Secret Beaches and Coves in the British Virgin Islands You Can Only Reach By Boat

The British Virgin Islands are home to some of the most incredible secret beaches and coves for you to explore
The British Virgin Islands are home to some of the most incredible secret beaches and coves for you to explore | © Bryan Allen / Getty Images
Photo of Miranda Blazeby
2 November 2021

From lush green mountains and local cuisine to turquoise seascapes and Caribbean culture, there are many reasons visitors flock to the British Virgin Islands each year. But the immaculate, blond beaches and the underwater world beneath the waves must be the top draw. Luckily, chartering a boat allows exclusive access to the islands and bays away from the crowds. We pick out the best beaches in the British Virgin Islands – away from the tourist hotspots.

Navigate your way to these secret beaches by hiring a yacht with SamBoat for the day. Need more time? Book a vessel with Dream Yacht Charter.

Prickly Pear National Park on Prickly Pear Island

Natural Feature

This uninhabited island in the North Sound has been a national park since 1988 and features a bird sanctuary and four salt ponds. The west side of the island offers the Sandbox Bar and Grill as a great lunch option, but head to the east side for the truly secluded beaches. Your only neighbours here are likely to be a goat wandering down from the cacti covered hills or the sea turtles – which use the sandy beaches for nesting.

White Bay on Jost van Dyke

Natural Feature
Catamarans and sailboats moored in White Bay with people sitting on the white-sand beach backed by palm trees
© Mauritius Images / Alamy Stock Photo
A crescent of white sand curls around this sheltered bay – which features a snorkelling reef at the south end of the beach. The least uninhabited spot on the island – named after the Dutch pirate, Jost van Dyke – White Bay features a small hotel and the famous Soggy Dollar beach bar, named after the sailors who swam ashore to pay with dripping banknotes.

Loblolly Bay on Anegada

Natural Feature

Loblolly Bay is plain and simple – consisting of unspoiled sand dotted with hammocks strung up between palm trees, perfect for whiling away the hours in idyllic peace. The island has traditionally been left off charter itineraries and it lacks amenities as a result, but that’s all part of its remote charm. There is one bar though, Big Bamboo, which makes the perfect place to escape the sun – and even rents out snorkelling equipment for exploring the large reef beyond.

Devil’s Bay on Virgin Gorda

Natural Feature
White sands and turquoise waters of Devil's Bay, backed by large boulders and a catamaran moored off shore
© James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo
Located at the southwestern top of Virgin Gorda, the horseshoe-shaped Devil’s Bay is a steep and treacherous hike from the crowds at the Baths and features a series of water-filled caves and granite boulders. Marine life and bright coral is abundant in the clear water but bring water shoes – the bay is rocky in some places and the waves can be strong.

Little Harbour on Peter Island

Natural Feature

Little Harbour is one of the most picturesque beaches on the undeveloped island of Peter Island, which lies to the southeast of Tortola. This small, well-sheltered bay is worth a visit just to see the abandoned cigar factory and mansion – first built in the 1920s – but it also offers safe anchorage and beautiful snorkelling, with deep water right up to the shore. Head to the eastern part of the bay for the best underwater views.

The beach on Sandy Spit island

Natural Feature
Sandy Spit, a popular day mooring islet near Tortola in the British Virgin Islands
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
This uninhabited coral reef atoll measures less than an acre in size and could accurately be described as a “desert island”. Surrounded by a barrier reef, the tiny island features native vegetation such as Sea Grape trees and palm trees. Sandy Spit is truly the perfect spot for peaceful sunbathing and extraordinary snorkelling – there are no moorings, but anchoring is possible thanks to the sandy seabed.

Deadman’s Bay on Peter Island

Natural Feature
Named after the pirates marooned on Dead Chest Island who washed up dead on the shore, Deadman’s Beach is an example of the unspoilt and natural beauty the Caribbean is known for. Despite its grisly history, the beach is quietly regarded as one of the most romantic in the archipelago. Lying a manageable swim from the boat moorings, it offers sightings of sea turtles lounging in the shallows.

The beach on Sandy Cay Island

Natural Feature
A Catamaran anchored in front of Sandy Cay in the British Virgin Islands, with people on the beach in the background
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
Possibly the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, the uninhabited Sandy Cay is a 14-acre (5.6ha) nature reserve with natural botanical gardens and a nature trail leading around the island. Located between Tortola and Jost van Dyke, Sandy Cay is popular with wildlife with the residents including hermit crabs, lizards and snakes. Mooring balls are available – but in short supply, so make sure you get here early. All in all, it’s a must-stop when sailing around the British Virgin Islands.

Spend a day exploring secret beaches by hiring a yacht with SamBoat. Alternatively, book a boat with Dream Yacht Charter.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"