The British Virgin Islands is a sailor's paradise !
Tortola, is known as the yachting capital of the Caribbean. It has a relaxed atmosphere and is bordered, mainly in the north, by uncrowded, white-sand beaches where excellent swimming and snorkelling can be enjoyed. Tortola is where most visitors arrive, either by plane at Beef Island or by ferry at Road Town or West End.
Norman Island lies close to the boundary line separating the British Virgin Islands from the US Virgin Islands. With an area of over 600 acres, the island is approximately 2.5 miles long with a central ridge extending along the length of the island. The coastline comprises a number of bays and offshore reefs providing excellent snorkelling and diving. Among the attractions on or near Norman Island are The Caves and The Indians, several pinnacle rocks sticking out of the water not-to-be-missed sites for diving or snorkelling. A floating restaurant and bar, the 'Willie-T' can be located in the Bight.
Peter Island is located four miles south of Tortola. 1,200 acres in area, it has a hilly topography ideal for hiking and biking, lush vegetation, and whitesand beaches lined with palm trees. Peter Island is home to the luxurious Peter Island Resort and Yacht Club, a classic Caribbean resort featuring five beaches, deluxe accommodations and outstanding cuisine.
Dead Chest, a large rock formation between Peter and Salt Island, is where the British pirate Arthur Teach (Blackbeard) is thought to have abandoned 15 of his men, who he was most displeased with, on the island with a only a bottle of rum! Dead Chest is an uninhabited National Park that had three dive sites: Coral Gardens suitable for novice divers and snorkelers, Dead Chest West and Painted
Walls, which is perhaps one of the most photogenic dive sites in the British Virgin Islands.
Salt Island is noted for its three salt ponds that provided a traditional source of seasoning for local islands and passing ships. Salt is still harvested here. It is the Caribbean's most spectacular and perfectly-preserved wreck and as such is a popular dive site. The varieties of fish here include Barracuda, Stingrays including the Eagle Ray and Turtles.
Cooper Island, a small unspoiled island that lies about five miles across the Sir FrAancis Drake Channel from Tortola. Here you'll find white sandy beaches, no roads and exotic plants such as bougainvillea, frangipani, yucca and orchids. Ginger Island is completely uninhabited. It is known for its incredible dive sites: corals and a good variety of sea life including morays, eagle rays, octopus,
turtles and lobsters.
Virgin Gorda, an idyllic retreat, being less developed and slower-paced than Tortola, Virgin Gorda has a mountainous landscape dotted with palms and cactus. Virgin Gorda is really three islands in one, the southern third is flat with massive boulders and sparse vegetation, the middle of the island is mountainous with Gorda Peak and several lovely beaches with turquoise seas and fabulous coral reefs ideal for snorkelling and diving. The northern third is situated around North Sound with half a dozen other islands, an ideal area where you can enjoy water sports. Virgin Gorda is an island of rolling hills, beautiful beaches and spectacular geological formations. The place to visit is 'The Baths', where immense boulders are scattered along stunning beaches providing grottos and pools where you can walk through and explore this natural phenomenon.
Prickly Pear , Located in North Sound, was declared a National Park in 1988. The northern and eastern shores has two excellent beaches offering good swimming and snorkelling. Prickly Pear is home to resident and migratory birds. Necker Island owned by Richard Branson (of Virgin Atlantic) since the 1970s, is the ultimate private getaway for the rich and famous, providing a first class service for all who stay on this private island resort. There are several properties on Necker Island: the Great House, an airy Balinese villa built on Devil's Hill, and three other Balinese cottages. A beautiful coral reef almost encircles the island.
Anegada, the only coral island in the BVI, offers some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The island (highest point of only 28' above sea level) offers extensive spectacular reefs and more wrecks than any other Caribbean island, thereby being the perfect destination for divers and snorkelers alike. The deserted mile-long beaches on the island are perfect locations to end a day with a cocktail watching the glorious sunsets. Anegada is also known for its wildlife especially the iguanas and pink flamingos.
Beef Island is home to the BVI's Terrence B Lettsome International Airport (EIS) and where most visitors arrive. The island is connected to Tortola by a newlyconstructed bridge. As well as the airport, Beef Island offers ferry services from Trellis Bay to Marina Cay and Virgin Gorda. Like Necker Island, Guana Island is a private island resort, so only guests may go ashore. The entire island is a wildlife sanctuary and boasts at least 50
species of birds. There are a couple of excellent snorkelling areas at White Bay and Monkey Point where large tarpon, turtles and an abundance of marine life can be seen.
Jost van Dyke & Little Jost van Dyke named after a Dutch pirate, is renowned for it's laid-back style, beautiful white-sand beaches and local entertainment Foxy's. The island retains its charm of days gone by and understandably is a popular destination to anyone staying on Tortola and a must for any charter yacht. The only access to Jost Van Dyke is via a 20-minute ferry from West End, Tortola or by boat.