The island of Grand Bahama is located near the coast of Florida from which it is only 90 km away, the island is part of the northern group of the Bahamas. The island which covers 1,373 sq km is the fourth largest in the archipelago. Its name derives from the Spanish language “grand bajamar” that is “big shallow sea”. The island is full of beaches and crystal clear water where you can practice any type of water sport.
The original inhabitants of the island were the Lucayans / Tainos who became extinct shortly after the arrival of the Spaniards. In the following centuries the island became a pirate lair. Only at the end of the seventeenth century did the British begin to establish small settlements in the Bahamas. The oldest English settlement on the island is that of West End which is located on the western end of the island, the one facing Florida.
Grand Bahama – which remained undeveloped and sparsely populated until after the Second World War – is today the second most inhabited island in the archipelago with over fifty thousand inhabitants and has become an important tourist attraction thanks to its proximity to the United States and numerous luxury resorts that have been built there. The main population centers are those of Freeport, West End and McLeans Town.
A COMPLETE HOLIDAY DESTINATION
The island of Grand Bahama is a complete vacation destination that offers numerous opportunities for those who visit it. There is something for everyone, a distinct mix of historical charm, modern attractions and ecological wonders. Here you will find luxury resorts, national parks (Peterson Cay National Park, Lucayan National Park and Rand Nature Center), beaches, sea, casinos and entertainment.
In the three national parks of the island you can admire the wild nature of the island including a large number of native birds and – in Lucayan National Park – one of the largest underwater cave systems in the world and the Gold Rock Beach, which is very beautiful at low tide. Peterson Cay National Park – a small coral island east of Freeport – is the ideal place to snorkel and admire the life of the coral reef.
The beaches are all along the southern coast of the island, among the best equipped tourist areas that of Port Lucaya – a suburb of Freeport – here is also the Port Lucaya Marketplace, a colorful and folkloric place with restaurants, shops, markets and stalls.
HOW TO GET TO GRAND BAHAMA
The island is easily accessible via the Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) which has direct connections to Nassau and the main airports in the United States and Canada. Fast ferries of the Balearia Caribbean connect Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) in Florida with Freeport in Grand Bahamas the time taken in the crossing is 4 hours.
Grand Bahama is also a popular cruise ship stopover. The port of Freeport is connected to Nassau and South Abaco by Bahamas Ferries ferries. The Pinder’s Ferry Service has daily connections between Crown Haven in Abaco in McLean’s Town in Grand Bahama.
ACCOMMODATIONS, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS
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