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Harbour Island and Spanish Wells


You could definitely teach a child the colours of the rainbow from the multicoloured buildings that give Harbour Island and Spanish Wells their lively appearance. Almost always in pastel tones, clapboard houses come in teal and white, yellow and green, and enough combinations to complement the pinks in the sand and the blues in the sea. They line the streets with white picket fences, verandahs, and steeply pitched roofs. These monuments of the islands' colonial past also house modern boutique resorts and private homes.

Harbour Island (Briland to its residents) was once the capital of The Bahamas and the second largest city to Nassau in the 1900s. The island’s tropical greenery stretches out to meet the warm, pink-hued sand beach it is famous for.

Spanish Wells is set among groves of palms trees on nearby St. George's Cay. Many of its current residents can claim that their heritage goes back to the early Loyalist pioneers. They have been making their living from the bounty in the miles of sea around the island for centuries and the community is said to provide 75% of all the crawfish caught in The Bahamas during the season.

New England Architecture on Harbour Island – Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Quick Facts

Harbour Island

Area: approximately 3½ miles long by ½ mile wide
Population: 2,000 persons
Location: approximately 1¾ miles east of mainland Eleuthera
Origin of the Name: The origin of its name is unknown.

Spanish Wells

Area: 1¾ mile long and less than ½ mile wide
Population: 1,500 persons
Location: less than ½ mile west of mainland Eleuthera
Origin of the Name: The island was used as the last stop for Spanish ships returning to Europe and they replenished their water supply from wells that the Conquistadors created for that purpose. That earned the settlement its name, Spanish Wells.

Nearby Places