British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
By D. Gregory Perrin

With more than 60 islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands are just the right travel destination for your next Caribbean getaway. The BVI is one of the most fascinating and luxurious destinations in the Caribbean region. Whether you just want to relax in the sun on some of the world's most breathtaking beaches, go sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kiteboarding, or take historic tours, the British Virgin Islands can accommodate your every desire and more.
 
The BVI is closer than you might think, with Beef Island Airport (EIS) just a 30-minute flight from San Juan Airport on Puerto Rico… there are also charter flights available direct to Virgin Gorda Airport (VIJ). Many visitors prefer to fly direct to St. Thomas (STT) and then take a 50-minute ferry to Tortola in the BVI. WhatsCheaper.com can assist with booking your plane tickets today; just click on this link (https://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php) to start your search for amazing prices. One important factor of any vacation is your hotel accommodations. You want to ensure high quality lodging at an affordable rate, and WhatsCheaper.com can help with this as well. Just click this link (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to use our hotel finder to start your search for amazing hotels on the British Virgin Islands.

There are several main islands where most of the accommodations are located, but the difference in the BVI is the each with which you can hop among islands – for a day-trip, dinner, or just to see the various sites. These main islands consist of Tortola (where you’ll find plenty of shopping, restaurants, museums, yacht charter base, and port for visiting cruise ships) and Virgin Gorda. WhatsCheaper.com recommends starting your BVI holiday in Tortola. Road Town is the main city on this island and also the capital city of the British Virgin Islands. This area has a lot to offer, and WhatsCheaper.com suggests starting with the Dolphin Discovery Tortola. This facility is great for kids and adults as well. Tourists have the opportunity to swim with dolphins. It is an amazing way to kick off your vacation and is relatively light on the pocketbook.

From here, WhatsCheaper.com recommends taking in some culture and history. Fort Burt is a great place to stop, as the ruins of this 17th century fort still stand. Travelers can view the remains of the fort, which was built by the Dutch, and learn how the structure was vital in the protection of the Road Harbour. The attraction is free of charge and is open from dawn till dusk.

Another great attraction is the Callwood Distillery. This distillery is hundreds of years old and they make rum in the traditional way. Vacationers can visit this establishment for only a few dollars and view how rum was made hundreds of years ago. At the end of the tour, tourists will receive a shot of rum to sample. Bottles are available for purchase at the distillery as well.

Other attractions of interest in the city are the J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens, which is over 4 acres in size, and has specimens of the regions most beautiful exotic flowers. There is the Government House Museum, which dates back to 1925 and was the residence of the governor of the British Virgin Islands. The 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum depicts cotton and rum production from the 18th and 19th century, as well as hosting monthly exhibits from local artists. Also, the North Shore Shell Museum in Carrot Bay offers exhibits of shells from all over the British Virgin Islands.

Beyond the rich cultural history, Tortola is known for having excellent beaches and restaurants. One must-visit beach is Smuggler’s Cove, with its crystal-clear blue water which makes for great snorkeling. Another beach is Cane Garden Bay, featuring silky sand, turquoise waters, and plenty of relaxed local eateries and bars at water’s edge. Known in the Caribbean for its award-winning culinary tradition (the BVI took gold medals at the 2011 Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition), Tortola offers a rich variety of restaurants, including the Sugar Mill, Brandywine Bay, the Restaurant at Treasure Isle Hotel, and the Dove in Road Town, among many others.

Scuba divers revere the BVI for its 100+ dive sites featuring all sorts of wrecks and reefs, for advanced and beginner divers alike. One of the more popular sites is Rhone National Marine Park, which encompasses the location of the shipwreck of the HMS Rhone (a mail ship that went down in a hurricane in 1867) and Dead Chest Island. WhatsCheaper.com knows you will love both of these locations.

Virgin Gorda is another great island to visit while in the country. WhatsCheaper.com highly recommends making a stop at The Baths National Park while on this island. The Baths is an amazing beach set among huge granite boulders. Visitors can explore trails through the caves, and jump into the delightful waters from the boulders, as well as enjoy ideal snorkeling conditions. The beach has the Poor Man’s Bar that sells beverages and snacks. Another point of interest is the Virgin Gorda Peak; which is the highest point on the island and offers amazing views.

The northeastern portion of Virgin Gorda features North Sound, infamous among sailors and fishermen as one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque moorings. Reachable only by boat, this large protected cove is home to the luxurious Biras Creek Resort, as well as the Bitter End Yacht Club, an amazing resort featuring family-friendly watersports and activities and much more. Also located on a small island in the middle of North Sound is Saba Rock, a restaurant, bar and small inn with its own water taxi service connecting visitors to Bitter End, Biras Creek and the rest of Virgin Gorda at Gun Creek.

The next two largest islands are Jost Van Dyke and Anegada, which are well known for scuba diving, sailing, kiteboarding and more. WhatsCheaper.com recommends checking with the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board (www.bvitourism.com, 1-800-835-8530) to find out more detailed information about the destination’s many other islands.

All in all, the British Virgin Islands has so much to offer for tourists. The experience will leave you with a lifetime of memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. WhatsCheaper.com recommends clicking the above links to start your search for great prices today.

MUST SEE IN British Virgin Islands LIST:

  • 1. Smuggler's Cove
  • 2. Callwood Distillery
  • 3. The Baths
  • 4. Rhone National Marine Park
  • 5. J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens
  • 6. Fort Burt
  • 7. Virgin Gorda Copper Mine Ruins
  • 8. White Bay
  • 9. Virgin Gorda Peak
  • 10. North Shore Shell Museum

British Virgin Islands EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Jazz on the Hill - February
  • 2. BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival - March/April
  • 3. Whit Weekend Festival - May
  • 4. BVI Music Festival - May
  • 5. Fisherman's Day - July
  • 6. Jost Van Dyke Festival - September
  • 7. Wreck Week - October
  • 8. Round Tortola Race - November
  • 9. Virgin Gorda Music Festival - November
  • 10. Christmas in Spanish Town - December

PHOTO GALLERY