The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are one of the top sailing destinations on earth for excellent reasons. Steady trade winds, gentle currents, over fifty islands and cays in close proximity with pristine beaches and protected bays offer perfect sailing grounds. Technicolor snorkeling and diving, world-class kiteboarding and windsurfing and five star restaurants, resorts, golf and spas, are options that make sailing only a part of an extraordinary British Virgin Islands adventure.
The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Norman and Peter Island, along with about ten other inhabited islands. Road Town, Tortola is the capital and the most common point of embarkation for a luxury yacht charter to enchanting destinations in the BVI. Here every island has something unique, something for everyone and something worth seeing. Most places can only be reached by boat, which makes yachting in the region even more magical. Whether you explore the island aboard a megayacht, power yacht, sailing yacht or catamaran, you are bound to return again and again.
A typical yacht charter through the British Virgin Islands embarks from Tortola. The weather and the wind direction will determine your course. Whether you sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around Tortola, you will enjoy a customized itinerary that brings you to the exciting nearby islands. Experience reefs teaming with fish to snorkel and dive, deserted beaches to lay on, lively beaches to play on, quaint villages and upscale resorts. On board a luxury charter yacht, you select the destinations and activities that you prefer and your Captain and crew bring sail you there in style, safety and comfort.
Tortola, the breathtaking administrative capital of the BVI, is dedicated to maintaining its natural beauty and cultural integrity. Visitors will not find a McDonalds, or many shops open on Sunday. On the other extreme, rolicking and uninhibited full moon parties are legendary.
The Northern coast has the best beaches on the island, including Smuggler’s Cove, Long Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Brewer’s Bay, Josiah’s Bay, and Lambert beach. In addition to beaches, there are sailing, surfing, scuba diving, kite boarding, windsurfing, historic sites, hiking, and much more.
Among Tortola’s soaring, verdant peaks and overgrown bougainvillea-draped hillsides, charter guests find an exciting diversity of things to do and places to play. Drive through hairpin curves to dizzying heights or hike in National Parks, visit a museum or rum factory. Dinghy ashore to any of many beaches. Enjoy an array of dining and entertainment options, from upscale beachside resorts to barbecue shacks serving up local favorites, while island bands play through the night, Tortolan rum flows, and everyone easily forgets about the real world.
Adventurous charter guests should not miss the opportunity to surf at Josiahs Bay, a secluded local spot accessible by 4×4. This pristine, almost untouched beach has some great surf and a cold beer waiting for you at the local beach bar. Another must do event on the Island is the monthly mushroom-tea fueled full moon party that is celebrated on two sides of the Island, the favorite party always hosted by Bomba at the Bomba Shack.
This phenomenal spot is beloved by movie stars, millionaires and yachties, for so many reasons. Virgin Gorda is an island of exceptional, natural beauty, with a peace that captures the soul.
Virgin Gorda, provides an ideal blend of extraordinary sights, easy access, good restaurants and somehow no rampant commercialism. There is lots to see here, a day trip to the famous granite formations called the Baths is an adventure not to be overlooked. The chef aboard your luxury charter yacht will pack a picnic basket for your shore excursion. Thrill to magnificent views along the Island’s ridge as you travel by taxi to reach the white sand beach where massive granite boulders create a landscape unlike anywhere else on earth.
Spend the day exploring the small caves and rock pools and sunbath on the pure white beaches.
Virgin Gorda Sound provides the perfect spot for watersports enthusiasts. The gentle surf is ideal for skiing, wake-boarding, tubing, fishing, kyaking or snorkeling. After a great day at the Baths and on the water, spend the evening at the Leverick Bay beach barbecue and party the night away with local reggae bands and the famous Mocco Jumbies (the Virgin Gorda stilt dancers).
Jost Van Dyke
Jost (pronounced ‘yoast’) is a little island with a big personality. It may only occupy 4 sq miles of land in the teal-blue sea, but its good-time reputation has spread thousands of miles beyond. Jost van Dyke is a jovial island, where a man named Foxy is king and ‘time flies when you ain’t doin’ shit, ‘ as the T-shirts proclaim.
