Get to Know Great Harbour Cay

Mar 2013
Landing on Great Harbour Cay is a bit like stepping into a movie set 40 years ago. The palm trees are rustling, there’s a small runway strip and a customs house the size of a postage stamp. Everyone greets you with a smile and the warmth of the Bahamians found throughout the island is immediately felt in the air. There’s also that musty smell of warm weather climates that quickly transports me to an earlier day visiting grandparents in the south.
Aerial view of Grand harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands and cays spread over 70,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean. A tiny section of this huge area is called the Berry Islands. This stirrup shaped group of about 30 cays and smaller islands runs for 30 or so miles. I didn’t know that a cay is a small, low island composed largely of sand or coral.
Entry to the harbor of Grand Harbor Cay, Baahamas

Of all the islands in the Berrys, Great Harbour Cay is the largest and has the most beautiful beaches. More importantly, it has an ample supply of fresh water. The aquifer below Great Harbor is a true luxury, and the island population must take care to insure this delicate resource remains sustainable. There is a deep natural harbor which makes it an ideal stop for fisherman and divers island hopping the area

The real draw to this particular island are the ghosts of the flats. The bonefish is one of the most sought after game fish in the world, and pound for pound, probably the strongest and fastest of the salt water fish. The elusive silver creatures are hunted in the shimmering flats and call upon all the skill a rod handler can muster. These phantoms of the cay are really quite beautiful, and along with the abundant starfish, sand dollars and and sea biscuits, add another layer to the complex eco system here.
Bonefish, Great harbour Cay, Bahamas

The Tamboo Club, Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas

History of the island is filled with  colorful stories. Drug runners, movie stars and wealthy tycoons all contributed to the rich lore of Great Harbour. Development in the 60’s brought movie stars, including Cary Grant and Brigitte Bardot to the white sand beaches. If I close my eyes, I can conjure up an image of a whole lotta shimmying going on in the Tamboo Club after dark. Throughout all of the ups and downs, the island has kept it’s original charm and beauty which first attracted visitors to this most magnificent of primitive island jewels.
Great Harbour Cay, Bahamas
  1. Looks so inviting with your nice pictures of the cay and beach. Are there any long-term rentals available in that part of the world?

    • alison says:

      Kristen-there are both short and long term rentals on the island, as well as a B&B called the Carie Earl. Just google if you are interested.

  2. Susan Moore says:

    I love walking along beaches, listening to the waves and seeing all the interesting treasures that wash up along the shore. The beaches of Great Harbour Cay look pristine.

    • alison says:

      Susan-On my first trip I saw quite a bit of garbage on the beaches. This trip was very pristine. I’m told by the residents that it depends on the time of year and how many cruise ships are in the area. Here you can walk for miles and not see another soul.

  3. Patti Morrow says:

    I love the Bahamas. Great Harbor Cay wasn’t on my radar until reading this post. Looks wonderful!

  4. Ahhh. So sweet to step into the harbor through your pictures and stories.

  5. Looks lovely and serene

  6. The sugar sand and blue skies, the rainbow of pastels, and your description of the indolent history of this place make it so appealing! Beautiful photos!

  7. Sigh! Great Harbour Cay sounds and looks like a flashback in time to a beach era of peace and tranquility. The white sand looks incredible – I love the history too. Brigette Bardot and Cary Grant? Those must have been some parties.

  8. Good timing for an island getaway, thanks!

  9. That beach! I. can’t. stop. staring!

  10. I’m green with envy about now and would love to relax on Great Harbour Cay. 🙂

  11. Looks like such a relaxed place to stay! What are the accommodations like?

    • alison says:

      Irene-there are several townhouse locations that offer accommodations on either the beach or in the harbor. There is also a B&B called the Carrie Anne. I wouldn’t say 4 star, but the beach and water is the main attraction here-right?!