Bermuda Department of Tourism
Global House, 43 Church Street
PO Box HM 465
Telephone: 809-292-0023. Fax: 809-292-7537
Hamilton HMBX, Bermuda

Physical geography

The archipelago Bermuda is located in the Western Atlantic at 32N and 64W. The seven largest islands are connected together by causeways and bridges to form the mainland, and are volcanic in origin with a limestone capping. The island is 22 miles (35.4km) long by two miles (3.2km) wide and its highest point is Town Hill in Smith's Parish, which is 259.4 feet (78.9 metres) above sea level. The total land area is 205 sq miles (52 Bermuda's nearest point of land is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, some 600 miles 965.6km) to the west. Often mistaken as being a part of the West Indies, Bermuda lies more than 1,000 miles (1609.3km) north of the Caribbean sea, making it geographically isolated.


Sub-tropical and frost-free due to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The mean annual temperature ranges from 68°F - 76°F (20°C - 24.4°C). Bermuda has no rainy season as such with the average annual rainfall of 58 inches (147.3cm) distributed evenly throughout the year, providing the island with lush vegetation. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography</H3> Tourism and international company business accounts for 88 per cent of all foreign exchange earnings. Minor goods and services industries account for the remainder. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> Population: 58,460, of which 60 per cent are black, whilst whites and others make up 40 per cent. Capital city: Hamilton. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history</H3> The exact date on which Bermuda was discovered is unclear, but it is known that it was sighted by the Spanish sailor Juan de Bermudez in 1503, from whom the island took its name. Spain, however, never laid claim to the island. It was eventually the British who set up the first permanent settlement in 1609 after the Admiral Sir George Somers and his fleet of ships were wrecked on the reefs on their way to the North American colony of Virginia. In 1612 the town of St. George's was established. In 1620, a Colonial Constitution which was to rule the island for 40 years was established. In 1684 the island became a more direct responsibility of the crown, although it retained its self-governing status. The capital was moved to its present site in 1815 because of its more centralised location. <P> </P>Today, Bermuda remains Britain's oldest settled colony but it is almost entirely responsible for its own affairs. A constitutional conference in 1968 transferred most of the executive powers of the crown-appointed governor to the premier, who is head of the majority party in the 40-seat, elected House of Assembly. The governor, now largely a ceremonial head, still retains responsibility for external affairs and defence. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> Predominently Anglican and Roman Catholic, but virtually all religions are represented on the island. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> English is the principal language, although Portugese is spoken by a minority of the population. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Bermuda Standard Time is four hours behind GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> The Bermuda dollar is pegged to the US dollar on an equal basis and BD$1 = US$1. US currency is widely accepted in shops, restaurants and hotels. All other foreign currencies are not accepted and should be changed at banking institutions at the prevailing rate of exchange. US travellers cheques are accepted everywhere. Credit cards are accepted in most shops, restaurants and hotels. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)</H3> New Year's Day: Sunday, lst January; Good Friday: Friday, 5th April; Bermuda Day: Wednesday, 24 May; Queen's Birthday: Monday, 17th June; Cup Match: Thursday, 1st August; Somers Day: Friday, 2nd August; Labour Day: Monday, 2nd September; Remembrance Day: Monday, 11th November; Christmas Day: Wednesday, 25th December; Boxing Day: Thursday, 26th December. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> <H3>Hamilton</H3> The capital city with its elegant Front Street has abundant shops offering high quality British and European goods and restaurants offering continental and local cuisine. For historians there is the Anglican Cathedral, completed in 1911, and the Sessions House, which was built in 1817. For a picturesque view of the city, a visit to Fort Hamilton is a must. <H3>St. George's</H3> The old capital, which has retained its 17th-century character, contains many of the island's attractions. The state house dates back to 1620 and the town hall back to 1782. Also to be found is a replica of the Deliverance, the ship that took settlers back to Virginia after being shipwrecked on the island in 1610. St. Peter's Church, built in 1713, is the oldest continually used Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere. <H3>Bailey's Bay</H3> The location of the Crystal and Lemington Caves with their dazzling stalactites and stalagmites in a natural pool surrounding. The Bermuda perfumery manufactures the island's local fragrances. <H3>Flatt's Village</H3> The aquarium, museum and zoo featuring local artefacts and a variety of animals, fishes and birds. <H3>The West End</H3> At the west end of the island, Somerset Bridge, the smallest drawbridge in the world, can be found. The maritime museum recounts Bermuda's nautical past while Fort Scaur is a remnant of its military past. Set in 22 acres of parkland, it contains picnic areas and walking trails. The Bermuda Arts Centre is a showcase for Bermuda arts and craft. Horseshoe Bay Beach, however, is probably the West End's most famous attraction. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring</H3> Bermuda is an enjoyable destination all year round. In the summer months daily mean temperatures range from 70°F-80°F (21.1°C - 26.6°C). During the winter months season (November 15-March 31) temperatures generally average lower than the summer months, reaching 70F (21.1°C) during the day and dropping some ten degrees at night. January and February are the coolest months with temperatures averaging between 60F and 65F (15.5°C - 18.3°C) during the day. