British Virgin Islands Vacations
Parts of the British Virgin Islands are so beautiful, you'd wish you could stay there forever. Think dramatic green hills, blue skies, tripped-out sunsets and beaches where the loudest noise is the donk of a coconut dropping on sand as soft as a baby's bottom.
Featured British Virgin Islands Hotel
What To See
Copper Mine National Park
You’ll drive a heck of a winding road to reach this forlorn bluff at Virgin Gorda’s southwest tip, but it’s worth it to see the impressive stone ruins (including a chimney, cistern and mine-shaft house) that comprise the park. Cornish miners worked the area between 1838 and 1867 and extracted as much as 10,000 tons of copper, then abandoned the mine to the elements. A couple of trails meander through the ruins, and the hillside makes an excellent place for a picnic as the blue sea pounds below.
At least two-thirds of Anegada's shoreline is pristine beach and the crystal waters offer unbelievable snorkeling and swimming. Amongst the best beaches is Loblolly Bay, a beautiful stretch of sand with a few beach bars where doing nothing much at all can take days.
This collection of sky-high boulders, near the island’s southwest corner, marks a national park and the BVI’s most popular tourist attraction. The rocks – volcanic lava leftovers from up to 70 million years ago, according to some estimates – form a series of grottoes that flood with sea water. The area makes for unique swimming and snorkeling; the latter is distinctive as many boulders also lurk under water.The Baths would easily live up to its reputation for greatness if it wasn’t overshadowed by adjacent Devil’s Bay National Park to the south, and the cool trail one must take to get there. Actually, there are two trails. The less exciting one takes off behind the taxis at the Baths’ parking lot. But the trail you want leaves from the Baths’ beach and goes through the ‘Caves.’ During the 20-minute trek, you’ll clamber over boulders, slosh through tidal pools, squeeze into impossibly narrow passages and bash your feet against rocks. Then you’ll drop out onto a sugar-sand beach.
The BVI Summer Fest is a two week riot of noise and colour: calypso, fungi and steel bands shake it up, pageants crown festival queens and people flood the streets. The festival is the British Virgin Islands' own version of Carnival and celebrates the emancipation of the islands' African slaves. Most activity takes place in Road Town on Tortola.
Yachties sail in for the Annual Spring Regatta held in Road Town in April, and windsurfers converge on the islands for the HIHO Races held late June or early July. The competition lasts seven days, and a gaggle of cruisers follows the racers in a weeklong portable party. Fourth of July isn't normally celebrated in British territory for obvious reasons, but there are enough Americans in the BVI to justify fireworks and a spate of barbecues. The BVI Emancipation Festival, which occurs over two weeks at the end of July, celebrates the islands' African-Caribbean heritage with music and parties throughout Tortola.
Public Holidays 1 Jan - New Year's Day, Second Mon in Mar - Commonwealth Day, Late Mar or Apr - Good Friday and Easter Monday, 30 Apr - Queen's Birthday, Late May or early Jun - Whit Monday, Jun - Sovereign's Birthday 1 Jul - Territory Day, Oct 21 - St Ursula's Day, Nov 14 - Birthday of Heir to the Throne, 25 Dec - Christmas Day, 26 December - Boxing Day