Located 50 miles off the Florida coast, but not part of the USA, the Bahamas were discovered by Columbus in 1492. The Bahamas were initially the home of pirates, rum smugglers and blockade dodgers, but these days, they attract tourists in need of relaxation and are well geared up to help with that. Surrounded by the Atlantic, the main draw for visitors continues to be the white sand beaches, where the shallow turquoise sea meets the land. The two main islands, Nassau and Grand Bahama, are home to most of the population. Nassau’s main city is a busy and bustling place, where cruise ships drop off passengers, visitors stay in giant hotel complexes, and the nightlife continues into the small hours. If that doesn’t appeal, try one of the more remote islands, or “Out Islands” as they’re known locally. Beaches are quieter, communities are smaller and more traditional, and the hubbub of modern life hasn’t entered in. With 340 days of sunshine every year, you’re sure of a sunny holiday, whichever route you choose.