Guide to southern Barbados bike ride - Epic Road Rides Back to top
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The Ride Southern Barbados loop

Distance

Elevation gain

Difficulty

Epic rating

56 km
520 m 
  
 

Distance

Elevation

56 km
520 m 

Difficulty

Epic rating

  
  

A (relatively) easy going, rolling ride through southern Barbados with just one tough climb. You’ll see rural villages, get superb 180 degree views from Coach Hill and St John’s Church and have the opportunity to visit Codrington College too. 

Another benefit of this ride is the road surface. The route sticks to the quieter, better paved interior roads rather than following the southern coast road. One of the negatives of riding in Barbados is the quality of the asphalt, but much of this route is in decent shape. As a result you're likely to see other cyclists and triathletes out on the roads, particularly if you're out early (aka dawn).

(Banner photo credit: Kusska/Shutterstock.com)

Route map and profile

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Related rides

HIGHLIGHTS

The climb up Coach Hill is tough, so take 5 minutes at the top to enjoy St John's Parish Church. The church is a perfect slice of Victorian England and the views will stay with you well after the pain of climbing Coach Hill has become a distant memory.

You can read more about what we think of St John's Parish Church here.

View from St John's Parish Church, down the coastline

Bright flowers pepper the verges

St John's Parish church (photo credit: evenfh/Shutterstock.com)

RIDE LOG

1. Dover Beach to Saint Philip: 0-18.5 km

You roll up and away from the coast and are quickly onto a network of small roads that wind between fields of sugar cane and sweet potato.

St Philip Parish Church forms the lynch pin for the figure of eight; you can't miss it, the churchyard is covered in other-worldly looking oak trees. 

2. Saint Philip to Saint Philip: 18.5-38.5 km

Shortly after Saint Philip, it comes as a surprise to pass Barbados's only prison. It's on a section of good asphalt too!

You round a small patch of woodland at Three Houses and there's a bit of uphill. Look left and you'll see beautiful Codrington College (read more in our things to do guide). 

The uphill is a prelude to the main act: Coach Hill starts about 4km later and is 3 km at around 3-5%. The first 0.5 km is the toughest with gradients at 7-11%. Don't miss a stop at Saint John Parish Church (see our Highlights above).

It's a swift descent back to St Philip Parish Church. Take care at the cross-roads, you'll have built up some speed. 

3. Saint Philip to Dover Beach: 38.5-56 km

A quick left, then right in Saint Philip and it's a straight-ish road towards the sea. You pass 17th Century Sunbury Plantation House, so if you're into your history, you could consider calling in (there's also a bar and restaurant). Alternatively, if you prefer to end your ride on a more alcoholic note, just around the corner is Foursquare Rum Distillery.

Before you get to the sea, you cut back southwest, towards the airport. It's some more nice asphalt and a relatively flat run home.

Cycling along, we came across an impromptu game of street tennis on Barbados' quiet east coast

Quiet roads between fields of sugarcane

Brightly coloured houses add a splash of colour

CAFé STOPS

Once you've left Dover Beach, there's little in the way of cafés, bars or shops to sustain you. This part of Barbados doesn't see many tourists, so make sure you carry enough water and provisions.

In better news, help is never too far away. If you find yourself running low, just head south/southeast and you will soon be back in urban areas along the coast where you'll find somewhere to refuel.

ACCOMMODATION

We had a great stay at Sapphire Beach Condos on Dover Beach in St Lawrence Gap in southwest Barbados. This ride starts from there. 

If, for whatever reason, you prefer to base yourself elsewhere in Barbados, take a look at our accommodation suggestions in our ultimate guide to cycling Barbados.

TIPS

Make sure you read our tips for Barbados cycling

  • There are limited options for food and drink on this ride so make sure you take enough with you.

Found this guide useful?

ARTICLES

The best St Lawrence Gap restaurants, Barbados
Our article gives the inside story on our favourite restaurants, bars and cafés in St Lawrence Gap, Barbados. Don't waste your time in second rate places, read this!
Southern Barbados loop
Our guide to an awesome route through little-explored Southern Barbados. Highlights include sugar cane plantations, Saint John parish church and some of Barbados's best asphalt!
Barbados coast to coast loop
Our guide to a tough ride over some of Barbados's most difficult climbs. Your reward is finding the Barbados most people never see, quiet roads and beautiful scenery.
Top tips for Barbados cycling
This article gives you our top tips for getting the most from cycling in Barbados. We cover what to take with you, route planning and when to ride.
The best things to do in St Lawrence Gap, Barbados (when you’re not cycling)
Read this for inspiration for things to do in Barbados. We give our tips on everything from exploring Barbados's beaches to it's incredible planation houses.
Northern Barbados loop
Our guide to a stunning loop of the quiet north of Barbados, including Animal Flower Cave, Farley Hill, Cherry Tree Hill and the windswept east coast.
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