British Virgin Islands Travel Guide

British Virgin Islands Holidays - Tours & Adventure Travel Guide

PureTravel Says
“The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are untouched and natural. The purple, swaying sea fans and huddles of Parrotfish atop the brain coral and colorful reefs show you an untouched beauty found only under the water’s calm. The BVI are a great retreat to escape the crowds. The British influence can be seen in the abundance of historical monuments and buildings.”

British Virgin Islands Holiday Highlights

History & Culture - British Virgin Islands British Virgin Island (BVI) are a British territory in the Caribbean and situated east of Puerto Rico. These islands are part of Virgin Islands archipelago while the rest are the US Virgin Islands. The main British Virgin Islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke as well as 50 more small islands and cays. About 15 islands are inhabited and Tortola is the largest island, Tortola and where 18,000 of the total population of 22,000 lives.

Explore the historic sites and uncover the past by visiting Callwood Rum Distillery at Tortola, Cane Garden Bay with original buildings where the rum is still made. Sample the produce and shop in the art gallery. Visit the Centre for Applied Marine Studies at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Tortola for education programmes, arts performances, nature trails and a natural history museum. Also on Tortola see Fort Burt in the Road Town Area which has superb views over the harbor and was rebuilt by the English in 1776. Visit Fort Recovery, a 1640s military gun port and Josiah's Bay Plantation, which was originally a sugar factory, powered by steam and diesel engines, which are on display. Main Street, Tortola is the main shopping area and also has historical landmarks including the Post Office built in the mid 1800s, St. Phillips Anglican Church from 1840 and the Virgin Islands' Folk Museum.

Visit the 18th century windmill Mount Healthy Windmill National Park and the North Shore Shell Museum at Carrot Bay. See the Old Government House, The Dungeon from 1794 and Thornton Plantation. See Vigilant, a traditional 25-foot wooden boat and Zion Hill Chapel.

Diving & Snorkeling - Scuba diving and snorkeling are ideal whilst in the British Virgin Islands and why not take a boat out for some snorkeling or diving. There are opportunities all over the islands to scuba dive and snorkel and your local specialist tour operator will be happy to advise you on the best locations.

Walking & Trekking - Explore the islands on coastal walks and find your own deserted beach. Hiking around Anegada is a great way to see an untouched island and sip drinks at the local beachside bars. Go walking and hiking around quiet Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. Carrying your snorkel gear in your backpack will give you endless chances to see the ever-alive coral and marine life. Guana Island, which is privately owned, has some quiet treks with wildlife.

Mountain Biking - Explore the island of Anegada by bike after getting here by boat or after flying in from Tortola. This flat coral and limestone island is completely surrounded by sand, so beach bikes are perfect. The “roads” around the island are made of sand as well. There is a saltpan where you can sneak up on some colorful flamingos. Most of the British Virgin Islands are the opposite to Anegada and are hilly, rugged and volcanic. You’ll be pretty safe on all the islands with a bike, but the roads are hilly and curvy. Watch out for cars and remember they are on the left-hand side of the road. Tortola has the most cars and people, and Jost Van Dyke has plenty of places to explore.

Fishing - There is salt-water fishing available on the British Virgin Islands. One of the best places for Marlin is off the coast of Anegada at the North Drop where the fish hide in underwater canyons. You can also fish for bonefish and saltwater fly fish for tarpon. You can fish from boats or even kayaks and catch kingfish, tuna, dolphin and Spanish mackerel. Your tour operator can hook you up with a charter boat operator who can get you to the best fishing sites.

When To Go

The British Virgin Islands are an ideal year round destination with consistently high temperatures and good water temperatures. The snorkeling is clear and the fish are abundant. The summer can get hot and can also see showers. The wettest months are September to November, with June to November possibly seeing hurricanes.

Top Tips

- If you’re unsure of any fish you catch, ask the captain. Many fish have bacteria from the reefs that can make visitors sick.
- Come prepared with all your gear. Simple items can be found, but anything for your kayak, bike, hiking shoes or backpack will need to be brought with you.
- When driving, pay attention to pedestrians and which side of the road you are driving on (especially if you’re not used to the left side of the road).

Classic Itineraries

- Virgin Gorda
- Anegada Beaches/hiking

  • Road Town
  • Diving & Snorkeling

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