Bermuda Sports & Activities

Long before your plane touches down in Bermuda, the island's greatest asset becomes breathtakingly obvious—the crystal-clear, aquamarine water that frames the tiny, hook-shape atoll.

So clear are Bermuda's waters that in 1994 the government nixed a local scuba-diving group's plan to create a unique dive site by sinking an abandoned American warplane in 30 feet of water off the island's East End, fairly close to the end of the airport's runway. The government feared that the plane would be easily visible from above—to arriving passengers—and could cause undue distress. It's the incredible clarity of the water that makes Bermuda one of the world's greatest places for exploratory scuba diving and snorkeling, especially among the age-old shipwrecks off the island. The presence of these sunken ships is actually one of Bermuda's ironies—as translucent as the water is, it wasn't quite clear enough to make theBermuda's treacherous reefs visible to the hundreds of ship captains who have smashed their vessels on them through the centuries.

Thanks to Bermuda's position near the Gulf Stream, the water stays warm year-round. In summer the ocean is usually above 80°F, and it's even warmer in the shallows between the reefs and shore. In winter the water temperature only occasionally drops below 70°F, but it seems cooler because the air temperature is usually in the mid-60s. There's less call for water sports December through March, not because of a drop in water temperature, but because of windy conditions. The wind causes rough water, which in turn creates problems for fishing and diving boats, and underwater visibility is often clouded by sand and debris.

Whether it's renting a glass-bottomed kayak for a gentle paddle over the reefs, taking a motorboat for a spin, or spending an adrenaline-filled afternoon wakeboarding, getting out on the water is an essential part of the Bermuda experience. In high season, mid-April through mid-October, fishing, diving, and yacht charters fill up quickly.

A handful of major water-sports outfitters on the island—Blue Hole Watersports, Somerset Bridge Watersports, Fantasea Diving & Watersports, H2O Sports, and Just Add Water—provide most of the rentals. Many boats carry fewer than 20 passengers, so it's advisable to sign up as soon as you arrive on the island. During the "golf and spa season," December through February, many operators close to make repairs and perform routine maintenance.

As well as snorkeling tours and various other boat trips, you could try snuba, a kind of intermediary step between snorkeling and scuba diving that enables participants to breathe underwater without heavy dive tanks. It involves a short training session and a shallow orientation dive prior to a guided deep water reef excursion. Since you don't need qualifications or experience, and all of the gear is provided, snuba is a popular option for people who have never dived before. Prefer to stay above water? Bermuda offers a variety of paddleboarding, glass-bottom, jet ski, and even Gosling's Rum tasting tours. For a detailed list of aquatic activities available in Bermuda, be sure to visit Island Tour Centre online at www.islandtourcentre.com.

Bermudians take their onshore sports seriously, too. Cricket and soccer are the national sports, but road running, golf, field hockey, rugby, and a host of other activities get their share of love. Bermudian soccer stars, such as former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater, have delighted crowds in British and U.S. leagues through the years, and Bermudian sailors hold their own in world competition, as do runners, equestrians, and swimmers. Bermuda catapulted onto the squash world stage after holding the Bermuda Masters in 2005 and the World Championships in 2008. Tennis is quite a big deal here, too, and with 70 courts packed into these 21.6 square miles, it's hard to believe there's room left for horseback riding, cycling, running, and golf. The island is also proud to announce that it will host the 35th America's Cup sailing races in June of 2017. The highly anticipated event will pit defending champion ORACLE TEAM USA against teams from New Zealand, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, and France, among others.

Beaches

Bermuda's south-shore beaches are more scenic than those on the north side, with fine, pinkish sand and limestone dunes topped with summer flowers...

Bicycling

The best and sometimes only way to explore Bermuda's nooks and crannies—its little hidden coves and 18th-century tribe roads—is by bicycle or...

Bird-Watching

Forty species of warblers have been spotted in Bermuda, especially in the casuarina trees along the south shore and West End. Other omnipresent...

Boating

Bermuda is gorgeous by land, but you should take to the water to fully appreciate its beauty. You can either rent your own boat or charter one...

Cricket

Cricket is one of the favorite pastimes on this sports-mad island, a fact that was seen with the national celebrations that followed Bermuda...

Fishing

Bermuda's proximity to the deep ocean makes it one of the best places in the world for deep-sea fishing. Many of the International Fishing...

Golf

Golf is an important facet of sporting life in Bermuda, where golf courses make up nearly 17% of the island's 21.6 square miles. The scenery...

Helmet Diving

A different, less technical type of diving popular in Bermuda is helmet diving, offered between April and mid-November. Although helmet-diving...

Horseback Riding

Because most of the land on Bermuda is residential, opportunities for riding through the countryside are few. The chief exception is South Shore...

Rugby

Bermuda's rugby season runs from September to April. World Rugby Classic. The World Rugby Classic, in early to mid-November, brings erstwhile...

Running and Walking

Top runners flock to the island in January for the Bermuda International Race Weekend, which includes a marathon and 10-km races. Many of the...

Sailing and Yachting

Bermuda has a worldwide reputation as a yacht-racing center. The sight of the racing fleet, with brightly colored spinnakers flying, is striking...

Scuba Diving

Bermuda has all the ingredients for classic scuba diving—reefs, wrecks, underwater caves, a variety of coral and marine life, and clear, warm...

Snorkeling

The clarity of the water, the stunning array of coral reefs, and the shallow resting places of several wrecks make snorkeling in the waters...

Soccer

Football (soccer) season runs from September through April in Bermuda. One of Bermuda's two national sports, football is massively popular among...

Squash

Bermuda Squash & Racquets Association. The club makes its four courts available to nonmembers between 10 am and 10 pm by reservation,...

Tennis

Bermuda has one tennis court for every 600 residents, a ratio that even the most tennis-crazed countries would find difficult to match. Many...

Whale-Watching

During March and April the majestic humpback whales pass Bermuda as they migrate north to summer feeding grounds. Watching these giant animals...

Yoga

Bermuda caught the yoga bug from its North American neighbors in the late '90s, and has since embraced the fad, especially within the local...

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