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Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Burlington, Canada
posts: 137
reviews: 43
Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice


We are novice surfers, who are intrigued by the possibilty of surfing off Eleuthera. We have already taken our annual surf trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So, surfing is not essential at this point.

We are also really excited about the idea of getting off the beaten path and just relaxing.

I'm just trying to price out a vacation to Eleuthera the week of October 21st this year.

I've priced a flight to Nassau. Then the Ferry from Nassau to Govenor's Harbour ($220USD).

Have not decided on accomdations, but that looks like it'll range from $100 - $200USD per night. So, that can be decided on once, I determine the amount of all other expenses.

Will I need a rental car for the entire stay? Or if I chose accomodations close enought to the beach can I get away with only renting a car for a day of road tripping to see the island?

As for food, can anyone give me an idea of what to expect to pay to eat for a day?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

Destination Expert
for Nassau
posts: 3,927
reviews: 3
1. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Not sure if I can answer all of your questions, but maybe I can give you some hints, etc. I have been to Nassau many times, and to Eleuthera, but to Harbour Island, not Governors Harbour. Harbour Island is total relaxation, fabulous pink sand beaches, and off the beaten path. You rent a golf cart, not a car. You can do a direct flight from Toronto to Nassau on Air Canada, but I prefer Buffalo/Charlotte/Nassau on US Airways for alot less money, and take the Bahama Fast Ferry to Harbour Island.(2 hours). If this sparks some interest, let me know and I can give you some more advice and direction, etc.

P.S. The Bahamas is not cheap, but you will have the advantage of low season in October.

Nashville, TN
Destination Expert
for Nashville
posts: 2,582
reviews: 2
2. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

You are smart to research here first. Eleuthera is a very undeveloped island, beautiful and unique, and not cheap.

As to the surfing, there is on beach for this -- Surfer's Beach. The rest of the beaches are beautiful, but with little wave action. There is a hotel within walking distance to SB, but it is not oceanfront. It is called Surfer's Beach Manor, and resembles a Best Western-type of hotel. Inexpensive, not luxurious, not very charming. It does have a restaurant, but it is not very close to anything else. The closest town is Gregory Town.

You will need a car for your stay. "Cab" fare would add up very quickly. Harbor Island is more developed and smaller, so up there, walking and a golf cart work just fine. In Eleuthera, you might starve without a car!

If this were my trip, I would look for a house to rent in the Governors Harbour/Palmetto Point area, on the beach. For $1500 a week, this is doable (1 or 2 BR). I would rent a car and drive to Surfer's Beach to surf, and explore the other fabulous beaches on this 100 mile-long island.

I would also bring a cooler of frozen meat, a duffel of dry goods and plan on cooking in most nights, as restaurants are few and pricey. Dinner for 2 at Tippy's (in my opinion the best on the island) will run $100 with drinks. Pizza at Mate & Jenny's with beer for 2 would be around $40.

I absolutely love Eleuthera, but it is not for everybody! Natural beauty is the name of the game here. It is a "do it yourself" island. Deserted beaches (especially in October), gorgeous water, local charm and friendly people. You must explore it all, from top to bottom. Don't expect luxury of the material kind, but rather the luxury of unparalleled beauty, relaxation and solitude.

Treasure Island...
posts: 249
3. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

I have just a few points to add to nashpam's excellent advice about Eleuthera. I agree that, unless you want to cook all your own meals, you'd better rent a car. Figure $50-60 per day, and it is just easier to get it at the airport and keep it till you return.

Also, check on those ferry connections. You don't say where you're coming from, but from my research (DH& I are going this Sunday!!!), it might be simpler to get yourselves to Ft. Lauderdale, then take a smaller airline (we're booked with Lynx for $300 roundtrip) nonstop to GHB. For us, it looked like it would require an overnight in Nassau both ways to use the ferry.

Figure: $600 for air plus home to FLL, plus $500 for the car, plus housing, $1000-1400 for the house. Plus whatever you want to budget for meals - $700-1000.

So, basic budget is $3000 without frills (and there aren't many frills to be had here!). No credit card to speak of, except for the air of course.

As for surfing....well...my husband surfs, but we only brought the board the first time (and there were no waves). The road to surfer's beach is not one you want to take every day! but I believe there are some rental villas in the area. Remember that the island is 100 miles long - and once again I agree with nashpam - the Palmetto Point area is the best area to rent, with day trips south to the lighthouse and Tarpum, and north to lots of other places (day trip to Harbour Island for example).

