Best Things to Do in the British Virgin Islands: 12 Essential Attractions to Visit

by Emil Backup
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Are you longing to visit the British Virgin Islands soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in the British Virgin Islands. These breathtaking sights and attractions will blow your mind.

The British Virgin Islands shimmer like a string of pearls in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Each island, with its unique charm, paints a picture of paradise that’s hard to resist. Imagine soft, white sandy beaches meeting crystal-clear waters, where vibrant coral reefs teem with marine life just waiting to be explored. Amidst this idyllic setting, discover the enticing things to do in the British Virgin Islands, from sailing and snorkeling to experiencing local culture and cuisine.

But the British Virgin Islands is more than just a beach lover’s dream. It’s a place where history whispers through the ruins of centuries-old sugar mills and where tales of pirates and buried treasures still linger in the air. The islands offer rich experiences, from the rhythmic beats of local music festivals to the mouthwatering flavors of Caribbean cuisine.

For the adventurous, there’s no end to the thrills. Dive into the mysterious depths of underwater caves. Hike through lush rainforests, or set sail on the azure waters, hopping from one enchanting island to the next. And for those who simply want to unwind, the serene beaches provide the perfect backdrop.

So, if you’re seeking a destination that offers both adventure and relaxation, with a touch of magic thrown in, the British Virgin Islands might just be the place for you. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in the British Virgin Islands.

The best things to do in the British Virgin Islands right now.
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Best Places to Visit in the British Virgin Islands

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in the British Virgin Islands? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this exquisite vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique British Virgin Islands places to visit.

Are you looking to sail on turquoise waters and snorkel on vibrant coral gardens? Or would you prefer unwinding on a secluded beach? Whatever you’re planning, these must sees in the British Virgin Islands can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in the British Virgin Islands that you should know about.

1. The Baths at Virgin Gorda

Imagine a world where giant granite boulders create mysterious grottoes and tidal pools on the edge of the sea. Welcome to The Baths at Virgin Gorda, one of the best places to go in the British Virgin Islands. This geological wonder isn’t just a sight to behold; it’s an adventure waiting to happen.

As you navigate through the maze of boulders, you’ll discover hidden rooms filled with seawater, perfect for a refreshing dip. Sunlight filters through the gaps, casting a magical glow on the water below. It’s like stepping into another realm, where every turn reveals a new secret.

But The Baths isn’t just about the boulders. The nearby Devil’s Bay offers a pristine beach where you can relax after your exploration. And if you’re up for things to do in the British Virgin Islands that require a bit more adventure, a trail connects the two, offering panoramic views of the surrounding islands.

For those who love photography, this place is a dream. The play of light and shadow, combined with the azure waters of the Caribbean, creates a mesmerizing tableau. So, if you’re wondering where to go in the British Virgin Islands, The Baths should be high on your list.

Nature's Sculpted Oasis: Exploring The Baths at Virgin Gorda.
Nature’s Sculpted Oasis: Exploring The Baths at Virgin Gorda.

2. Anegada

Anchors away! If there’s one must-see in the British Virgin Islands, it’s the coral island of Anegada. Unlike its volcanic neighbors, Anegada sits flat on the horizon, beckoning sailors and beach lovers with its shallow reefs and sandy stretches.

As you approach by boat, the turquoise waters give way to a vibrant coral reef teeming with marine life. It’s a snorkeler’s paradise, with colorful fish darting between the corals and sea turtles gliding gracefully by. But the underwater wonders are just the beginning. You’ll find miles of untouched beaches, where pink flamingos strut and the only footprints might be your own.

For those looking for things to do in the British Virgin Islands with a taste for adventure, the island’s interior offers a unique landscape of salt ponds and mangroves. Birdwatchers will be in their element, with rare species making their home here. And let’s not forget the local lobster – a delicacy that’s a must-try when you visit.

So, if you’re pondering what to do in the British Virgin Islands, set your sights on Anegada. With its blend of natural beauty and laid-back charm, it’s a destination that captures the essence of the Caribbean.

Discovering Bliss: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands - Basking at Anegada Beach.
Discovering Bliss: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands – Basking at Anegada Beach.

