Eleuthera is an island in the Bahamas, lying 50 miles (80 km) east of Nassau. It is long and thin—110 miles (180 km) long and in places little more than 1 mile (1,600 m) wide. According to the 2000 Census, the population of Eleuthera is approximately 8,000. The name “Eleuthera” is derived from the feminine form of the Greek adjective ἐλεύθερος, eleutheros, i.e. “free”. Earlier the island was named Cigateo.
The topography of the island varies from wide rolling pink sand beaches to large outcrops of ancient coral reefs. The eastern side of the island faces the Atlantic Ocean while the western side faces the Great Bahama Bank, one of the two Bahama Banks.
From the pink sand beaches of North Eleuthera to the renaissance of the Cape in South Eleuthera, and points between, you could spend weeks on this slinky island and still not see all of the natural beauty there is to explore.
This pencil-thin island – it’s only two miles wide – has miles of pink and white sand beaches and turquoise crystalclear water. To be clear, this is not all sand and water. Eleuthera Island is known for the high cliffs that fringe the eastern side of this Bahamas island, where the Atlantic Ocean crashes onto the rock. Of course, this is as much noise as you’ll hear on this quiet, friendly island of Eleuthera, where fishing, diving, snorkeling and taking it easy are the favorite pastimes of locals and visitors.
Eleuthera is Greek for “freedom,” a fitting name for a Caribbean island that’s free from crowds or cruise ships or casinos. Eleuthera moves at a slower pace than most people are accustomed to. Leave your watch at home and stow your cell phone and blackberry away. Fortunately for you most won’t work here, anyway.
The island is divided between North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera. One of the most popular spots is Harbour Island, famous for its pink and white sand beaches. Harbour Island often is called the Nantucket of the Caribbean. In addition to the beach, there are historical landmarks and a history lesson at every turn – all within a tropical paradise, of course.
Eleuthera Island is 110 miles long and is dotted with quaint, friendly fishing and colonial villages, such as Tarpum Bay, Bannerman Town, and Hatchet Bay. This Caribbean island also is home of the first republic in the “New World.” There are more natural wrecks here than any other island in the Bahamas, especially along The Devil’s Backbone, a shallow and jagged reef extending across the northern edge of Eleuthera. It has torn the bottom out of more vessels than any other reef in the nation.
This Bahamas island also is known for pineapple plantations. Locals serve up plenty of pineapple tarts, and the annual pineapple festival celebrates the pineapple heritage of the Bahamas.
It’s the resorts, though that give Eleuthera Island its reputation for being among the friendliest places in the world. The secluded villas, upscale resorts, and quaint inns keep visitors coming back year after year, including members of the British royal family.