Folkestone Marine Park

Folkestone Marine Park

The coastline on the northern edge of Holetown is one of the most beautiful beaches and especially snorkelling destinations in Barbados. Folkestone Marine Park (sometimes referred to as Folkestone Marine Reserve) is a "must-see" place for all lovers of the sea and the underwater world.

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The breathtaking experiences that await you underwater are complemented by a pleasant beach setting with plenty of natural shade, as well as good accessibility.

Snorkelling and diving

Folkestone Marine Reserve is the best snorkelling spot in Barbados and is certainly one of the best in the Lesser Antilles. Sure, it probably can't compare to Indonesia, Palau or Belize, but it still holds pride of place on the snorkelling map of the world.

The jagged coral reefs here cover a huge area and are perfectly accessible directly from the beach. To snorkel, you don't need to swim more than 10 metres off shore and you'll find a ready-made coral reef city.

In addition, the wide circle around the beach is a protected area where no boats are allowed to enter, so snorkeling here is very quiet and safe.

The best area is at the northern end of the beach. If you arrive at the beach by car, walk about 50 metres from the car park to the right, where there is an extremely comfortable sandy entrance to the sea. The left (southern) part is not so safe to snorkel, because due to the wide shallows there are bigger waves that can scratch you badly on the corals.

In the area conveniently accessible from the beach you will see mainly small and medium sized fish species, but you may also be lucky to see turtles.

The wreck of the MV Stavronikita

About 200 metres offshore lies the wreck of the MV Stavronikita, a medium-sized Greek cargo ship that was wrecked off the coast of Barbados in 1976 while transporting cement from Europe in 35 metres of water.

The ship lies close to a coral reef and is one of the best dive sites with hundreds of species of colourful fish and an abundance of turtles.

The Hightide dive school is based right on the beach, organising boat trips to the wreck of the Stavronikita, among others.

Beach facilities

The beach at Folkestone Marine Park is covered in very fine white sand with no pebbles and a paved pedestrian area runs through the beach. The beach is equipped with free toilets and freshwater showers.

You'll find a small bistro here, and to the north, upmarket resort hotel restaurants.

There are no sun lounger and umbrella hire facilities directly on the beach, but mature trees provide shade. Further north along the promenade, you'll find rentals, but they're only available if the hotel guests of the local resorts don't use them.

Beachfront accommodation

Directly at Folkestone Marine Reserve you will only find the more expensive hotel resorts:

Transportation to Folkestone Marine Park

Folkestone Marine Reserve is one of the most accessible beaches by car on the entire west coast of Barbados.

By car

One of the few beaches to offer a small free car park just a few metres from the water. While this usually fills up before 9am, parking is available on the grassy area by the local church about 70 metres from the beach.

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The turn off the main road is not well signposted, so check out the detailed route map from Bridgetown on

By bus

You will find the bus stop on the main road about 150 metres from the beach.

All buses and vans from Bridgetown in the direction of Holetown depart from Princess Alice / Cheapside bus station. The route from Bridgetown through Holetown further north is very busy and a bus or van (ZR) passes through on average every 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Bus route 1C (every 30 minutes) - Bridgetown, Prospect, Weston, Speighstown, Six Mens, Conneltown (Animal Flower Cave)
  • Bus line 27 (morning and evening only) - Airport, Prospect, Weston, Speighstown
  • Minibus lines 3J, 4A, 9A, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 46, 47, 89, 90, 91, 97
  • Shared taxis (ZR) line 3O

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