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> As a general rule, dress conservatively. Bathing suits, shorts, and other scanty clothing are only acceptable at beaches and pools. Most restaurants and hotels require a jacket and tie after 6pm. During the warmer months, light cotton clothing is suitable for daywear, while a light jacket or wrap is needed for nights. For the cooler months, light woollen and fall-weight casuals as well as an overcoat may be required. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> Bermuda has no main holiday resorts as the whole island is the resort! Hotels are spread throughout the island although some of the larger properties are concentrated along the South Shore where most of Bermuda's best beaches are located. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Recreation in Bermuda, as can be expected, is water-based: boating, windsurfing, fishing, skiing and swimming are the main watersports. Underwater sports include helmet diving, scuba diving and snorkelling. Among the land-based sports, there is tennis, golf and horseback riding as well as cricket and football. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Bermuda's many restaurants offer both continental and local cuisine. For the discriminating palate, however, fish chowder, Rock fish, the Spiny lobster (when in season) and conch stew are the local delicacies not to be missed. At the bar, a 'Dark 'n Stormy', the local rum concoction, is the drink to order. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> Bermuda-made items include pottery, cedarware, fashions, and records and paintings by local artists. Among the best international bargains are English woollens and bone china, Irish linens, Scottish tweeds, Italian silks, French perfumes, Swiss watches and Danish silver. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> <B>A return or onward ticket</B> is required from all visitors. <P> </P><B>Proof of citizenship and photographic identification</B> is required from all visitors. <P> </P><B>A valid passport</B> is required from all visitors except United States and Canadian citizens who, as an alternative, may present either a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or a re-entry permit. <H3>Visas</H3> These are not required except for nationals of: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China (People's Republic of), Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia (former), Georgia, Haiti, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Soviet Union (former), Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikstan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam (North and South), Yugoslavia (former), Yugoslavia (Serbian Federal Republic of). <P> <B>Note</B>: all visitors upon arrival in Bermuda must also have transit visas (if required) and relevant entry documentation for the next destination after departing Bermuda. <H3>Health regulations</H3> No smallpox vaccination certificates are required from any travellers except those who, within the preceding 14 days, have been in a country of which any part had been infected. <H3>Customs</H3> Visitors may bring into Bermuda, duty free, all clothing and articles for their personal use, including sports equipment, cameras, golf bags, etc. Also 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes, 0.454 kgs (1lb) tobacco, 1.137 litres (1qt) liquor, 1.137 litres (1qt) wine. visitors are permitted to bring in duty free approximately 20lbs of meat. Other foodstuffs may be dutiable. All imports may be inspected upon arrival. <H3>Currency regulations</H3> There is no limit on the import of foreign banknotes although exchange facilities at local banks are restricted to the more marketable currencies. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Bermuda's rolling topography and heavy vegetation, combined with its small size, make just about all routes scenic. Along the South Shore, running from Smith's to Southampton parishes, can be found Bermuda's prized 'pink' sandy beaches with John Smith's Bay, Elbow Beach and Horseshoe Bay being the most popular. All routes take in water views at some point. Public transportation, such as buses and ferries, provide access to most attractions. Mopeds, taxis and horse and buggies are available for hire. No car rentals are permitted. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous</H3> <H3>Some important events</H3> Bermuda Festival (January/February). A six-week international arts festival featuring world-renowned theatrical performers. <P> </P>Bermuda International Marathon and Ten Kilometre Race (January) with Bermudan and international runners competing. <P> </P>Bermuda Spring Break (March/April). Several weeks featuring sports and other events for visiting students spending their spring vacations on the island. <P> </P>Cup Match (August 1 and 2). A spectacular two-day (public holiday) cricket match between the east and west ends of the island. <P> </P>Bermuda Goodwill tournament (December). A week of golfing activity as 90-100 pro-amateur foursomes from international golf clubs compete in this best-ball tournament played over 72 holes in four of Bermuda' s eight courses. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> Canada: Bermuda Department of Tourism, Suite 1004, 1200 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2A5 <P> </P>Great Britain: Bermuda Tourism, CIB Ltd, 1 Battersea Church Rd, London SW11 3LY <P> </P>Sweden: Bermuda Tourism, Inco Marketing AB, Drottninggatan 22, S-41114 Gothenburg <P> </P>USA: Bermuda Department of Tourism, Suite 803, 245 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta GA 30303 <P> </P>Bermuda Department of Tourism, Suite 1010, 44 School Street, Boston MA 02108 <P> </P>Bermuda Department of Tourism, Suite 1070, 150 North Wacker Drive, Chicago IL 60606 <P> </P>Moyer, Assoc., Suite 111, 3151 Cahuenga Blvd, W, Los Angeles, CA 90068 - 1768 <P> </P>Bermuda Department of Tourism, Suite 201, 310 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10017 <P>Germany: Bermuda Tourism, Magnum Management GmbH, Maximilianstrasse 32, D-8000 Munchen 22. <P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><P><I>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Bermuda thanks to the co-operation of the Bermuda Department of Tourism in Hamilton. <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>