3. Jost Van Dyke

Imagine a place where the music flows as freely as the rum punches, and the sunsets paint the sky in hues of gold and crimson. Welcome to Jost Van Dyke, one of the coolest destinations in the British Virgin Islands. This laid-back island, named after a Dutch pirate, is the epitome of Caribbean charm.

Start your day with a stroll along the powdery white sands of White Bay, where the waves gently lap at your feet. As you walk, you might come across beach bars with names like “Soggy Dollar” and “Ivan’s”, each with its own story to tell. Here, you can sip on the island’s famous Painkiller cocktail and sway to the rhythms of reggae and calypso.

But Jost Van Dyke is not just about beach life. Venture inland, and you’ll discover lush hills perfect for hiking, offering panoramic views of the surrounding islands. And when night falls, the island comes alive with beach bonfires and live music, where locals and visitors dance the night away under the stars.

So, if you’re wondering about the unique things to do in the British Virgin Islands, a visit to the Jost Van Dyke should be at the top of your list. It’s a slice of paradise that promises unforgettable memories.

Savoring Beach Life: Embracing Sun, Sand, and Serenity.
Savoring Beach Life: Embracing Sun, Sand, and Serenity.

4. Smuggler’s Cove

Tucked away on Tortola’s western tip lies Smuggler’s Cove, a secluded beach that’s a must-see in the British Virgin Islands. With its golden sands, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters, this hidden gem is the perfect spot for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

As you step onto the beach, the first thing you’ll notice is the absence of crowds. This makes Smuggler’s Cove an ideal location for sunbathing, reading a book, or simply taking in the serene surroundings. The gentle waves make it a favorite spot for snorkeling, where you can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Don’t be surprised if you spot a sea turtle or two gliding gracefully beneath the surface!

Legend has it that the cove was once a hideout for pirates, adding a touch of mystery to its allure. As you relax on the beach, let your imagination wander to tales of buried treasure and swashbuckling adventures.

For those wondering about relaxing things to do in the British Virgin Islands, head to one of the local beach bars. Here, you can indulge in fresh seafood, sip on a tropical cocktail, and watch the sun set on another perfect day in paradise.

British Virgin Islands attractions are many, but Smuggler’s Cove holds a special charm that’s hard to resist.

Unveiling Coastal Charm: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands - Discovering Smuggler's Cove's Enchanting Beauty.
Unveiling Coastal Charm: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands – Discovering Smuggler’s Cove’s Enchanting Beauty.

5. Road Town

Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands, is a bustling hub of activity and one of the best places in the British Virgin Islands to immerse yourself in local culture. Located on Tortola’s southern coast, this vibrant town offers a delightful mix of colonial history, colorful Caribbean architecture, and modern amenities.

Stroll through Main Street, where charming boutiques and local artisan shops invite you to browse unique souvenirs and handcrafted goods. The historical sites, like the Old Government House Museum, offer a glimpse into the island’s rich past, showcasing artifacts and stories from bygone eras.

For those with a penchant for the sea, the Road Town marina is a sight to behold, offering a glimpse of the exciting things to do in the British Virgin Islands. Yachts from around the world anchor here, creating a picturesque backdrop against the town’s waterfront. It’s also the starting point for many sailing adventures, making it a hotspot for maritime enthusiasts.

Foodies will be in heaven at the local eateries, where flavors from the Caribbean and beyond tantalize the taste buds. From spicy jerk chicken to fresh seafood dishes, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

As the sun sets, the town comes alive with music and dance. Local bars and clubs offer the chance to groove to the rhythms of reggae and soca, ensuring your British Virgin Islands experience is complete.

Stepping into History: Exploring the Old Government House Museum in Road Town.
Stepping into History: Exploring the Old Government House Museum in Road Town.

6. Rhone National Marine Park

Diving enthusiasts and snorkelers, rejoice! The Rhone National Marine Park is an underwater paradise and a must-see in the British Virgin Islands. Located off the coast of Salt Island, this marine park is home to the famous RMS Rhone shipwreck, a royal mail steamship that met its tragic end in 1867 during a hurricane.

Today, the shipwreck is one of the most sought-after dive sites in the Caribbean. Its remains, scattered across the ocean floor, have become a thriving marine habitat. As you navigate through the ship’s sections, you’ll encounter a mesmerizing world of vibrant corals, playful fish, and other marine life. The ship’s bow, resting at a depth of 80 feet, and its stern, at a shallower 30 feet, offer varying experiences for divers of all levels.

