Known as “Nature’s Little Secret” the British Virgin Islands is a collection of archipelagos in the Caribbean sea famous for its tropical vegetation, crystal waters and chilled out, laid-back lifestyle.
What makes these unspoiled, islands so unique, is just that- you won't find fast food joints or three-storey shopping malls in sight. With superb sailing conditions, beautiful marinas, the closeness of the islands, the BVI is a world-class sailing destination with a fan following who just keep coming back. With more than 50 islands and cays, the land is mainly uninhabited, but here are four spectacular islands, ready for exploration and we have the low down for you.
Tortola is the BVI’s main island, home to over 24, 000 residents and the territory’s city centre and financial hub, Road Town. The island has sweeping, pristine beaches, buzzing restaurants, shops and a vibrant nightlife. Cane Garden Bay, Soper’s Hole Marina, Nanny Cay Marina, and Road Town tend to be the most popular spots for tourists.
Virgin Gorda is an island boasting natural beauty and a luxury lifestyle, with the most expensive real estate in the BVI's. On the island’s southern tip, Spanish Town is just a short cab ride away from the mystical boulder’s known as The Baths. On the North side, the prestigious North Sound community is an affluent area known as “The Billionaire’s Playground”, home to the the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Superyacht Marina.
Jost Van Dyke
For a true experience of “Island Life”, Jost Van Dyke is a popular spot for visitors by boat or ferry. Lined with an eclectic mix of lively beach bars at White Bay and Great Harbour, the island also has beautiful nature trails to explore and tons of water activities.
Unlike any of the other islands in the BVI which are mountainous because of their volcanic origin, Anegeda is made of coral and is completely flat. Stemming a short plane ride or ferry from Tortola, the island is known for it’s tranquil white sand beaches and fresh lobster.
D’Coal Pot - $
Just feet from the renowned Surfer Beach, Apple Bay, on Tortola’s West End, D’Coal Pot offers an authentic Tortolan dining experience in a modern restaurant with West Indian flare. The generous portions of homemade Caribbean favourites such as buttered conch and jerk chicken along with the warm Caribbean hospitality make this restaurant a favourite with the locals and visitors.
Coco Maya - $$$
A beautiful venue located on a tranquil sandy shore in Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda, Coco Maya serves a delicious upscale menu of Asian-Caribbean fusion cuisine. With spacious outdoor seating areas, the restaurant in a popular spot to lounge in the sun. At night, the party kicks off, with live music from international DJs for the ultimate island dance party with premium drinks and a great crowd.
Jost Van Dyke
Foxy’s - Casual Dining
Home to the famous New Year’s Eve and Full Moon parties hosted by Foxy Callwood, this beach-side hangout transforms from your local beach bar to an epic party spot from day to night. On weekends, the restaurant offers an all-you- can-eat buffet of Caribbean cuisine, to be enjoyed with local musical talent on the dance floor.
Big Bamboo Restaurant of Loblolly Bay - $
A casual West Indian eatery and beach bar, Big Bamboo on Anegada offers a charming location to relish the sand and sun while indulging in tasty, local Caribbean flavours. Offering a menu of tropical favourites such as conch fritters, crab cake salad, and of course, fresh Anegada lobster, this beach-side sanctuary boasts a private beach for swimming and chilling out.
Tradewinds at Peter Island
Splurge with an exotic fine dining experience and indulge in the culinary expertise of international chefs at Tradewinds on Peter Island. The bistro’s culinary experts offer fine, exquisite dishes using locally sourced ingredients, with remarkable presentation and distinct, addictive flavours.
Myett’s - $$
Myett’s is a popular little resort located on the shore of Cane Garden Bay - Tortola’s most visited tourist beach. The Garden Inn contains several modern and beautifully furnished rooms and even has it’s own Sea Spa featuring natural products. Open from breakfast until late at night, its restaurant severs healthy portions of Caribbean cuisine and local live entertainment.
Bitter End Yacht Club - $$$
Situated in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, The Bitter End Yacht Club is a nautical village where sailors from all over the world like to dock their boats for a relaxing stay on land. With premium amenities and a private beach, BEYC offers plenty of space to soak up the sun on land.
Jost Van Dyke
White Bay Villas and Seaside Cottages
White Bay Villas on Jost Van Dyke overlooks one of the island’s best tourist beaches, White Bay. The resort offers a selection of deluxe villas and cozy seaside cottages in a breathtaking, peaceful location. Just a short walk away from the entertainment, White Bay Villas offers an intimate setting hosted by a warm and welcoming staff.
Nestled within a collection of towering tropical palms, Neptune’s Treasure is a peaceful, West Indian style beachfront retreat on the BVI’s coral island. The family-operated hotel features both guest rooms and intimate cottages with its own onsite restaurant, just 100 feet from the shore.
ElectraCat Picnic Table
Take an exclusive ride around Cane Garden Bay on a colourful floating picnic table. Go out for an hour, bring some drinks and food to barbecue on the built-in grill and plug in your iPod for your favourite tunes. This relaxing experience is even better at night, as the LED lights on the table attract aquatic life where you can spot manta rays, sea turtles and octopus.
Gumption Necker Island Tours
From various locations in the North Sound on Virgin Gorda, guests can be picked up for a one-of- a-kind experience on the ultimate private island owned by Sir Richard Branson, Necker Island. The tour takes you onto the island to visit Sir Richard’s collection of imported pets including lemurs, giant tortoises, and various other exotic animals.
Jost Van Dyke
The Bubbly Pool
Witness a rare phenomenon and hike down to Jost Van Dyke’s natural treasure, the Bubbly Pool. This geological delight is located on JVD’s East side, directly beside Diamond Cay, and when the timing is right, the waves crash between the rocks and form a natural jacuzzi.
There’s more to Anegada than just lounging on one of its spectacular beaches and soaking up the sun. Anegada is a great place to try the island’s popular sport, bone- fishing. You'll find warm, shallow waters filled with bone-fish and snooks, whether you’re experienced or a novice, the locals will show you the best spots to ring in a good catch.
Author - Lauren Charley
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