While it is widely reported that Dominica is not noted for its beaches, the truth is that there is a series of lovely cove beaches along the northeast coast of the island, one of the nicest of which is a 2-3 minute walk from Villa PassiFlora. Visits to isolated beaches should be made in groups, preferably with a guide.
comprises three beaches, highlighted by the dramatic “Red Rocks.” The first cove is an otherworldly volcanic landscape with lovely tide pools set against the sound of crashing waves. There are a couple of spots where one can enjoy a bath, but this beach is more suitable for exploration on foot than swimming. An easy scramble across the volcanic promontory will reveal a beautiful stretch of mixed sand beach lined by palms with great spots for swimming as well as lounging. A beach bar — not directly visible from the beach — has been hand crafted as part of the Red Rocks Haven villa. Snorkeling is definitely an option, though we’d advise getting pointers from a local. A fascinating history of this beautiful area is available in Elma Napier’s Black and White Sands, an expatriate’s memoir written in 1962.
Other Nearby Beaches
If you care to explore other nearby beaches, you will need a car, and your modest efforts — no more than 15 minutes drive time from Villa PassiFlora — will be richly rewarded.
Beaches to the East:
- Woodford Hill Beach: One of the area’s most readily accessible and popular beaches, the surf is typically gentle, and the sand is fine and comfortable.
- Turtle Beach: Lovely and isolated, but the waters are often rough, making the sea treacherous at times. Like many of Dominica’s beaches, a small river meets the sea here, and may represent a preferable option for bathers.
- Hodges Beach: Hodges is a black sand beach, with some nice spots for bathing, though the Hodges River, as it empties into the bay, may be a more attractive option. The waters are calmed by a small island not far offshore, a nice spot for snorkeling.
Beaches to the West:
- Calibishie Bay: The bayside is primarily the focus of village life, but it makes a lovely spot to enjoy a drink or local meal, and there are areas suitable for wading or bathing.
- Hampstead Beach (Number 1): Just outside the village of Calibishie, Hampstead is a beautiful black sand beach that was featured in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. The Hampstead River presents wonderful swimming, but the beach’s appeal is its extreme beauty rather than its bathing.
- Batibou Beach: Batibou is perhaps Dominica’s most picture perfect beach, with fine brown sands lining the archetypal palm-encircled crescent. The surf is usually gentle, making Batibou an ideal spot to spend an afternoon.
- Anse de Mai and Anse Soldat are small villages on bays which accommodate both village life and areas for bathing. Anse de Mai is a good spot to catch fishermen returning in the afternoon with fresh caught tuna, mahi mahi or the like. Day trips to Marie Galante can also be arranged through Anse de Mai.
If you prefer your beaches virtually waveless, proceed to Portsmouth. There are a number of tranquil beaches available around town and the villages just north of Portsmouth, some with fine snorkeling.