The magic of Jamaica

If you are already fed up with the winter weather, you may be looking to get away from it all by going on holiday somewhere a long way from the cold, dark days offered in the UK. Well Jamaica could be just the place to lighten the spirits and kick back for a relaxing break.

One of the best places to stay on this charming Caribbean island is the area known as Ocho Rios. It is a very popular destination as it is a major cruise port, and has plenty to cater for the enthusiastic tourist. It can boast some stunning beaches, the most impressive of which are Turtle Beach and Mallard Beach.

Jet ski on Jamaica

This is also the part of Jamaica where novelist Ian Fleming penned his James Bond classics. Film fans will relish the chance to visit the James Bond Beach, and the Golden Eye Hotel, which was once the residence of Fleming himself and where Doctor No was filmed. There is an impressive array of Bond artefacts, including the desk at which Fleming would bring Bond to life. Just next door is the Firefly plantation, which was owned by Noel Coward, and is also open to tourists.

A short distance away you can check out Dolphin Cove, surrounded by a rainforest. Here you can enjoy the amazing experience of swimming with dolphins, and marvel at other tropical fish. You should also pay a visit to Dunn’s River Beach, which can be found by the simply sensational Dunn’s River Waterfalls. You are able to bathe in small whirlpools, climb the falls and you can’t help but be astounded by the natural visual beauty of the area.

As most people are aware, Jamaica is also synonymous with Bob Marley. Reggae enthusiasts should go and visit the Bob Marley Mausoleum, situated in Nine Miles. This is both the birthplace and the final, and controversial, resting place of Marley. For more Bob Marley sightseeing, you can go to the Bob Marley Museum which is in the island’s capital, Kingston. Here you can take your time and explore everything to do with the reggae legend in what was actually his old studio. Alternatively, you can pop along to the Bob Marley Experience and Theatre, situated in Falmouth. You can watch films about the man himself, and do souvenir shopping in what is believed to be the biggest ensemble of Marley memorabilia in the world.

Another of the most popular resorts in Jamaica is Montego Bay, which is often referred to as MoBay. This is frequented in the main part by Americans, enticed by the luxurious resorts and hotels that will cater for your every need.

In contrast to this, you may want to sample life in Negril. This area is far more laid back and typically Caribbean. The beaches are quieter, many of them nudist, and in the streets you will feel a far more local and authentic atmosphere, with traditional eateries and modest accommodation found in what is known as the West End.

Culture vultures will be fascinated by a trip to Runaway Bay. This doesn’t pull in the tourists like other places in Jamaica, even though it has its special place in history. This was the region where, as its name suggests, the Spanish fled from the British and is a delightful place to stay.

Another reason to visit Jamaica is the party lifestyle. The locals love to let their hair down and have fun, and there are a few festivals which encapsulate this attitude. At Christmas time Jamaicans celebrate Junkanoo, while in the week that follows Easter, you can savour all the action of Carnival, one of the Caribbean’s liveliest festivals.