The BVI (British Virgin Islands) is a pristine collection of over 60 tiny, picture perfect, unspoiled islands, all within a 10 minute boat ride of each other. Every island is accessible, completely unique and unbelievably special. Once guests arrive into Tortola, they are whisked away by private transfer boat to the island of their choosing, where they can explore the delights of one of the Caribbeans best kept secrets.
– Discovered in 1943 by Christopher Columbus.
– Columbus saw so many islands, that it reminded him of the tale of St Ursula and her 11,000 virgins and so he called them the ‘Virgin Islands’ and St Ursula became the patron saint.
– Blackbeard pirated ships here and was based at Trellis Bay on the North side of Beef Island. Dead Man’s Chest off Peter Island was used as a prisoner of war camp for captured sailors. The Pirates of the Caribbean song, ‘Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottle of rum, fifteen men on a dead mans chest’ originated here.
– Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ was set at Normal Island, with its many caves storing the treasure.
– The currency used across the islands if the US dollar, travellers cheques or credit cards.
– A passport is required to visit the BVI, and there is a US$10 departure tax on leaving Tortola.
– The recognised electricity standard across the islands is 110VAC, which is the same as the US.
The marine life in the British Virgin Islands is plentiful and spectacular. The advantage of spending your limited vacation time on one of these beautiful islands, if the potential of swimming amongst some of the most unusual and beautiful creatures on earth. With an abundance of fish, turtles, dolphins, rays, crustaceans and corals each of our guests can experience the reefs as they were meant to be seen; in their full, unadulterated natural beauty. All of our BVI luxury villa rentals have access to a plethora of water-based activities, and a snorkel and mask are positively encouraged as everyday beach wear. Whether hopping in a complimentary kayak from Scrub Island’s Pavilion Beach, or strolling into the calm waters off Virgin Gorda, each visitor is guaranteed the most memorable of Caribbean swims. For those guests more in-tune with the open waves, there are a multitude of diving schools on each island that can help you prepare for a journey into the depths of the BVI.
Each country has it’s own distinct and unique personality, and guests are quick to discover how much each island has to offer. To break it down a little, we’ve compiled a useful collection of BVI facts below.
Name Comes From: St Peter
Size: 1800 Acres
Best Beaches: Big Reef Bay, Boaters Beach, Deadmans Bay, Honeymoon Beach, White Bay
Things To See: Beaches, Hiking
Best For: Those looking for celebrations and exclusivity.
Name Comes From: Fat Virgin
Size: 21 km²
Best Beaches: Big Trunk Bay, Devils Bay, Handsome Bay, Long Bay, Mahoe Bay, Savannah Bay, Spring Bay, The Baths
Things To See: Fallen Jerusalem, Little Fort National Park, The Baths, Copper Mine, National Parks
Best For: Those looking for natural beauty and incredible landscapes.
Name Comes From: The Practice Of ‘Scrubbing’ Barnacles From Boats
Size: 0.93 km²
Best Beaches: North Beach, Pavilion Beach, Honeymoon Beach
Things To See: Ixora Spa, Modern Marina, Snorkelling Reefs
Best For: Those looking for luxury and pure relaxation.
JOST VAN DYKE
Name Comes From: Early Dutch Resident Pirate
Size: 6.5km x 3.2km
Best Beaches: Great Harbour, Little Harbour, White Bay
Things To See: Soggy Dollar, Bubbling Pool, Sandy Cay, Eco-Tourism Barhopping
Best For: Those looking for exquisite beaches and a good party.
Name Comes From: Turtle Dove
Size: 56 km²
Best Beaches: Apple Bay, Brewers Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Elizabeth Beach, Long Bay Beach, Smugglers Cove
Things To See: Main Street, The Dungeon, Folk History Museum
Best For: Those looking for the ‘wow’ views and a Caribbean atmosphere.
Diving Operators in the BVI – Our Personal Recommendations:
DIVE BVI - Scrub Island Resort (284-495-5513)
Why? PADI 5 Star Rating, Full Service Shops, Variety of Dive Boats
PARADISE WATER SPORTS – Peter Island Resort (284-495-9941)
Why? PADI Dive Shop, with Diving + Snorkelling Tours and a 30′ Dive Boat
KILBRIDGE’S SUNCHASER SCUBA – Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda (284-495-9638)
Why? Underwater Video, PADI + NAUI pros, Variety of Dive Boats
|The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island.|
Travelling to the BVI
Finding your way to the British Virgin Islands is far easier than most guests imagine. Despite there being no direct flights to the main island of Tortola, all flights from Europe and the USA are quickly diverted through another Caribbean airport, usually Antigua, St Thomas, Puerto Rico, St Kitts or St Maarten.
FROM THE UK:
British Airways operates a scheduled service daily from LGW to Antigua.
Virgin Atlantic operates a scheduled service on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from LGW to Antigua.
LIAT then operates a daily scheduled service from Antigua to Tortola.
Culture and history walk side by side on these islands. One can still view the stone remnants of forts, rum distilleries and churches dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Cultural influences can be felt through the islands’ music and food – whether it be indigenous fungi, reggae or steel pan, or the taste of local savoury chicken, fish, conch and lobster dishes enhanced with exotic spices.
To test out our tips on the tropical retreat of a lifetime, Handpicked Villas offers the widest range of luxury villa rental in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Our knowledgable villa specialists can provide you with first hand experience on the best places to stay, and guide you through our personalised reservations process.