The Island of Freedom
Located 50 miles east of Nassau, the island of Eleuthera is little known to the rest of the world. Yet, this undiscovered paradise has it all. The island boasts impeccable beaches, picturesque sunsets, breathtaking views and undisturbed wildlife, all contributing factors in being named the “Best Secret Island on Earth” by Travel and Leisure. Despite all that it has to offer, Eleuthera is only about 1 mile wide and 110 miles long.
A Brief Background
Eleuthera was first inhabited in the 1500’s by the Lucayan Indians, who called the island Segatoo. After the Lucayan population came the Spanish explorers. The island was then uninhabited until 1648, when it was settled by a group of Puritan adventurers in search of religious freedom. They aptly renamed the island Eleutheria, which is Greek for freedom, which was eventually changed to Eleuthera, meaning free. They settled the island after their ship wrecked on the reef, the Devil’s Backbone, located at the very northern tip of the island, and took refuge in the now well-known, Preacher’s Cave. Their settlement was the first in the Bahamas, thus making Eleuthera the original birthplace of the country.
Home to the annual Pineapple Festival, Eleuthera has been celebrating the tradition of pineapple farming since 1988, honoring pineapple farmers for their committment to their community. This event takes place in the heart of Gregory Town, where the pineapple is most abundant.
The celebration usually takes place in the beginning of June and includes many pineapple themed activities, including a pineapple cooking contest, 40-mile pineapple cycling classic and the Little Miss Pineapple Pageant.
The topography of the island varies from wide open sand beaches to large outcrops of 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. No matter where you are sightseeing on the island, you are sure to be surrounded by breathtaking views!