Everyone that lives here (and some of the frequent visitors) will have their own shortlist of must do/see/eat/drink in the British Virgin Islands (but I think mine’s better, obviously) – see my suggestions below for what to do in the BVI!
Please note – I have edited this post to include any revisions post-Irma.
:: Explore the Baths –
I’m slightly biased here (living on Virgin Gorda) but the Baths on VG is not an award-winning tourist destination for nothing (and cannot be missed). Trek down to the beach and then through the myriad of boulders (with multiple stops for pictures) before arriving at Devil’s Bay for a well-deserved swim in the crystal clear water and to relax on the sand.
:: Take a Powerboat tour around the Holy Trinity –
Photo by alookingglass
Known as the ‘Holy Trinity’ your day consists of visiting Sandy Spit, White Bay at Jost Van Dyke (be sure to get the infamous Painkiller at the Soggy Dollar) and the Willy-T. Each a notable destination in their own right, it makes for quite the boozy day but it’s great fun. More on this trip here.
:: Drink a Painkiller Cocktail –
A couple of bars lay claim to creating the Painkiller (notably the Soggy Dollar and Pussers) but arguments aside, one thing that’s for sure is that it originated here in the BVI. Do not get back on that plane until you’ve tried one!
:: Party under the light of the Full Moon –
Photo by Island Charters
Where possible, it is advisable to time your trip to the BVI so that you’re visiting the islands over a Full Moon. Head out to West End and find the brightly colored (and panty-covered) Bomba shack and the crowd spilling into the road! Be warned, this is an adults only party and there are hallucinogenics available.
For the PG-rated (but equally fun) Full Moon celebration take the family to Trellis, watch them light the fireballs in the Bay and marvel at the Moko Jumbies.
:: Enjoy a sundowner at Cooper Island Beach Club –
The key to getting the most out of your visit to the BVI is getting out and about to as many of our islands as possible. Each one has its own distinct personality and vibe. I like heading to Cooper for a laid back lunch on the beach, a game of darts and a happy hour cocktail in the water as the sun goes down. Read more.
Bonus: Cooper has a beautifully curated gift shop for some unique island souvenirs and a rum bar with every sort of rum you could wish for!
:: Snorkel the Caves and the Indians –
Photo by unknown source
A short boat ride from Tortola, just off Norman Island, you’ll find the Indians, four tall rocks standing proud of the water just teeming with underwater activity and some of the best snorkeling in the BVI. Stop for a margarita at the Willy-T before you head home – you know you want to…
:: Eat the freshest lobster in Anegada –
A little different to its cold-water brethren, but just as tasty, the best and freshest Caribbean lobster can be found on Anegada. Take a 90 minute-long (and occasionally rough) ferry from Road Town or a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 12 minute flight from Beef Island and head out to explore. Anegada has the whitest sand and bluest water of any of our islands. Rent scooters or a safari bus but go carefully as most of the roads aren’t paved. Drive between Cow Wreck and Loblolly and look out for the flamingos.
:: Helicopter over to Saba for lunch –
Right in the middle of the North Sound sits Saba Rock. A teeny island with a bustling restaurant (have the lobster panini, trust me!) and some gorgeously appointed hotel rooms. If you’re staying on Tortola my favourite way to get to Saba is with Antilles Helicopter Services, which affords you breath-taking aerial views of our island archipelago.
Bonus: you’ll feel like a total celeb when you touch down on that helipad and they come out to greet you with cocktails…
(FYI it is also super easy to get here with their free boat transfer from Gun Creek, North Sound)
Edit: Sadly Saba Rock is currently closed for renovations following catastrophic damage during Hurricane Irma. Updates on the re-opening will be posted just as soon as we know more.
:: Visit the Callwood Rum Distillery –
Buried deep in Cane Garden Bay (and seemingly still looking much the same way that it did 400 years ago) Callwood Rum distillery is still producing rum and offers tours (for only $2) and tastings of their four rums for another $1. The Panty-Dropper is my personal favourite.
:: Hike Sage Mountain (or Gorda Peak) –
All that boozing and beaching can leave you feeling a bit blah. If you fancy picking up your heart-rate a bit, and working off those creamy cocktails, it’s time to hike Gorda Peak (Virgin Gorda) or Sage Mountain (Tortola) – our two highest points. Both are beautiful areas of National Park with hiking trails and lookouts for gorgeous views across the islands. The higher you get, the better the view.
Anything you think that I’ve missed?? If you’re traveling with your little ones – you might want to check out my recommended family-friendly activities here. All my favourite land and water-based activities suitable for all ages!