For those who prefer to stay closer to the surface, snorkeling around the park reveals a kaleidoscope of colors and offers one of the captivating things to do in the British Virgin Islands. Schools of blue tang, parrotfish, and the occasional barracuda glide gracefully, making every moment in the water a spectacle.

Apart from its underwater marvels, the park’s history is palpable. Bronze plaques and memorials on Salt Island pay tribute to those who perished in the shipwreck, adding depth to your visit.

Underwater Wonderland: Discovering the Wonders of Rhone National Marine Park.
Underwater Wonderland: Discovering the Wonders of Rhone National Marine Park.

7. Callwood Rum Distillery

In the heart of Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, the Callwood Rum Distillery stands as a testament to the British Virgin Islands’ rich history. This distillery is one of the oldest in the Caribbean, and it offers visitors a unique glimpse into the age-old process of rum-making. 

Discover one of the unique things to do in the British Virgin Islands as you step into the rustic charm of the distillery. Stone walls, aged wooden beams, and traditional equipment transport you back in time. As you walk through, you can witness the entire rum-making process, from fermenting sugarcane juice to distilling and aging in oak barrels.

What makes this experience even more special is the opportunity to taste the various rums produced here. Each rum has its distinct flavor profile, influenced by the aging process and the type of barrel used. Tasting the signature drink, the “Cane Rum,” is one of the coolest activities in the British Virgin Islands.

The knowledgeable staff share intriguing stories of the distillery’s past, including tales of pirates, smugglers, and the Callwood family, who have owned the distillery for generations. Before you leave, don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two as a memento of your visit. With so much charm and personality, it’s no wonder this is among the top things to do in BVI!

Tropical Tranquility: Embracing Paradise at Cane Garden Bay.
Tropical Tranquility: Embracing Paradise at Cane Garden Bay.

8. Gorda Peak National Park

High above the turquoise waters and pristine beaches, Gorda Peak National Park on Virgin Gorda offers a refreshing change of scenery. As the island’s highest point, this park provides panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. Explore one of the coolest activities in the British Virgin Islands as you hike the trails. Immerse yourself in nature’s grandeur while discovering the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

The park spans over 265 acres, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. As you hike up the well-marked trails, you’ll be surrounded by a dense forest teeming with tropical flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for the world’s smallest lizard, the Virgin Gorda gecko, and the rare Caribbean orchid that calls this park home.

Reaching the wooden observation tower at the peak is the highlight of the hike. From here, the British Virgin Islands attractions unfold before your eyes, with a 360-degree view that encompasses neighboring islands, shimmering bays, and the vast expanse of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a sight that truly defines the phrase “top of the world.”

Looking for things to do in the British Virgin Islands that caters both adventure and relaxation? After your hike, you can relax at one of the nearby beaches. Gorda Peak National Park is not just a hike; it’s an experience that encapsulates the natural beauty of the British Virgin Islands.

Summit Serenity: Hiking to the Heights of Gorda Peak.
Summit Serenity: Hiking to the Heights of Gorda Peak.

9. Cooper Island

Cooper Island, one of the best places to go in the British Virgin Islands, is a paradise for eco-conscious travelers. This small island, located just south of Tortola, is a haven of sustainability and natural beauty.

One of the island’s main attractions is the Cooper Island Beach Club, an eco-resort that emphasizes sustainability. Here, you can dine at a restaurant that sources its ingredients locally, sip on craft beers brewed on the island, and stay in eco-friendly accommodations.

The waters surrounding Cooper Island are a diver’s dream. The nearby Wreck Alley is a collection of intentionally sunk ships that have become artificial reefs. As you dive or snorkel, you’ll be greeted by schools of colorful fish, majestic sea turtles, and intricate corals – this is undeniably one of the coolest things to do in the British Virgin Islands.

For those who prefer to stay above water, the island offers pristine sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing and relaxation. The calm waters are also ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking, allowing you to explore the coastline at your own pace.

With its commitment to eco-friendly practices and its untouched natural beauty, Cooper Island stands out as a unique destination in the British Virgin Islands, offering a blend of relaxation and adventure. 

