British Virgin Islands
The 60 islands and cays that make up the British Virgin Islands are full of mystique. These islands with their isolated beaches, mysterious coves and never before seen fauna and flora evoke every desert island fantasy you’ve ever had. Unspoilt and natural, each of the British Virgin Islands has its own unique flavour making it a destination that is ideal for island hopping. With its cooling trade winds and beaches with names like Smuggler’s Cove that hint at the islands’ fascinating past, it is also a mecca for keen sailors.
The Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival is a famous annual event that is very popular with the yachting crowd. Situated between Puerto Rico and St. Kitts, the British Virgin Islands are ready to share their history in their national parks, ruins, and shipwrecks but equally to welcome you to find that solitary hammock nestled between palm trees, to lie back and just be.
Airports / Gateways / Flying times
Airports: Terrance B Lettsome Airport (EIS) (Beef Island), 10 miles from the capital Road Town on Tortola, Virgin Gorda’s Airport (VIJ), and Auguiste George Airport on Anegada.
Gateways/Flying Times: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly from London Gatwick to Antigua with connecting flights on interCaribbean, LIAT or via scheduled charter flight with VI Airlink on Friday and Saturday. American Airlines also fly via the US to San Juan and onward with connecting flights to Tortola with Seabourne Airlines. London to Antigua: 8 hours 45 minutes. Manchester: 8 hours. Antigua: 1 hour. San Juan: 45 minutes.
Average annual temperatures: Summer 32°C. Winter 29°C. Average annual rainfall is 52 inches.
Expect traditional Caribbean food in the British Virgin Islands as well as some local specialities like fungi, fish in mayonnaise sauce with dumplings, and patties which are little pasties. Fresh fish is of course another speciality, and most restaurants offer fresh lobster and conch (in season). Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands and its capital Road Town is a major cruise-ship dock with plenty of eateries, whilst at Cane Garden Bay, you can eat at the bars and restaurants that line the beach.
English is the main language of the British Virgin Islands.
At once luxurious and laid back, the casual elegance of the British Virgin Islands seeps into its nightlife too and Trellis Bay on Beef Island is home to the infamous BVI full moon party! Then there’s Foxy’s Bar in Great Habour- in fact pretty much all of the British Virgin Islands will have a bar with live music and a whole lot of character.
A definite for sightseeing in the British Virgin Islands is The Baths National Park in mountainous Virgin Gorda with its massive granite boulders and secret rock pools. Ideal for snorkelling, be sure to scale the ladders to reach Devil’s Bay! Norman Island is said to be the inspiration for Treasure Island, rent a mooring, have a bite at the Pirates Bight and gear up for some excellent snorkelling on this gorgeous island. Take a ferry from Tortola to Anegada, the Caribbean’s largest coral barrier reef and 16 miles of continuous white sand beaches or book at stay at Guana Island, a pristine private island and home to a wildlife sanctuary.