For over 400 years Jost has been an oasis for seafarers and adventurers. A Dutch pirate (the island’s namesake) used the island as a base in the 17th century. In the 18th century it became a homestead for Quakers escaping religious tyranny in England. In the late 1960s free-spirited boaters found Jost’s unspoiled shores, and Foxy built a bar to greet them.
The tide ebbed and flowed for a quarter of a century and not much changed. Electricity arrived in 1991 and roads were cut a few years later.
Jost is no secret to yachters and glitterati (Jimmy Buffet and Keith Richards stop by), yet the island’s emerald hills and sparkling beaches remain untrammeled by development. As one local says, ‘When Main Street is still a beach, you know life is good.’
Equally renowned as Foxy’s, the Soggy Dollar bar is a legendary favorite. The bar derived its namesake because one could not swim to the bar from the boat without getting dollars wet, still most acceptable as currency wet or dry.
Spend the day snorkeling and beach combing, then take a sundowner basket with snacks and champagne and enjoy the sunset at the Bubbly Pools. Choose to do it all, or choose to do nothing at all.
Folklore plays a dramatic role in the alluring fascination of Norman Island with tales of captains and privateers, pirates and treasure caves. The island as the setting for the epic “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson is perhaps the most famous legend of all. While the island is now uninhabited, farmers have in the past reared cattle there and today the Caves are one of the most popular attractions in the islands.
The coast line comprises a number of bays and offshore reefs with excellent snorkeling and diving close to shore. The Bight, a preferred anchorage, is well protected and provides another great spot for watersports and snorkeling and the Norman Island “caves” nearby are a snorkeling delight. The crew will take you in the dinghy to the Indians, another fantastic snorkeling spot, perfect for seeing brilliant live coral and parti-colored species of fish. In the evening, take a quick ride over to the Willy-T bar for a crazy sunset party.
This wonderful tropical paradise stretches some 1,800 acres. Although the entire island is a private resort, yachting guests are welcome to enjoy resort amenities, including the acclaimed restaurant and spa, five white sandy beaches and twenty secluded coves. Peter Island was first established as a resort in the late sixties and has continually grown in facilities and popularity. Peter Island has a hair-raising folklore history about the famous pirate Blackbeard who is said to have abandoned some of his crew to their death on Dead Chest Island. The men were washed up in Deadmans Bay, which is now the lively main beach of the resort.
Spend a day in the sunshine, lounging on the incrediblly beautiful Deadmans Bay beach or take a short walk over the ridge for a magnificent view of palm tree forests and coral bleached bays on the windward side of the Island. The highly rated Spa has spectacular bay views from the 10,000 square foot interior space set amongst vast acres of lush, undisturbed flora and fauna. The menu includes beauty, relaxation and rejuvenation body treatments. The island also has fantastic snorkeling and watersports rentals, from dive gear to kiteboards, are available at the resort.
The island may derive its name from the Spanish word for ‘drowned’ or ‘flooded’, appropriate to this low lying island that devastated over 300 ships in centuries past. The island measures only 28ft above sea level at its highest, so flat that mariners couldn’t see it to get their bearings until they were trapped in the surrounding coral maze known as Horseshoe Reef.
Anegada floats on a remote reef, a short sail north of from Virgin Gorda. The Island has large salt ponds teaming with flamingos, flowering cacti and giant rock iguanas. You can dive on many of the shipwrecks, or snorkel the transparent blue waters from beaches such as Loblolly Bay and Flash of Beauty. If you’re looking to get away from it all, this atoll has a hammock waiting. Explore the island by taxi and stop at some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands offers a yachting playground of crystal clear waters, vibrantly colored reefs teaming with life, exhilarating water sports fun, and gleaming white sand beaches shaded by overarching palm trees. This island nation also offers yacht charter guests the opportunity to get to know its friendly people, learn its colorful history, breathe its fragrant air and savor its tropical cuisine. Cruise the british Virgin Islands once you will want to return to again and again.