The island of Eleuthera which lies just 50 miles (80 Km) east of the capital got its name from the Greek word “freedom”. Just under 8,000 people call Eleuthera home. The island has many unique attractions such as the strikingly beautiful glass window bridge, caves, history and the well-known pink sands that are a familiar sighting of the eastern islands of the Bahamas.
After the native Indians were “deported” by the Spanish, the island is believed to have been unoccupied until the first European settlers, the puritan pilgrims, who arrived in 1648 from Bermuda. These settlers, known as the “Eleutherian Adventurers”, gave the island its current name.
A combination of farming operations and resorts rendered the island quite prosperous in the period from 1950 to 1980, attracting several prominent American industrialists. However, after independence in 1973 many of these businesses were abandoned. Pineapples were a major export, topping 50,000 pineapples a year. In recent years the island of Eleuthera has become very popular as a tourist destination and second home destination.
Eleuthera forms part of the Great Bahama bank. It is very long and thin, 110 miles (180 km) long and in places little more than a mile wide. The island is lined with the Atlantic Ocean in the east and shallow banks in the west. The island has rolling hills and tall fossilized reef headlands. Much of the soil is red in colour from the iron rich dust that has blown across the Atlantic from the Sahara desert during major dust storms.