Eleuthera

Eleuthera is an island in Bahamas.

. . . Eleuthera . . .

Eleuthera has 3 airports: North Eleuthera (ELH), Governors Harbour (GHB), and Rock Sound (RSD). All airports are small, open-air and convenient. ELH and GHB have onsite bars and ELH has an onsite restaurant.

ELH has the most flights arriving and departing. ELH is a short taxi ride and water taxi ride to Harbour Island. Most car rental places on the island will gladly pick you up at ELH and drive to another town on the island. ELH is 15 to 20 minutes north of Gregory Town.

GHB is the centrally-located airport, located just south of the town of James Cistern and a 10 to 15 minute drive to Governor’s Harbour, the largest town on Eleuthera.

Continental flies into ELH from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) and Miami (MIA). Twin Air flies from Ft. Lauderdale into all 3 airports on Eleuthera. It’s about an hour’s flight from Miami or Fort Lauderdale to Eleuthera. You can fly from Nassau to Eleuthera on Southern Air, Pineapple Air, or Bahamas Air; the flight is less than 30 minutes from Nassau.

Bahamas Ferries. The ferry docks on Eleuthera at Governor’s Harbour, Spanish Wells and neighboring Harbour Island. To get to and from Eleuthera and Harbour Island or Spanish Wells, you take a water taxi and a cab ride to reach your destination.

Harbour Island To reach Harbour Island, one can take a water taxi (~$5) from the main island of Eleuthera. Harbour Island has the highest concentration of hotels; many of them upscale. Harbour Island is more densely populated than Eleuthera. The 3 mile beach on Harbour Island features pink sand and clear waters and has often been cited by various travel magazines as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Eleuthera has no public transport system. There are taxis and car rentals. It’s generally best to rent a car to explore Eleuthera. Hitchhiking is popular and locals are generally helpful and friendly. Bicycling is increasingly popular, but see notes below.

In 2010, the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, a lush, 25-acre sanctuary, opened as Eleuthera’s first National Park. Created jointly by the Leon Levy Foundation and the Bahamas National Trust, the Preserve is home to more than 171 species of indigenous plants and has become a popular destination for local teachers and schoolchildren, as well as tourists.

Eleuthera is 110 miles long, and delightful to explore. Be prepared: Eleuthera’s gas prices are $1-2 higher than the U.S. Car rental costs are based on a per day basis and never involve extra fees. In most cases, you don’t sign papers. No car rental chain companies exist on Eleuthera — you rent from locals who may keep a fleet of rental cars in their yards. Some entrepreneurs combine their car rental companies with a gas station or with a taxi company. As you drive around (on the LEFT-HAND side of the road), you will need a good map or good local knowledge.

Eleuthera with its rolling hills (and three killers around Gregory Town) is the most challenging island of the Bahamas. The main road, Queen’s Highway, the only option for road bikes) should not be ridden by beginners. For more casual riders, mountain bikes are fine; a hybrid is an ideal compromise. There are no bike shops and serious riders usually bring their own, but several resorts and individuals rent mountain bikes or hybrids. Refer to other pages on Eleuthera for details.

Bicycling is a growing sport and Eleuthera hosts the Cancer Society “Ride for Hope,” with 50-75-100 mile competitions, every April. The Queen’s Highway is well paved (watch out for road repairs north of Governor’s Harbour airport). Drivers are generally courteous, giving bikes a wide berth, but use a rearview mirror and wear a helmet. The greater danger lies ahead: cars pulling out to pass who may not see you coming at them. Be alert when you see an oncoming car closely following another. Another problem: being chased local dogs (“pot-cakes”). Lately there haven’t been many, but be on the lookout south of Tarpum Bay and around Gregory Town.

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