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How to Spend a Day on Anegada in the British Virgin Islands

Cow Wreck Bay is a popular beach in Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Cow Wreck Bay is a popular beach in Anegada, British Virgin Islands | © Mary Liz Austin / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Judith Baker
19 November 2021
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Anegada Island in the BVI is the only coral island in the Virgin Islands’ volcanic chain. Unlike the other islands, Anegada is flat and surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. Head here for a day on the beach, spotting flamingos, snorkelling, or sun-worshipping. Encounter Anegada’s wildlife with a hike around nature trails or discover its fascinating history in The Settlement. After a busy day, finish with a relaxing meal at one of the pretty restaurants and sample the famous local lobster.

Seek out every coral corner of Anegada when you charter a yacht with SamBoat.

What to see and do

Anegada beaches, such as Cow Wreck or Loblolly, named after the trees you can see here, are famous for their seclusion and privacy and are perfect for kitesurfing or paddleboarding. The island’s extensive flats are ideal for game fishing barracuda and bonefish. You can snorkel the 18-mile-long Horseshoe Reef, the Caribbean’s largest barrier coral reef and the third-largest on earth. Swim through mazes and tunnels, rich in stingrays, parrotfish, and other marine life. Rental fishing boats are available from Neptune’s Treasure.

Nature lovers will relish their time on Anegada. One of the most impressive sights is the Roseate Flamingos, which were restored to the island’s salt ponds in 1922. These days there are hundreds of these beautiful birds on the island. Spot the coral-coloured Anegada flamingos at the observation deck at Flamingo Pond, where they roam free.

On the east end of Anegada, travellers can discover the strange towering piles of ancient discarded conch shells. Known as Conch island, the mounds are said to preserve the populations of sea snails. On the nature trail at Bones Bight, you may spot the rare rock iguanas. A maze of stone walls surrounds the main town of The Settlement, which has remained unchanged for decades and offers a glimpse of authentic Anegada island life.

Cow Wreck Bay Beach is one of the most beloved in the BVI | © Walter Bibikow / mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

What to eat and drink

There is no shortage of places to eat and drink on Anegada, from quiet beach bars to busy restaurants. But one thing they all offer is the famous lobster, plucked straight from the sea then grilled over an open flame. You can watch the fishermen hauling in the catch at Setting Point. In December, the annual Lobster Festival sees visitors and locals collect tickets for each lobster they eat!

As well as lobster, try conch fritters, shrimp, or seafood chowder at Neptune’s Treasure on the Southwestern shore of Anegada. Here, they offer beachfront dining with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour! Don’t miss Pam’s famous Jungle Juice.

Neptune’s Treasure Resort in White Bay is a solid lodging option | © Trish Drury / DanitaDelimont.com / Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Best mooring locations

Anegada is easily reached by boat. SamBoat has a variety of vessels you can book to make your day trip extra special. Moorings on Anegada include the Anegada Reef Hotel, which is just 15 minutes away from the flamingo pond, and Neptune’s Treasure, with its seafront restaurant and cocktails.

Tourists enjoy a break from the sun in Anegada | Courtesy of Anegada Reef Hotel / Expedia

How to get to there

Fly into St Thomas and take a connecting local flight to Anegada. From Europe, you can also connect by flying into Antigua or St Maarten. By boat, Anegada is 15mi (24km) from North Sound. Head to Setting Point’s mooring field, which provides a marked channel entrance. Since the BVI government made Horseshoe Reef a marine conservation area, anchoring is prohibited. There is a ferry service from Tortola at Trellis Bay and another ferry to Anegada from Virgin Gorda.

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