s 21 square miles. Grotto Bay Beach Resort and Tennis Club (Grottobay.com), located in Hamilton Parish, is just a few minutes from the airport and has its own private beaches and stunning ocean views on the 21-acre property. For a more urban, central location, the Fairmont Hamilton Princess (Fairmont.com), located on the harbor in the main city of Hamilton, is a charming, historic hotel just steps away from restaurants and shops. Visit Gotobermuda.com for a list of all accommodations on the island.
Fish eaters won’t be disappointed—you can find fresh rockfish and wahoo all over the island. Sample classic Bermudian meals such as fish chowder, a flavorful, aromatic gumbo-like soup, and the fish sandwich, deep-fried fillets of fish with tartar sauce and other fixings. The well-known Swizzle Inn, at two locations, serves delicious fish sandwiches along with an especially strong version of the signature Bermudian cocktail, the Rum Swizzle (a sweet concoction made of fruit juice and rum). Rustico Restaurant and Pizzeria, located in the central Flatts Village, is another top-notch pick serving delicious pizzas, wine by the glass and a daily risotto special.
Just Keep Swimming
Swim Training Heaven
With the Atlantic Ocean never more than 2 miles away from anywhere on the island, it’s obligatory to enjoy some open-water swims while in Bermuda. For a more protected swim, start from the Harrington Sound public dock and head east to the point for a half-mile round-trip swim. Another popular swimming locale is Clearwater Beach, which also serves as the start of most local triathlons. It has calm waters, is frequented mainly by locals and you might catch a glimpse of a sea turtle. If the open water is too choppy to swim, dive into the 50-meter pool at the Bermuda National Sports Centre ($16 drop-in pass, Bermudasportscenter.com).
Hit The Road
Cycling And Running Routes
The island has a strong cycling community (you’ll see large packs of cyclists on weekend mornings). If you’re looking for scenic bike training, the 28-mile Western Loop takes you along Bermuda’s south shore beaches toward the Naval Dockyard and gives you a great view of Hamilton Harbor. Or opt for the 19-mile Eastern Loop, which has golf course views and some challenging hills. Because the speed limit on the island is only about 20 mph, the roads are quite safe for cyclists—just remember to ride (and drive) on the left. If you want to lace up for a run, the Railway Trail, a converted railroad track, is popular among locals and has picturesque views and about 18 total miles accessible for running.
Explore The Shores
Don’t miss out on Bermuda’s charming history and wealth of family-friendly activities all along its 75 miles of coastline. On the east end of the island is the quaint town of St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage site complete with historic architecture and cobblestone paths. Just past town is Fort St. Catherine, a museum in the largest fort in Bermuda with unobstructed views to the north and east. Nearby is Tobacco Bay, a popular protected swimming hole where you can explore coves and fascinating rock formations. Explore Bermuda’s south shores with a day on the pink sand at Horseshoe Bay Beach, or climb to the top of Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse for stunning 360-degree views. At the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (Bamz.org), you’ll see more than 100 species of indigenous fish and animals from the Caribbean, Australia and Madagascar.
For a nation of around 65,000 residents, Bermuda has a vibrant tri community. There are sprint- and Olympic-distance races throughout the summer, including a weekly super-sprint series—the Argo Re Summer Triathlon Series—that runs on Thursday evenings all summer for a $5 entry fee (kids are welcome to join as well). Other short-course tris fall anywhere from April to October, and each ensure you’ll enjoy clear, turquoise waters and scenic vistas. Find a full event schedule at Bermudatriathlon.com.