Here is a great website, with a page about Eluethera surfing:


Have fun planning!

Burlington, Canada
posts: 137
reviews: 43
4. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful advice! That is exactly what I was hoping for. At least now I know what I can expect to spend, and can see if I can squeeze it into our budget. If we can't do it this year on short notice, than we will at least know to plan for another year as it definately sounds like something we want to do.

Thanks again!

South Carolina
posts: 173
5. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Hi -

Rainbow Bay is an absolutely gorgeous part of the island and much closer to Surfers Beach than the Gov. Harbour area. Most of the houses in RBBay are very affordable. Also, it's only about a 20 minute ride to SB and Gregory Town. Ocean Drive is absolutely gorgeous. There is no other stretch of road like it anywhere in Eleuthera.

Regarding surfing, I've seen surfers at Little Twin Beach, Hidden Cove Beach, the beach at Hatchet Bay, and Smuggler's Beach. Some of the beaches are rocky, so if you're a novice, you certainly wouldn't want to surf there. However, if you're experienced, there are other beaches for surfing besides Surfers. Pete, at the surf shop in G Town, can give you some tips on where to go.

I would certainly recommend that you rent a vehicle for your entire visit. There are a lot of beautiful places to explore.

As far as food goes, the GH bakery has really delicious 'fast food'. There are take-aways on the island, also. My husband and I do all of our own cooking, so I can't recommend many restaurants. For a really nice meal, I do recommend the Cove in Gregory Town. A dinner meal there is about $35.00 (per person).

If you stay in Rainbow Bay, there are 5 beaches all within bicycling distance of whatever house you choose. Four are on the Atlantic side. Also, Big Rock Grocery is five minutes away.

Enjoy your trip!

posts: 57
reviews: 2
6. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Hi. I'm actually planning a trip to the island this coming May. Kind of in the same boat...don't want to break the bank. We are actually staying at the Cove and plan to chill out there for a few days, rent a car and head to surfers beach one day. Then it is off to Harbour Island where we are staying at the Bahama House Inn for a very reasonable $175 per night.

Also, although many people suggest the ft. laud. to eleuthera route (it def. seems more convenient), we found it is much more $$ than flying to Nassau and taking Southern Air, or Bahamas Air to ELH. The ferry left way to early in the a.m. for us to catch.

posts: 37
7. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

Surfers beach is the place to go, ,just south of Gregorytown. Surfers Manor hotel is clean and is run by a very nice lady who has a car for rent for $60/day. Check out www.discover-eleuthera-bahamas.com for info.

There is a small 2br bungalow called the recovery room that is walking distance to the hotel and surfers beach. The Bungalow is clean and cheap and has air cond. $750.The hotel has a bar and restaurant.

You can rent boards from surfer Pete in GregoryTown, he has a shop next to Ida's ice cream parlor, you can't miss it. The surf can be big so check it out before you rent boards.

You need a car everyday.

Food is very expensive and the markets have little to offer. Most returning visitors will bring meat with them.

Eleuthera has beautiful waters and coastline and little else. There is no tourism. The villages are ghettolike and thirdworldish so be prepared. If you snorkel then stay up at N.Palmetto as previously suggested, You will be able to dive right off the beach on the reef.

Govenors Harbor has more to offer.

Eleuther is an adventure.

posts: 1
8. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

I just wanted to mention that we were there a few years ago and the restaurant/bar at Rainbow Bay was wonderful and reasonable. Perhaps it has changed in the mean time but we had a great time there. A car is a must. If someone shows up at "your" beach. just drive down to the next one to be perfectly alone.

North Andover...
posts: 11
9. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

I was on Eleuthera for my wedding in May. My brother and sister-in-law booked the ferry from Nassau and at the last minute both over to Eleuthera and back got cancelled. You might want to have a back-up plan. Because of the ferry schedule they had booked a night in and a night out in Nassau so they lost two nights on the island. They ended up flying in on Southern Air.

posts: 19
reviews: 1
10. Re: Eleuthera Rookie looking for advice

if you rent ahouse now for october most owners have discounts for arrivals in the next 30 days look on www.VROB.com

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