Island Escapade: Discovering the Charms of Cooper Island.
Island Escapade: Discovering the Charms of Cooper Island.

10. Peter Island

Peter Island is the epitome of a private island paradise, ranking among the cool destinations in the British Virgin Islands. As the largest private island, it boasts a rich history, pristine beaches, and luxurious accommodations that make it a top choice for discerning travelers.

One of the island’s crowning jewels is Deadman’s Beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of white sand that’s perfect for lounging, swimming, and water sports. The beach is named after the pirates who were marooned on neighboring Dead Chest Island by the infamous Blackbeard and allegedly washed ashore here.

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the Peter Island Resort & Spa offers world-class treatments inspired by the island’s natural surroundings. From oceanfront massages to botanical facials, every treatment is designed to pamper and refresh.

Hiking enthusiasts will appreciate the trails that crisscross the island, leading to panoramic viewpoints and secluded spots. The Sunset Loop, in particular, offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea, especially as the sun dips below the horizon.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle, Peter Island is a must-visit in the British Virgin Islands that provides an idyllic backdrop for unforgettable memories.

Tropical Retreat: Unveiling Paradise on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands.
Tropical Retreat: Unveiling Paradise on Peter Island.

11. Savannah Bay

Tucked away on the northeastern coast of Virgin Gorda, Savannah Bay is a slice of paradise waiting to be discovered, standing out among the unique places in the British Virgin Islands. Unlike some of the more frequented beaches in the region, Savannah Bay offers a tranquil retreat for those seeking a more secluded experience.

The bay stretches out with powdery white sands that feel like silk underfoot, and its crystal-clear waters shimmer in varying shades of turquoise and blue. The gentle waves make it an ideal spot for swimming, and the bay’s extensive coral reefs are a snorkeler’s dream. As you glide through the water, you’ll encounter a vibrant marine world teeming with colorful fish, playful sea turtles, and intricate coral formations.

For those who prefer to relax on the shore, the beach provides ample space to lay out a towel, bask in the sun, and get lost in a good book. The surrounding landscape, dotted with lush vegetation and swaying palm trees, adds to the bay’s serene ambiance. Sunbathing at the shore is one of the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands.

As the sun sets, the horizon paints a mesmerizing canvas of oranges, pinks, and purples, making Savannah Bay a romantic spot for evening picnics or stargazing. It’s easy to see why this bay is among the best things to do in BVI!

Secluded Beauty and Beyond: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands.
Secluded Beauty and Beyond: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands.

12. North Sound, Virgin Gorda

If you’re pondering where to visit in the British Virgin Islands, set your sights on the mesmerizing North Sound in Virgin Gorda. This expansive natural harbor is a nautical dream, dotted with luxurious resorts, secluded beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. It’s one of those unique places in the British Virgin Islands where land meets sea in a harmonious dance.

For those wondering what to do in the British Virgin Islands, North Sound offers a plethora of activities. From sailing on its azure waters, diving into its underwater wonders, to lounging on its sun-kissed shores, there’s no shortage of adventures. The area is also home to some of the coolest activities in the British Virgin Islands. This includes kite surfing and paddleboarding.

But it’s not just about the water sports. The Sound is surrounded by rolling hills and lush landscapes, perfect for hiking and panoramic views. As evening descends, the area transforms, with beachfront restaurants and bars offering the freshest seafood and tropical cocktails. Truly, North Sound is a testament to the diverse British Virgin Islands attractions waiting to be explored.

Nautical Adventures and More: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands.
Nautical Adventures and More: Among the best things to do in the British Virgin Islands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in the British Virgin Islands

Looking for more content on the top things to do in the British Virgin Islands? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to the British Virgin Islands:”

What’s the best time to visit the British Virgin Islands?

The ideal time to visit is between September and November. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider the shoulder months of May and June.

What is BVI known for?

