Barbados is a classic holiday destination; a Caribbean island with a wonderfully warm climate, picturesque beaches and welcoming culture. It’s an ideal place to escape to if you’re seeking respite from cold and wet weather elsewhere in the world, offering a plethora of things to see and do including stunning scenery, fascinating historic attractions and a wide range of outdoor activities.
If you’re thinking about a trip to this Caribbean paradise then one of the first things to decide is the best time of year to go to Barbados. The good news is that it’s a year-round destination, so no matter when you visit, you’ll be greeted with great weather and a brilliant selection of holiday itinerary options.
In this article, we take you through each month of the summer and winter seasons and explore the weather, local events and things to do, helping you decide on the best time to travel to Barbados.
Summer in Barbados
The ‘summer’ season in Barbados is long, extended from mid-April right through to December. Whilst this period is technically classed as the ‘wet’ season, you can still expect a lot of sunshine, high temperatures and tropical weather, making every month a great time to visit the island
A benefit of visiting Barbados in summer is that this is the off-season for tourism in the country, which means that the island will feel quieter and you’ll be able to secure the best rates for villa rental. With seven months of summer to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to plan a trip to Barbados at the best, and cheapest, time of the year.
Barbados in May
As April draws to a close and May begins, Barbados quietens down. May is considered to be the last month of the ‘dry’ season in Barbados, so it’s a brilliant time to visit if you want to enjoy very sunny weather but aren’t keen on the peak tourist season prices and atmosphere.
Average temperatures in Barbados in May range between 25°C and 31°C, with around 8 days of rain. May is one of the best times to travel to Barbados if you’re looking for the perfect conditions to get out and about on the island without too much risk of rain, as it’s not overly hot but still nice and sunny.
One of the key cultural events that takes place in Barbados in May is the Barbados Celtic Festival, which celebrates the history of Celtic residents on the island and the connection that Barbados has with Scotland, Ireland, Nova Scotia and Wales with a food and drink festival. Another cultural highlight is the Barbados Gospelfest, which usually takes place in the last week of the month and is a wonderful opportunity to experience incredible gospel music performed live.
Barbados in June
In June, chances of rain in Barbados increase, but don’t let that deter your holiday plans. June is often considered to be the best time of year to visit Barbados to make the most of the quiet season on the island, so it’s perfect for a trip where you want to relax.
The weather in Barbados in June is warm and sometimes wet, with average temperatures between 25°C and 31°C. Any rain showers tend to pass over the island pretty quickly and the risk of storms is low, so you’ll still see plenty of sunshine if you visit at this time of year. As well as being an ideal time for relaxation, June is also a good month for snorkelling and swimming trips on days when the sea is calm.
Barbados in July
July is a truly tropical month in Barbados, with hot weather interspersed with quick showers of rain that do nothing to deter the high temperatures. Average daily temperatures in Barbados in July are 30°C, with half the days usually seeing one or two rain showers. It’s a little windy on the coast of the island, but the smaller number of visitors at this time of year makes this a wonderful time to visit some of Barbados’ most popular beaches and enjoy them all to yourself.
July is one of the best times of year for Barbados holidays because the famous Crop Over Festival is held during the month. This colourful celebration began in the 1780s to mark the end of the sugar season and was revived in 1974 and became more of a celebration of Barbados culture, which includes the Bridgetown Market, the Foreday Morning music event and a huge carnival.
Barbados in August
August is another tropical month in Barbados, with a fair chance of rain but lots of sunshine as well. Temperatures average around 29°C – 30°C and the island’s greenery is in full bloom, making it a great time to visit some of Barbados’ nature reserves.
If you enjoy cultural experiences when you’re on holiday, August is the best time of year for Barbados because of Grand Kadooment Day, which is held on the 1st of August every year. The festival and celebration is part of the Crop Over Festival and marks the end of the sugar season as well as the end of the summer festival with a huge, colourful parade filled with music, dancing and vibrant costumes.
Barbados in September is one of the hottest and most humid months of the year, so if you’re a sun seeker looking for a quiet time of year to visit the island, this is ideal. With lower levels of tourism, you can enjoy a more authentic experience of the island along with great value prices for travel and accommodation.
Temperatures in Barbados in September are between 24°C and 29°C, with around 14 days of rain. When the sun is out it’s a great time to spend time on the beach, and whilst a handful of restaurants and hotels close for the month, it’s a great opportunity to explore popular places like Bridgetown and Saint Lawrence Gap without the crowds.
Barbados in October
The heat and humidity of the end of summer continue into October, with typical weather conditions including short rain showers interspersed with hours of sunshine. Average temperatures reach 31°C and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy popular attractions around the island and spend time on the beaches whilst they’re quiet.
