How to Spend 7 Days Island Hopping Around the British Virgin Islands

Whether you're experienced or earning your sea legs, island-hopping in the BVIs is a relaxing experience full of beautiful sights
Whether you're experienced or earning your sea legs, island-hopping in the BVIs is a relaxing experience full of beautiful sights | © Dream Yacht Charter
Photo of Miranda Blazeby
2 December 2021

With fair winds, calm seas and a hefty dose of vibrant Caribbean culture, the BVIs have long been considered one of the best cruising grounds for charter novices to earn their sea legs. There may be ferries connecting the main islands, but, when it comes to discovering the quiet corners of the archipelago away from the crowds, there’s no better way than exploring by boat. Our seven-day itinerary of the BVI ticks off a bucket list of beaches, breath-taking snorkel spots and the best places to enjoy a punchy rum cocktail at the end of the day.

To sail around the British Virgin Islands in style, choose from hundreds of charter options via SamBoat. Alternatively, embark on a multi-day sailing adventure around the archipelago with Dream Yacht Charter.

Day 1 – Scrub Island to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

Start your week at the Baths and their naturally-formed swimming pools | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Make your way through West South Bay and sail east for a lunchtime stop off at the Baths at the southern tip of Virgin Gorda. Grab a mooring ball at Devil’s Bay and swim ashore. The Baths are one of the most unique destinations in the BVIs and well worth a visit for an afternoon of exploring the naturally formed swimming pools and grottos created by the collection of vast granite boulders. After lunch, travel up the west coast of the island and grab a spot at Spanish Town’s Yacht Harbour, the town’s central marina. There are plenty of restaurants and bars here to kick off the first night on charter including CocoMaya, which boasts a menu packed with crowd pleasers and is just a 10-minute walk from the marina.

Day 2 – Spanish Town to Anegada

Anegada is a flat atoll with diverse wildlife and effortlessly gorgeous sea views | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Day two is a great opportunity to stretch your sea legs. Depart Spanish Town and sail up the west coast of Virgin Gorda, passing Dog Islands to the west. If time, anchor at Saba Rock, a private resort nestled between Prickly Pear Island and Virgin Gorda. Day trippers are welcome to dine at the main restaurant or sip cocktails in the sunset bar. The rest of the sail to Anegada is a scenic route of true bluewater sailing. Anegada, or “drowned island”, is a unique, flat coral atoll to the north of the BVIs and a must-visit for nature lovers. Be vigilant on your approach to the island, grab a mooring ball off Setting Point and head ashore. Pay a visit to the idyllic Loblolly Bay and watch the flamingos from Flamingo Point Lookout; you might even be lucky enough to spot a rare ground iguana. Grab your snorkelling gear and head over to Horseshoe Reef, one of the largest barrier coral reefs in the Caribbean, which is populated with shipwrecks and colourful fish in equal measure. Finish with a sumptuous dinner of Anegada lobster and watch the sunset from Setting Point.

Day 3 – Anegada to Trellis Bay, Tortola

© Roberto Moiola / Sysaworld

Set off from Anegada and grab a mooring buoy at Dog Islands for a lunch and snorkel stop. This cluster of uninhabited islands offers excellent snorkelling opportunities and plentiful marine life, as well as beautiful rocks and coral. After lunch, curve around the east end of Tortola and arrive in the quaint but bustling town of Trellis Bay. Since Hurricane Irma struck, it’s lacking in mooring balls, but the bay offers sheltered anchorage and there are plentiful dinghy docks for heading ashore. Trellis Bay also has a combination of beautiful beaches, as well as some delicious food at the restaurants scattered along the beach; highlights include Jeremy’s Kitchen and the Loose Mongoose Café. Pay a visit to the vibrant arts centre Aragorn’s Studio and reprovision at Trellis Bay Market. If you’re lucky enough to visit the BVIs during the full moon, make sure you attend Trellis Bay’s full moon party.

Day 4 – Trellis Bay to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke is an ideal spot for relaxing in front of a sunset view | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

From Trellis Bay, spend the morning sailing west past Little Camanoe and up to Monkey Point, the most southerly point of the ecological preserve of Guana Island. Known for spectacular snorkelling, Monkey Point is a must for nature fans. Grab a National Park mooring buoy (anchoring is prohibited) and spend a peaceful lunch snorkelling with the colourful fishes down below, including yellowtail snappers, grunts and crevalle jacks. After lunch, spend the afternoon sailing west to Jost Van Dyke and hook a mooring ball in White Bay. Dinghy ashore to enjoy early evening sundowners at the legendary Soggy Dollar Bar and meander along the shore for plenty of waterside dining options.

Day 5 – Jost Van Dyke to Norman Island

Tortola offers a wide array of pristine vistas | © Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Sail south from White Bay and make Smuggler’s Cove at the south end of Tortola your lunchtime stop. It’s hard to imagine this secluded, peaceful beach is named after its previous life as a pirates’ haunt but it’s the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon sunbathe or a bite to eat at Nigel’s Boom Boom Beach Bar and Grill. From here, spend the afternoon sailing around Tortola’s West End, past Frenchman’s Cay and continue south to Norman Island. The Bight, one of the most popular anchorages in the BVI, sits in the middle of the island. This sheltered bay features a reef on the eastern part of the harbour – perfect for snorkelling – and plays host to the legendary floating bar, the Willie T.

Day 6 – The Bight to Brandywine Bay

Set sail to Little Harbour on Peter Island to see unusual sights like an abandoned cigar factory | © Andia / Alamy Stock Photo

From the Bight, island-hop to Little Harbour on the adjacent Peter Island to the southeast of Tortola. Little Harbour is one of the most scenic beaches on the island and features unusual points of interest, including the abandoned cigar factory and mansions which were first built in the 1920s. After a lunch of exploration, sail north across the Sir Francis Drake channel to Brandywine Bay on the south side of Tortola. The Brandywine Estate Restaurant is a sure bet for dinner, with menu showstoppers including the lobster thermidor and moules marinière. Kick off the evening with a sundowner on the terrace and spot yachts sailing in the channel below. Call ahead and reserve a mooring ball through the restaurant; the bay is popular and fills up fast.

Day 7 – Brandywine Bay to Scrub Island

Relax at Scrub Island Resort and Spa, the perfect place for the last dinner of your week | © Historic Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

From Brandywine Bay sail along the picturesque southern coast of Tortola, stopping off at East End Bay for a lunchtime stroll ashore in Parham Town. Looking out over Fat Hog’s Bay and East End Bay, Parham Town is a perfect spot for yacht spotting, especially with a cold Caribbean beer in hand. From here, it’s time to head back to base. Sail around the Bluff and circle back up to Scrub Island. After mooring up, Scrub Island Resort and Spa has plenty of options for a celebratory last dinner. Toast the charter with powerful rum cocktails on the terrace and regale stories from your week-long adventure around the BVIs.

Explore all of the beauty the British Virgin Islands’ has to offer by chartering a vessel via SamBoat or you can embark on a multi-day sailing adventure with Dream Yacht Charter.

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