Three hundred years ago a small band
of English pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, landed on this
island and gave it the ethereal name, Eleuthera, which means
"Freedom" in Greek.
The island of Eleuthera is split into North and South areas. Next to Eleuthera are two popular islets known as
Harbour Island and Spanish
Wells. Harbour Island is a popular dive destination. North Eleuthera lies at one corner of the Bermuda Triangle. Eleuthera is known for its pineapples, the sweetest in the world!
As for places to visit. Preacher's
Cave is a good place to start. It's a subterranean cave in which
the Eleutheran Adventurers, the few pilgrims who first landed
here, took refuge and held religious services upon their arrival.
You should also visit the
magnificent Cave at Hatchet Bay. It gives the appearance of a
vaulted cathedral. It is more than a mile long, with stalagmites
and stalactites that gleam in the torchlight.
Another magnificent sight is the
Glass Window Bridge, which spans a gap in which the turbulent
waters of the Atlantic meet the calmer seas of the Exuma Sound on
the island's leeward side. The existing man-made structure has
replaced a naturally-formed bridge that was blown away during a
hurricane years ago.
Nearby Windermere Island is an
exclusive resort, often frequented by members of the Royal Family
On Harbour Island, off the north
coast of Eleuthera, is Dunmore Town, the oldest and most charming
settlement in The Bahamas complete with white picket fences and
Every year in the beginning of June,
the residents of the island of Eleuthera dedicate the first week
or so in June to the celebration of the pineapple. This sweet,
succulent fruit, savoured by Caribbean folks as the perfect pizza
topping, is a symbol of hospitality to all Bahamians, particularly
those on Eleuthera, where the fruit is grown.
This symbolism has its roots in an old tradition by northern
seafaring captains, who placed pineapples on their gate posts to
let neighbours, friends and relatives know they had returned home
and all were welcome to visit.
With exports topping 50,000 pineapples a year, the pineapple
industry was the mainstay of about 40 farmers in the small
settlement of Gregory Town until Hurricane Andrew devastated the
island in 1992. In 1987, years before the misfortune struck, the
Pineapple Festival was established by the Eleuthera Ministry of
Tourism to honour these farmers and bring together Bahamians from
all walks of life in a spirit of community.
Now long established, the event attracts over 5000 people annually
and takes place in Gregory Town, where a large replica of a
pineapple is situated. The celebrations include pineapple eating
contests, crazy sports, the plaiting of the pineapple pole, the
parade of the Gregory Town Marching Brass Band, fire dancing, a
Little Miss and Teen Pineapple Princess pageant and junkanoo, the
colourful and musical Bahamian street carnival.