A true Caribbean crowd puller, Barbados ticks all the boxes for a picture of paradise. Beaches are a big draw of the island, with the east coast a legendary spot among surfers and the tranquil west primed for dipping your toes in turquoise waters. If you venture in UNESCO-listed Bridgetown, you’ll discover the historic Barbados Garrison, dominated by a 19th-century horse-racing track. As the island’s capital and commercial centre, it’s also the best spot for shopping and culture, with shopping malls, museums and restaurants scattered throughout. World-class water sports are available throughout the island. Take the opportunity to scuba dive among shipwrecks, swim with sea turtles or enjoy some kitesurfing at Silver Rock. If you’re more of a landlubber than an aquaholic, then Harrison’s Cave is one of dry land’s best offerings. These crystallized, limestone caverns are filled with emerald-green pools, and striking stalactites and stalagmites rock formations. Barbados offers most types of accommodation, from modest B&Bs to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Self-catering options include beachfront apartments, cottages and villas.