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#Getaway: 72 hours in Nassau

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The main island of the Bahamas, Nassau, is much closer than you think. Located only 300 km south of Florida, it is only a short (and direct) flight from Toronto. From there, it is easy to “island hop” as the locals and explore the immaculate beaches and turquoise waters of this colourful collection of pristine islands and coralline cays that make up the Islands of the Bahamas. It is a true haven for snorkelers and divers alike, considering the reefs are home to an abundance of tropical fish and vibrantly coloured corals.

But, there is also a lot to do and see in the Bahamas on solid ground. Delight in the easygoing island charm and laze the days away one of its many white-sand beaches. The capital, Nassau, is home to a rich past that deserves exploring. You will find ancient fortresses and colonial squares waiting to be discovered; not to mention excellent shopping, dining and nightlife. And, if you go, here are few tips to make the most of your trip.

  • How to get there?

Sunwing is the main airline that provides nonstop flights from Toronto Pearson to Nassau. In less than 3 hours, you will arrive in Paradise. The sun vacationer offers all-inclusive packages that include: round trip flight, accommodation, transfers and excursions for a short stay (4 nights) or a week-long stay or even longer. Because, why not?

  • Where to stay?

You should know that The Bahamas aren’t like the other “sun” destinations. There, all-inclusive hotels are rare and most  resorts are on the “pay for what you consume” plan. If you like the idea of staying at an all-inclusive hotel as most people do, know that there are two great options. One for families (located on the North end of the island) : the Melia Beach All Inclusive Resort Nassau and one for adults-only : the Riu Palace Paradise Island (located on the highly popular Paradise Island that was man-made 25 years ago when the Atlantis resort was built). Speaking of which, you must definitely go to if you are in the area (both Atlantis resort and Paradise Island).

Riu Palace Paradise Island – adults only all inclusive
  • What to do ?

There is a lot to see and do on the island of Nassau. If you enjoy water sports and activities, you will most certainly enjoy snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking on the turquoise waters that surround the island. In terms of attractions to visit, let’s say it’s a good thing that the island is only 32 km-wide. It is therefore easy to explore Nassau’s main sites in one day. Also know that tour operators also work with local companies to organize efficient and interesting “city tours”. The Best of Nassau tour will take you to the Parliament Square, where you can admire the pastel colours and the neo-Georgian architecture that make the island famous, the Queen’s Staircase, the historic Fort Fincastle, the Fish Market and Fish Fry Drive.

In addition, there are four national parks, three historic villages and a bustling downtown area on the island of Nassau crowned with an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, beautiful white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and a world-class dining and entertainment offer. It is then safe to say that Nassau is the perfect destination for everyone since it truly “has it all”.

The Queen’s staircase is one of Nassau main attraction

by Catherine Maisonneuve

catherine@mtltimes.ca

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