The Best Oceanside Bars in the British Virgin Islands

Saba Rock is one of the top spots for a sundowner anywhere on the islands
Saba Rock is one of the top spots for a sundowner anywhere on the islands | Courtesy of Saba Rock
Elizabeth Harris

Scattered in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the British Virgin Islands have a reputation for excellent tropical beach bars and restaurants. The best ones are accessible only by boat and involve a swim or a short dinghy ride to shore. These are the bars not to miss when you’re sailing in the British Virgin Islands. Order fiery rum cocktails and Caribbean beer to complete the experience. Culture Trip has handpicked a selection of the best oceanside bars in the British Virgin Islands.

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If you’re looking for a place to watch the sunset, try this oceanside bar on Virgin Gorda. This chic beachfront spot is in Spanish Town, home to the Virgin Gorda yacht harbour and the island’s idyllic national park. Visit during the weekend for beach karaoke and a live DJ set, or weekdays for a quieter night sitting by the open fire right on the beach.

Soggy Dollar Bar with hammocks and benches on the beach

So-called because most guests swim from their boat to the shore to get there, Soggy Dollar Bar is a fun-filled beach bar with views across White Bay. You have two options to get to this remote spot on Jost Van Dyke Island – drop anchor in the bay and take your dinghy into shore or go for the soggy dollar experience and swim!

Anegada Beach Club Bar & Grill

Get your toes sandy at this beach bar in Anegada, the most northerly of the British Virgin Islands, known for its coral reefs and clear springs. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a wide range of cocktails, you can spend the whole day at this island hideaway – the Anegada Beach Club even offers a free shuttle service to pick you up from your boat.

Cooper Island Beach Club

Relaxing on the deck at the Cooper Island Beach Club, Cooper Island, British Virgin Islands

Part of an eco-resort on the northwest shore of Cooper Island, one side of this beach spot is open to the elements with views straight out to the ocean. The deck looks over the evocatively named Sir Francis Drake channel, where there are permanently boats moored up and bobbing on the waves. Head here to watch the sunset beneath the horizon and sip on one of Cooper Island’s housemade craft beers, brewed on the island.

Nigel’s Boom Boom Beach Bar & Grill

This multi-coloured shack at Smugglers Cove on the volcanic island of Tortola is the ultimate beach bar experience. With just a small shed housing the bar itself, the few tables and chairs belonging to Nigel’s are spread across the sand. A ramshackle awning and palm trees give some much-needed shade. Drop anchor in the bay and swim ashore for a lazy day at Nigel’s. You won’t be in a hurry to get back.

Saba Rock

The chic bar at Saba Rock with a surfboard and sea views

Perched between Prickly Pear Island and Virgin Gorda, Saba Rock is a tiny island in the North Sound. Owned by the Saba Rock resort, the island is home to a bay view-giving bar famed for live music, lounge seats, and strong cocktails. With a dock right outside, this bar couldn’t be easier to reach if you’re sailing the British Virgin Islands. There’s also a large mooring field available for yachts.

Pirates’ Bight

After a day of snorkelling, head to this pretty blue and white-painted restaurant and bar on Norman Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Reach the bar by boat and pull up a chair right on the sand. Possibly the perfect place to watch the sun go down as you sample a Bushwacker – a boozy milkshake made of creme de cacao, coconut cream, coffee liqueur, and dark rum – invented on neighbouring St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

Cow Wreck Beach Bar

Aerial view of Cow Wreck Beach Bar

Besides the unmatched views from this spot on Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada, local owner Ann will make you want to visit. Expect warm, welcoming service and the feeling that you’re already a regular – even if it’s your first time. Pink conch shells decorate the palm trees outside the bar, and painted deck chairs add to the cheery atmosphere of this oceanside spot.

Cruise between these top BVI bars by booking a trip with Culture trip.

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