Amidst the miles of aqua-blue sea sits a small, volcanic, archipelago paradise. Made up of more than 60 islands, the British Virgin Islands are a beach-dwellers dream. A self-governing territory of the United Kingdom, BVI is home to over 28,000 people with its capital city, Road Town, located on the largest of the four main islands, Tortola. It’s heaven for travelers looking for luxury, sailing and seclusion.
With temperatures in the low 80s, and the threat of hurricane season behind you, September-November is the ideal time to visit BVI. The added bonus of low hotel prices makes this a great fall getaway right before the holiday season rush. Even so, tourist season on the BVI’s ranges almost all year, with peak times and rates running over the winter holidays. During the spring, however, off times like March-May are great for the vacationer looking to experience some of BVI’s world-famous reefs.
Photo courtesy | Isabella C. Soniak
Water sports are a must when visiting BVI, diving especially. Bitter End Yacht Club is one of the best, providing seclusion as it’s only accessible by water. While each beach and resort offers their own activities, Anegada (voted Best BVI Hideaway) is the only coral island. Possessing 33-square miles this island has the third largest continuous coral reef. Horseshoe Reef is rich in marine life and has more than 300-wreck sites to explore. Seclusion is what Anegada is all about, an ideal spot enjoy the quiet and work on that tan. Similarly, with fewer than 300 inhabitants, Jost Van Dyke is another island great for soaking up the sun. Jimmy Buffett’s paradise, Soggy Dollar Bar, is the inventor of the Caribbean’s most famous cocktail — the Painkiller. Travelers can sip on their own while enjoying White Bay, or both Great and Little Harbor. For anyone looking for a party, Great Harbor hosts a wild New Year’s Eve throw down for sailors and vacationers alike.
Located on Virgin Gorda, Rosewood Little Dix Bay has been voted one of the best hotels within the island complex. Rated 4.5 stars, U.S. News Review and Virgin Islands Property and Yacht magazine, as well as many other travel sites, have recognized this place for its lush scenery, luxury accommodations and great cuisine. Home to three eateries, guests can choose between casual beach dining or a formal sit down in a converted sugar mill. On the north side of the island, Rosewood is tucked between Virgin Gorda’s rolling hills and whit-sand beaches.
Photo courtesy | Kansasphoto
Whether staying on Virgin Gorda or one of the other three major islands (Tortola, Abegada and Jost Van Dyke), BVI offers plenty to do for visitors. Each island boasts its own protected wilderness, both on the beach or high up in the rain forests. Sage Mountain National Park on Tortola offers breathtaking views of the islands, while Virgin Gorda is home to The Baths — huge granite boulders and grottos that lead the way to Devil’s Bay.
Food is an important part of any vacation, and BVI has its own wonders when it comes to tasty delights. Each island has its own favorites, and with lobster appearing in a reoccurring theme in the territory’s seafood. The Caribbean fusion and West Indian cuisines are offered everywhere, with Bananakeet Café on Tortola (Voted best sunset lookout establishment) or The Dove Restaurant and Wine Bar as some of the highlights. Enjoy some barbecue, conch stew, flying-fish sandwiches, curries and more!