British Virgin Islands Travel Guide

Caribbean  #1 in Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean
Credit

Courtesy of SteveDF/Getty Images

British Virgin Islands Area Map

Neighborhoods

The British Virgin Islands consists of four main islands: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. The entire BVI archipelago consists of more than 15 inhabited islands and dozens of uninhabited islands.

The British Virgin Islands' main island is Tortola, home to a majority of the islands' citizens. The BVI's capital city, Road Town, is located on Tortola's south central coast and is the center of the islands' government and commercial facilities. Most travelers don't stay in Road Town but rather near the northern coast beaches of Cane Garden Bay or Brewer's Bay.

The 4-mile-long island of Jost Van Dyke is a short sail west from Tortola. The least-developed island of the four major islands in the BVI, Jost Van Dyke has a few open-air restaurants and a handful of accommodations. The island is perhaps best known as the location of Foxy's Bar, an open-air restaurant and beach bar that hosts the region's most famous New Year's Eve celebration.

Located east of Tortola, the quiet island of Virgin Gorda is home to some of the Virgin Islands' most gorgeous beaches and high-end hotels. Virgin Gorda's most popular tourist attraction is The Baths, a collection of huge granite boulders on the island's south coast. The area also has a pleasant beach and scenic grottoes that draw large crowds. The island is also a popular spot for hiking, especially on Virgin Gorda Peak and in Copper Mine National Park.

Located north of Virgin Gorda, Anegada is infamous for rocky and coral-strewn shores that have sunk countless ships in the island's history. As such, Anegada attracts many divers and snorkelers. Remote beaches, including Cow Wreck Beach, Flash of Beauty, Bones Bight and Windlass Bight, are strewn throughout the island and accessible by foot, rental car or taxi.

Some of the smaller British Virgin Islands offer little besides a place to sun yourself in between dives or sailing expeditions, but some experts and travelers still say they're worth a visit. The islands of Fallen Jerusalem or Prickly Pear Cays are easily accessible from Virgin Gorda, and make great spots for secluded snorkeling or hiking. Divers interested in the wreck of the RMS Rhone tend to use Cooper Island (between Tortola and Virgin Gorda) as a home base. Other popular island hops include Norman Island, where Robert Louis Stevenson reportedly got the inspiration for "Treasure Island;" Peter Island, where couples enjoy strolls among the coconut palms and sea-grape trees of Deadman's Bay; and Dead Chest, which allegedly earned its name from the 15 sailors stranded there by the pirate Blackbeard.

Explore More of British Virgin Islands

Recommended

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019