Although here (almost) everything is about sailing, you can try out many things on these beautiful islands. You can choose from swimming, light diving and other water sports, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced one. If you enter the mainland you will find natural treasures and cultural attractions. Or would you simply enjoy the sunshine while drinking a delicious cocktail? No matter how you decide, you can enjoy lasting experiences on the BV islands.
This article summarizes the following:
- What to do in the BVI: Variations on water sports on the BV islands
- Discover the nature
- What to see in the BVI: From Tortola to Agenda: thousand faces of the BV islands
Try the wreck diving!
The eventful history of the British Virgin Islands is rich in various battles and yachts disasters. That’s why the seabed has many wrecks. One of the most famous is the remains of the RMS Rhone British imperial sail. Two years after its building, in 1867 the yacht sank in a hurricane near to Salt Island. Many elements of the 95 m long impressive hulls are still recognizable underwater. You can choose from various guided diving tours so you can take a closer look at the famous wreck.
Below and above the waves: surf and snorkel
There are also many things to explore in the waters around the BVI for the less experienced divers. If you try out snorkelling, you can enjoy a variety of marine wildlife at Salt Island. At Cooper Island, you can meet with blue phosphorescent damselfish. The beach is also very popular at “The Baths” (Virgin Gorda Island), but also you can find breathtaking coral reefs, rock formations and parrotfishes here in blooming cheerful.
Those who would test their surfing skills, could not have picked a better place than the BV Islands. The Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada has a very good wavelength as it is the world’s longest continuous coral reef. The pros on Tortola Island can polish their knowledge at Cane Garden Bay, and for the beginners and intermediates, the Josiah’s Bay can be exciting.
Do not miss this: fishing, sailing on the BV islands
The BV islands are also popular with fishermen. Small fishes (mackerel, tuna) can be easy to catch on the western side of Beef Island Bridge. Freshwater, coastal and deep-sea fish are available in large numbers and in varied form. You may, for example, catch barracudas, but be careful that this fish is often poisonous.
This small country is a true sailing paradise. World-class boat rental facilities, with equipment -and service background. Here’s everything to make a glider feel good. We already wrote about sailing in the BVI sailing which you can read the post.
When you have sailed or swam enough, what reason would you have to do not know the colourful world of the BV islands on foot? Of the more than 60 small and large islands, there are some for which is you should pack your hiking boots next to the swimsuit.
Gorda Peak National Park (Virgin Gorda)
The park in the middle of the island is on 254 hectares, and due to the beautiful view, it is worth to “climb” this hilly landscape. The recommended hiking trails have clear, striking signs that lead to a 1370-foot-high mountain peak. One of the tracks is approx. 800 meters and takes about 20 minutes, the other is slightly longer. The “reward” of the completed tour leads to the highest point from where a 360-degree panoramic sight reveals of the surrounding islands.
Sunset Loop (Peter Island)
The route here is a 5-mile tour around the island, which is called the Sunset Loop. It is 3 miles long and leads to the tip of the island. At first, it seems simple, but the last 1½ miles practically leads straight up, it is a real challenge for many people.
The terrain is mostly scrubbing grass, short trees and tall spiked cacti lining the way. Meanwhile, we can observe the wild goat stock that lives on the1800 hectares of the island. At the top of the 350-meter summit, you have nothing else to do but enjoy the view from the coloured sunbathing chairs. In the distance, the outline of the nearby islands appears the Norman Island, Pelican Key and St. John Island.
The “Baths” and the Devil’s Bay Beach (Virgin Gorda)
The labyrinth of the huge granite rocks is one of the most visited places on the island. What was once part of the seafloor millions of years ago, it is now exciting cavalcade of cliffs, caves and tunnels. The trail leading to the Devil’s Bay takes about 20 minutes and leads to the beach of the bay. It is a protected bay with huge blue waters and dazzling white sand. Here at the end of the hike, you can relax and enjoy a good sunbath.
Flat terrain, mountains and beaches: wherever we go, nature is everywhere impressive here. The main island of Tortola also has a nature reserve (Sage Mountain National Park). Tourism is centred here, as two of the islands’ headquarters, (Road Town) and two of the major ports are here. Tortola’s administrative centre is a charming small town with many museums and many city parks. Read about what to do in Tortola.
Virgin Gorda has many more interesting things too. The northern part of the island – called “Northern Sound” – can only be approached by boat. In this area, there are several small reefs, sea cliffs and small islets. Of course, you can read about this in the article about BVI sailing. Read about what to do in Virgin Gorda.
Jost van Dyke
The island named after the famous Dutch pirate, Jost van Dyke, is the “Sailors Mecca”. Although it has only one beach (White Bay), snorkellers love this place. Its port is always filled with sailboats. A truly spectacular natural beauty is near to the Diamond Cay, it is called the “Bubbly Pool”. It is a seawater confluence in a rock pool. Here a splash in the water is just like a jacuzzi in a spa hotel- but this is the Caribbean! Due to the whims of currents, this natural phenomenon, unfortunately, does not occur every day. If we do not arrive on a “quiet day”, we may have a chance to swim in the sea’s “hot tub” thanks to the rocks behaving like a natural ripple. When you get out of the water, you can put a blanket on the ground to spend a nice picnic lunch.
Finally, let’s just say a few words about the fourth major island in BV. Anegada is a bit odd geologically. This is the only major coral island in this area. Its name means “sunken island”. This suggests that the highest point is only 28 meters above sea level. Its length is 18 miles, which is the largest coral formation in the entire Caribbean. Anegada has excellent beaches, it is a great place to snorkelers and kiteboarding enthusiasts too.
In addition to these places, many exciting rare or inhabited islands are among the BV islands. Such as Cooper Island, Salt Island, Ginger Island or Norman Island. The latter inspired Louis Stevenson’s famous pirate novel, Treasure Island. Read more if you plan BVI sailing or BVI boat rental.