October is the best time of year to travel to Barbados if you’re a food lover, as the Barbados Food, Wine & Rum Festival is held over the month. Some of the finest flavours and chefs on the island are showcased at the festival, with cooking classes, food stalls, tasting sessions and recommendations across the island.
Barbados in November
As the rainy season starts to come to a close, November is considered one of the best times to go to Barbados. It’s still the off-season for tourism so it’s a great time to enjoy the island before Christmas visitors start to arrive, but there’s still the classic tropical island weather to enjoy whether you’re out on the beaches, exploring the scenery or visiting the towns and villages.
30th November is Independence Day in Barbados, which is a national holiday and cause for celebration around the island. One of the key events of the occasion is a parade at the Garrison Savannah, which is where the original independence ceremony was first held in 1966.
Winter in Barbados
The winter season in Barbados is the most popular time of year to visit, partly because it provides such wonderfully warm weather in comparison to many other countries in the northern hemisphere. Prices will be higher and some attractions and areas may be more busy, but it’s a very lively time of year to visit and a great spot to soak up some winter sun!
Barbados in December
December is one of the most popular months to visit Barbados, offering incredible weather and plenty to do around the island. With average high temperatures of 29°C and decreasing chances of rain as the month progresses, you can pack your sunglasses with confidence and prepare for a festive break in a tropical paradise!
Plenty of places around Barbados put on events for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, or Old Year’s Night as it’s referred to around the island, so there’s a lot on offer from the restaurants, hotels and nightlife venues in particular. As the weather gets drier, it’s also a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like taking a catamaran trip or going snorkelling off the coast of the island.
Barbados in January
The dry season is in full swing in January in Barbados, creating the perfect climate for a tropical holiday at the start of the year. It’s a popular time to visit the island so you can expect to see lots of other travellers out and about, with plenty happening around the island to keep you busy during your stay.
The weather in Barbados in January is hot and pretty dry, with temperatures ranging between 24°C and 30°C and only several days when rain is likely to be forecast. It’s prime sunbathing weather out on the beaches, but also a great time to explore the island or embark on boat trips around the coast.
A cultural highlight this month is the Round Barbados Sailing Week, which originates from boat races that were held in the 19th century and is now an exciting opportunity for all kinds of water crafts to race different routes around the island, with a programme of onshore events for spectators as well.
Barbados in February
February is another month that is considered to be the best time to visit Barbados weather-wise, as the temperatures are high at around 29°C but the humidity and chances of rain are pretty low. Plenty of holidaygoers visit the island in February, so it’s not the right time for travellers that prefer an off-season atmosphere, but it is an ideal time to visit if you want to spend most of your trip on the beach or sipping cocktails on a balcony.
A significant event in Barbados in February is the Holetown Festival, which celebrates the first settlement of Barbados on the island. Over a week in the middle of the month, there are parades, performances, lectures and exhibitions in Holetown, which are definitely worth visiting for some cultural insight and entertainment.
Barbados in March
As spring arrives in Barbados, the island’s greenery flourishes, making this an excellent time to visit attractions like the Hunte’s Gardens to admire the tropical flowers on display at this time of year. Temperatures are still averaging at highs of 29°C and there’s only a small chance of rain interrupting all of the glorious sunshine.
If you’re a fan of equestrian sports then March is a fantastic month to visit Barbados, with one of the biggest Eastern Caribbean horse racing events, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, taking place at the Garrison Savannah near Bridgetown. It’s also the middle of the polo season in Barbados, so you’ll likely be able to catch a couple of matches during the month as well.
Barbados in April
If you like to visit travel destinations in the shoulder season when tourism is quietening down but there’s still plenty to do, then April is the best time of year to travel to Barbados. As spring begins to turn into summer, visitors to the island start to decrease. Temperatures stay high however, averaging between 25°C and 29°C, and the chances of rain are low, particularly at the start of the month.
Alongside trips to the beach, snorkelling excursions and sightseeing around the towns, April is also a month for fishing events! The Oistins Fish Festival is a significant cultural festival celebrating the history and impact of the fishing industry on the island with music, performances and plenty of food, whilst The Sir Charles Williams International Fishing Tournament is a competitive and well-regarded event held in St. Peter.
The beauty of Barbados, and one of the reasons why it’s such a popular holiday destination, is that it’s a great place to visit at any time of year. So if you’re wondering ‘When is the best time to go to Barbados?’ the answer is that there is no bad time to visit!
If you’re looking for the best deals on accommodation, or you prefer your travel destinations to be quiet and relatively empty, summer is the best time of year to book a trip. Don’t be put off by the reputation of the rainy season – there’s still a lot of sunshine on offer and any showers pass over relatively quickly.
If you’re thinking about visiting Barbados, The Villa Collection offers a hand-picked selection of luxury villas around the island that are perfect for an unforgettable holiday. Take a look at the villas we have available or get in touch to speak to our team about what you’re looking for.
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