The British Virgin Islands (BVI), a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean, is known for several distinctive features and attractions:

  1. Stunning Beaches: BVI is famous for its beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Some of the most renowned beaches include White Bay, Smuggler’s Cove, and Cane Garden Bay.
  2. Sailing Destination: With steady trade winds, calm currents, and numerous islands and bays to explore, BVI is considered one of the world’s premier sailing destinations. Many visitors charter yachts or take sailing tours to explore the islands.
  3. Luxury Resorts and Villas: BVI is home to upscale resorts and private villas, attracting visitors looking for a luxurious and exclusive vacation experience.
  4. Snorkeling and Diving: The islands offer exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, with vibrant coral reefs, underwater caves, and shipwrecks to explore.
  5. Offshore Financial Services: BVI is a significant global player in offshore financial services, known for its business-friendly environment and strict privacy laws.
  6. Unique Geography: Comprising over 50 islands and cays, BVI’s geography is diverse and picturesque, with lush hills, hidden coves, and dramatic rock formations like The Baths on Virgin Gorda.
  7. Rich History and Culture: BVI has a rich cultural heritage influenced by African, European, and indigenous traditions. Historical sites, festivals, and local cuisine reflect this cultural blend.
  8. Water Sports and Outdoor Activities: Beyond sailing, the islands offer a wide range of water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, and fishing.

Do I need a visa to visit the British Virgin Islands?

For most tourists, a visa isn’t required for stays up to 30 days. However, it’s always best to check the latest visa requirements based on your nationality.

What currency is used in the British Virgin Islands?

The official currency is the U.S. Dollar.

Embark on a Tropical Getaway: Discover the British Virgin Islands' Pristine Beauty and Vibrant Culture.
Embark on a Tropical Getaway: Discover the British Virgin Islands’ Pristine Beauty and Vibrant Culture.

Is going to the British Virgin Islands safe for solo travelers?

Absolutely! The British Virgin Islands is known for its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere. However, like any destination, always exercise common sense and stay aware of your surroundings.

Is British Virgin Islands nicer than US Virgin Islands?

Comparing the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) can depend on individual preferences, interests, and what you’re looking for in a vacation destination. Both island groups have their unique characteristics and attractions. Here’s a comparison to help you understand what each offers:

British Virgin Islands (BVI)

  • Sailing Paradise: BVI is renowned for sailing, with consistent trade winds and numerous islands to explore.
  • Luxury and Exclusivity: Known for upscale resorts and private villas, BVI often attracts a more exclusive crowd.
  • Natural Beauty: Sites like The Baths on Virgin Gorda are unique geological formations that draw visitors.
  • Seclusion: Many islands in BVI offer more secluded and private beaches.
  • Offshore Business Hub: BVI is a significant center for offshore finance.

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)

  • Accessibility: USVI, especially for U.S. citizens, is often more accessible with no passport required and more direct flights.
  • Diverse Experiences: From the bustling Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas to the more laid-back St. John, USVI offers a range of experiences.
  • National Parks: The Virgin Islands National Park on St. John is a major attraction, offering hiking, snorkeling, and historical sites.
  • Shopping and Dining: St. Thomas, in particular, is known for its shopping and dining options.
  • Cultural Heritage: USVI has a rich cultural heritage with influences from Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean, reflected in festivals, music, and cuisine.

Can I island hop easily in the British Virgin Islands?

Yes! Ferries, private boats, and small planes make island hopping a breeze. It’s a fantastic way to experience the diverse beauty of the archipelago.

What are the British Virgin Islands famous for?

The British Virgin Islands are renowned for their pristine white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. With world-class sailing opportunities, especially in the protected anchorages of the Sir Francis Drake Channel. Additionally, the archipelago boasts unique attractions like The Baths on Virgin Gorda, vibrant coral reefs for snorkeling, and a rich maritime history.

Are the British Virgin Islands worth visiting?

Absolutely! The British Virgin Islands offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, from serene beaches and vibrant coral reefs. With a charming local culture that makes it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a tropical paradise.

Final Thoughts on Exploring the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands, with its shimmering waters, golden sands, and vibrant culture, is a slice of paradise waiting to be explored. From the hidden coves of Virgin Gorda to the bustling streets of Tortola, every corner of this archipelago promises a new adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor, a diving enthusiast, or someone simply looking to unwind on a sun-drenched beach, the islands offer something for everyone. So pack your bags, set your sails, and embark on a journey to one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting destinations. The British Virgin Islands beckon, and trust us, it’s a call you won’t want to ignore.

Best Things to Do in n the British Virgin Islands.
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