Adelaide, a heritage village in Nassau
In the southern part of Nassau, Bahamas is a heritage village that has become a significant landmark in the history of the island.
While a big majority of tourists would immediately scout the popular beaches and shopping malls, I and my travel buddy were looking for something different. We were looking for the back roads and villages and followed Adelaide Road until we came to the village.
We drove through the village on a rainy day where parts of the road were covered in water, but the village became an instant favorite.
Usually, almost everyone would go straight to the resorts and casino at Paradise Island but I find peace in the back villages and less-frequented roads, the parts where organized tours don’t usually go.
Adelaide is one of the three historic villages in New Providence, Nassau, where the African slaves who were given freedom by then Governor of the Bahamas Sir James Carmichael Smyth settled in 1831.
Adelaide Village is named after the Dowager Queen of William IV, Adelaide. The other two villages are Gambier and Fox Hill.
History states that the first residents of Adelaide Village were captured and loaded into slave ships for the New World but they never reached their destination because they were rescued by British Royal Navy and sent to start new lives in Nassau.
The group, composed of 157 Africans, built huts out of limestone or wood and thatched roofs from palmetto leaves and stayed in the village all those years.
Today, only a few families remained in Adelaide, occupying the few houses in the village. There are several structures abandoned in a state of ruins along the road.
What we saw were mostly abandoned ruined houses, flooded streets. The only food outlet we saw was the Village 1831 Restaurant but it was closed for the day as it was already past lunchtime.
Adelaide Beach is mostly not on the itineraries of tourists, which is a great bonus if you are looking for a day of peace and quiet at the beach. However, if you are the party type who wants to mingle and meet people on crowded beaches, this is not for you.
The locals mostly hang out on the beach on the weekdays, and it makes you forget that you still in Nassau and not on another island.
People in Adelaide are friendlier than in the main downtown. You know how it goes in small villages—residents wave to anyone who is a new face in their place.
One piece of advice – don’t dare wave your arm out of the car window if you are in the downtown areas. You could lose your arm or your head to the vehicles that defy speed limits (which means almost all of them)