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Although Bermuda had a tumultuous beginning (it was formed when an underwater volcano erupted), it has become a peaceful vacation spot nestled in a sparkling blue-green sea. When the wind blows, its islands, islets and outcrops are washed with white-topped, cool-green waves. It's the diversity of color that first enraptures visitors -- not just of sky and sea, but also of sand, trees, shrubs and flowers: The beaches are creamy white flecked with pink, the trees are a variety of lush greens, pink oleander lines the roadsides, and riotous vines tumble over limestone walls. Even the houses are colorful -- pastel walls topped by white stepped roofs.

Add to this scene a variety of land and water activities, a range of restaurants, excellent buys on European fine china, woolens and perfumes, and you can see why so many visitors return year after year.

Bermuda is in an ideal location as getaway from the harsh winters of the East Coast of the United States, Canada and Europe. And it is easy to understand why thousands of travelers do just that on a year-round basis. Described in the singular term as the Island of Bermuda, it is in reality a number of islands that in geographic terms make Bermuda remote, with the nearest point of land west of the island is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, 650 miles (1046 km) away. New York City is 750 miles away (1215 km) to the northwest and London is 3,460 miles (5568 km) to the northeast.

For no other reason than to maintain accuracy, Bermudians insist upon correcting the tendency to erroneously place the island in the Caribbean or the West Indies and whilst many of its citizens have roots in those areas, Bermuda is actually 950 miles (1529 km) to the north of Nassau, Bahamas. So to reach Bermuda from any of these points it is not just a simple matter of taking a ferry, as the vast expanse of water that separates Bermuda from the other destinations can at times be quite challenging.

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