Nine Mile is the sleepy hillside hamlet where Bob Marley was born and laid to rest, and the journey up into the mountains to get there is truly breathtaking. You’ll travel through acres of green scenery and experience the pin-drop peaceful landscape, passing quaint market towns and colourful roadside stalls en route. Naturally, it wouldn’t be a Marley-esque journey without a musical form of transportation – which is where the Zion Bus comes in. On this excursion, you’ll travel on a multicoloured Jamaican country bus decked out in Bob Marley pictures and blasting out his classic hits. You might get a chance to stop at a roadside stall and tuck into a traditional Jamaican patty on the way, too.
Book: Zion Bus.
Once you get to Nine Mile, you’ll find Bob Marley’s childhood home and museum where you can learn about the musician’s humble roots and see where his journey to fame began. You’ll see the old clapboard house where he grew up and the Rasta-coloured rock where he used to rest his head when dreaming up lyrics. Members of the Marley family still live in Nine Mile and perform at the museum, so you’ll get the chance to listen to some of his hits before getting a guided tour of the complex and mausoleum where he’s laid to rest.
At the height of his career in 1975, Bob Marley set up home in Kingston at a 19th-century house on 56 Hope Road. The house was converted into a museum by his wife, Rita Marley, six years after his death and is now filled with memorabilia, concert posters, platinum disks, and lots of his personal possessions, including his 1977 Series III Land Rover which has been faithfully refurbished with new interiors designed by his daughter, Cedella Marley. You can also step into his personal recording studio where most of the music-making happened and snap a selfie next to the statue of the man himself outside – a must-do for Bob Marley fans.
Book: Kingston Town.
So, you’ve learnt about Bob Marley’s history from birth to the heights of his fame, but there’s still music-themed events to get involved in, too. Bob Marley week in Jamaica is from the 1st to the 6th of February every year to coincide with his birthday on February 6th – and celebrations across the week include live shows, parades and exhibitions. Jamaica Carnival is in April from the 15th to the 23rd in Negril and Montego Bay, and is a vibrant Caribbean fiesta full of steel drum processions and reggae performances. Then you’ve got Reggae Sumfest from the 16th to the 22nd of July. The festival is held in Montego Bay and features all styles of reggae, from classic to contemporary, and there are beach parties, dancehall nights and massive gigs for you to enjoy.
The adults-focussed Riu Reggae comes with a beachfront location and boats swim-up bars.
TUI SENSATORI Resort Negril is positioned right on Negril's famous Seven Mile Beach and has its own reggae lounge.
You’ll be close to Dunn's River Falls when you stay at the Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica.
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