Horseshoe Bay © Ekem
Britain's oldest colony, Bermuda, is a land of pink, sandy beaches, clear, turquoise seas and picturesque, old colonial towns. It is hard now to imagine that sailors once knew it as Devil's Island, but the combination of shallow waters and coral reefs caused many shipwrecks in the past, which contibuted to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, which stretches between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico. Today, however, the reefs provide a wonderful playground for swimming, snorkelling, and diving.
Bermuda is an archipelago comprised of 181 islands located approximately 650 miles (1,046km) off the east coast of America in the Atlantic Ocean. The bulk of the country consists of the seven main islands linked to each other by causeways and bridges and stretches just 20 miles (32km) from tip to tail.
Most visitors to the islands are American citizens who think of it fondly as very English in character. British visitors, on the other hand, seem to feel that it has a strongly American flavour. In truth, Bermuda has a distinct atmosphere that draws its influences from American and British traditions merged with local island culture. Business attire might constitute a jacket and tie with Bermuda shorts, while bikinis are banned further than 25 feet (7.6m) away from the water!
With its mixture of colonial style and its close proximity to America, Bermuda has become a centre of high finance as well as one of the world's most coveted holiday destinations. Generous tax advantages and satellite communications have induced a stream of major corporations to set up offices on the island, and have helped the country become one of the richest, per capita, in the world.
Because of its natural beauty and close proximity to Florida, Bermuda is a very popular destination for both cruise ships and yachts, with over 200,000 people visiting the islands from cruise ships every year.