It didn't take us long to realize that the moderate subtropical climate of the Bahamas would be just right for us.
Yes, we stay here every Winter and sometimes even in the Summer because we own a home and a cottage in Central Eleuthera.
But before I'll tell you how very special this island is...
Well, do you know it's only an hour by air from Florida, meaning Miami or Fort Lauderdale? No, you didn't?...
OK, that's a good reason to tell you the most important fact about Eleuthera right now -- this long and narrow island is the greatest place for total relaxation...
A heaven of peace and tranquility.
Particularly for couples, families, snorkelers and anglers.
The Most Gorgeous Pink Sand Beaches The number of spectacular and deserted beaches is truly impressive.
So you are getting both...
the beauty of the beaches and the beauty of the underwater world if you're a snorkeler.
And rental places abound because many foreigners - mainly from the US - are renting out their homes or guest cottages.
Simply put the two search words eleuthera and rental into Google and you'll find a wide choice of rental homes..
Hotels? Hard to believe but on the entire island there are only three hotels directly on the water.
The one in the North near Gregory Town is the newly renovated Cove Eleuthera.
In the area of Central Eleuthera there are just two hotels directly on the water, namely...
the charming Italian Resort Cocodimama with 12 rooms.
It's on the left side of Eleuthera near GHB airport.
And the other hotel with 8 rooms - Unique Village - is on the right side in North Palmetto Point.
That's the Atlantic side with all the fine pink sand beaches.
Eleuthera's Unusual Shape and its Friendly Folks Eleuthera is 100 miles long and a quarter to 4 miles wide.
Its population is only about 9'000.
And Eleutherans - the English-speaking natives - are very friendly.
Let me give you an example...
When we first arrived at Governor's Harbour airport, we were driven to the settlement Governor's Harbour, 9 miles south of the airport GHB.
And what did we see?...
An almost straight road across gently rolling hills looking like a roller coaster and...
bush, bush, nothing but bush on either side.
As we entered the small town of Governor's Harbour, all the locals waved at us.
*You must be a very well known person*, I said.
*Oh, no, this is just the way people are here* she told me.
And so it is still today when we're driving to town.
What can you expect? Crystal clear turquoise waters, awe-inspiring pink sand beaches and pure air.
Little traffic which by the way is left-hand traffic just like in England.
The Bahamas were a British colony after all.
That's why the children still greet you with a friendly *Good afternoon, sir*.
What else can you expect? There's a few grocery stores with quite a good selection but nothing to compare with the US.
Well, maybe with this one exception...
in Rock Sound - South-Eleuthera - there's the largest grocery store on the island with a good choice of fruits and vegetables.
Most repeat visitors to Eleuthera bring frozen meat.
Don't pack any vegetables, though or fruit, because customs will confiscate them.
Visitors also bring their prescription medicine because there are no island pharmacies.
You will find all kinds of restaurants but of course not as many as in really touristy places.
Bahamian cuisine, Italian or Chinese...
yes, they're all there.
Eleuthera Is Developing At A Faster Pace Now Since The New York Times published articles about Eleuthera in the Winter of 2005/2006, a couple of five star resorts started going up.
They're still under construction - Summer 2007 - but will start operating in 2008.
The most important one is Cotton Bay in South Eleuthera.
This doesn't bother us Winter residents though, because they're small resorts.
Nothing to do with mass tourism.
Believe me that's the essence of Eleuthera, peace and tranquility and a private home to really enjoy your privacy.