Updated: Aug 29
The British Virgin Islands are one of the premier sailing destinations with tours and cruises hopping from island to island.
Did you know? Because the British Virgin Islands is an offshore zone with convenient taxation, more than 700 thousand companies are officially registered here. It is 25 times more than the British Virgin Islands population.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI), officially the Virgin Islands, are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, to the east of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and north-west of Anguilla. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles and part of the West Indies.
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with more than 50 other smaller islands and cays. About 16 of the islands are inhabited. The capital, Road Town, is on Tortola, the largest island. Today, the BVI remain a Territory under the British Crown and are world-renowned for their excellent sailing and yachting, many dive sites, dazzling beaches, and other tropical attractions.
The islands are a popular destination for US citizens. Tourists frequent the numerous white sand beaches, visit The Baths on Virgin Gorda, snorkel the coral reefs near Anegada, or experience the well-known bars of Jost Van Dyke. The BVI are known as one of the world's greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a very popular way to visit less accessible islands.
The best way to get around the British Virgin Islands is on a boat, or better yet, booking a yacht with BOATLIFEVIP saves you the hassle of planning, overpacking and waiting on other people. You might even need one to arrive at your destination first – there are no direct flights from the United States to this island chain and many people fly into Cyril E. King Airport (STT) on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and then ferry over. You could also take a connecting flight from Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Antigua, or St. Maarten to Tortola Airport (EIS). Once you're settled, you might end up on the water again – to ferry or to sail between the numerous islands that make up this archipelago. You should rent a car or take a taxi to move about larger islands like Virgin Gorda or Tortola.
Landmarks and Places of Interest:
The Baths National Park, Virgin Gorda - This distinctive bay is scattered with giant granite boulders, creating sea pools and grottoes that are perfect for snorkeling and exploring.
Gorda Peak National Park, Virgin Gorda - the island's highest point. From the observation tower here, you can enjoy sweeping views of the North Sound, Anegada, and the other islets and cays of the British Virgin Islands.
North Sound, Virgin Gorda - major water sports center in the British Virgin Islands. The area offers well-protected waters and many anchorages, with every kind of boat and water activity available: diving, sailing, windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, water-skiing, glass bottom boats, and trips to secluded beaches.
White Bay, Jost Van Dyke - Jost Van Dyke's most popular beach and one of the most beautiful beaches in all the British Virgin Islands.
Smuggler's Cove Beach, Tortola - Secluded, sheltered, and relatively undeveloped, this pretty slice of sun-bleached sand and turquoise sea merges with an undulating emerald-green headland, making for a picturesque backdrop to your aquatic adventures.
Anegada Island - The BVI National Parks Trust protects almost the entire interior of the island from development, making this a popular destination for adventure travelers rather than those seeking a resort-type vacation.
Norman Island - Since 1843, various legends have deemed Norman Island the site of buried treasure. Lying 10 kilometers southwest of Tortola, this is the largest uninhabited island in the British Virgin Islands.
Rhone National Maritime Park & RMS Rhone Shipwreck Dives - Today, the wreck is one of the best diving sites in the Caribbean for intermediate to advanced divers.
Top things to do in British Virgin Islands:
Go Sailing the British Virgin Islands
Visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda
Take a Hike at a National Park
Sip a Painkiller at Soggy Dollar Bar
Tour the Callwood Rum Distillery
Catch Some Rays on Tortola’s North Coast Beaches
Catch a Wave or Go Surfing on Tortola
Snorkel or Scuba Dive an Extraordinary Undersea World
Soak Up Some History
Book an Island Tour or Excursion
Stroll the Streets of Road Town in Tortola
The BVI's are locally known as Nature's Little Secrets, and easily the best sailing destination in the Caribbean. Warm weather year round and consistent trade winds make the BVIs a sailors paradise. Make sure to visit our Destinations Blog for more tips about top places to visit and things to do in this fascinating world of boating in the Caribbean.