Eleuthera and Harbour Island Travel Guide
When to Go
High season in Eleuthera runs December through April, when residents of cold-weather climates head to the Bahamas to defrost and soak up some rays. Low temperatures might dip into the 60s, and the water can be chilly. Bring a sweater and a jacket, especially if you are boating. Expect to pay higher rates for rooms, boat rentals, and airfare during this time. For the cheapest hotel rates and some of the best deals on water-sports packages, visit in summer or fall, when the ocean is generally calm and warm. But beware, hurricane season runs June through November, with most risk of storms from August to October. During this time weather can be steamy and rainy.
For those who want to catch some action, the liveliest times to visit Eleuthera are Christmas during the annual Junkanoo celebration, the Pineapple Festival and Conch Fest in June, and the North Eleuthera Sailing Regatta in October. Reserve hotel rooms early.
Junkanoo is celebrated in Tarpum Bay on Christmas Day, and in Rock Sound and Harbour Island on December 26. Celebrations start around 7 pm.
Cyclists from around the globe come in April to ride the 100-mile Ride for Hope, an event that benefits cancer care and research. Riders of all ages and skill levels can ride 10 miles or 100. The route starts at Governor's Harbour. www.rideforhopebahamas.com.
Conch Fest. Deep Creek's annual Conch Fest in June has lots of conch, Rake 'n' Scrape, and arts and crafts.
Eleuthera Pineapple Festival. In June, Gregory Town hosts the four-day Eleuthera Pineapple Festival, with a Junkanoo parade, crafts displays, tours of pineapple farms, the annual 40-mi Cycling Race—as well as an opportunity to sample what Eleuthera natives proclaim to be the sweetest pineapple in the world.
Softball Playoff Games. Softball is the top sport in Eleuthera, and you can't beat Softball Playoff Games in September for excitement and camaraderie with locals. The winner competes in the national tournament. Games are held in Palmetto Point, Rock Sound, Governor's Harbour, and James Cistern.
North Eleuthera/Harbour Island Sailing Regatta. The North Eleuthera/Harbour Island Sailing Regatta in October provides five days of exciting competition of Bahamian Class A, B, and C boats. Onshore activities based on Harbour Island include live bands, Bahamian music, cultural shows, food, and drink.
Great Itineraries in Eleuthera
If You Have 3 Days
Fly into North Eleuthera and take the ferry to Harbour Island. Base yourself at a hotel near the famous 3-mile pink-sand beach or in historic Dunmore Town. Relax on the beach and have lunch at an ocean-side restaurant. Stroll through Dunmore Town in the afternoon, stopping at crafts stands and fashionable shops, admiring colonial houses along Bay Street, and visiting historic churches. At night, dine at one of the island's fine restaurants, such as the Landing, Rock House, Pink Sands, or Acquapazza. On Day 2, go scuba diving or snorkeling, or hire a guide and try to snag a canny bonefish. Visit the conch shacks on Bay Street for a low-key beachside dinner. On Day 3 get some last-minute color on the beach or some in-room spa pampering; stop by Vic-Hum Club or Gusty's for late-night music.
If You Have 5 Days
Head back to Eleuthera for the next two days. Rent a car at the North Eleuthera Airport (reserve in advance) and drive south past the Glass Window Bridge, where you can stand in one spot and see the brilliant-blue and often-fierce Atlantic Ocean to the east and the placid Bight of Eleuthera to the west. Continue to Governor's Harbour, the island's largest town, and grab lunch at Tippy's or the Beach House, upscale, laid-back beach bistros overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Stay at one of the beach resorts and enjoy the incredible water views. Head into town if you're looking for some nightlife or dining options.
If You Have 7 Days
On your last two days, drive back to North Eleuthera, base yourself at the Cove, and relax on the resort's two beaches. On your final day take the ferry to Spanish Wells, where you can rent a golf cart and spend a half day exploring the tiny town and relaxing on a white-sand beach with no tourists. Or stay put and explore Surfer's Beach.