The Famous Beach Bars of Jost Van Dyke, What to Drink and How to Get There

The Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay is one of the top spots for a drink on Jost Van Dyke
The Soggy Dollar Bar at White Bay is one of the top spots for a drink on Jost Van Dyke | © Have Camera Will Travel | Europe / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Judith Baker
15 December 2021
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Despite its tiny size, Jost Van Dyke boasts an array of legendary beach bars – from the Soggy Dollar Bar to Foxy’s. It’s particularly popular with sailors cruising around the British Virgin Islands ready to sample the region’s famous painkiller cocktail. Drop anchor and hop between these notorious watering holes, overlooking the glistening Caribbean Sea.

Explore the British Virgin Islands with ease by hiring a yacht from SamBoat. Alternatively, splash out on a multi-day sailing vacation with Dream Yacht Charter.

Which bars should I visit while in Jost Van Dyke?

First up, you can’t visit Jost Van Dyke without stopping by the Soggy Dollar Bar at the Sandcastle Hotel. It gets its name from the wet dollar notes brought in by sailors who swim ashore and is much loved by the yachting community. Past the Sandcastle, you will find One Love Bar and Grill, known as much for its good food as its alcoholic creations. Try the mouth-watering lobster quesadilla or barbecue ribs.

Foxy’s Bar is another old favourite, famous for its New Year’s Eve parties that liven up Great Harbour. The added attraction at Foxy’s is Bubbly Pool, a natural pool where waves crash through a small gap in the cliffs, creating a naturally fizzy place to take a dip.

Corsairs Beach Bar and Restaurant is an iconic spot for a drink in Great Harbour | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

Stroll over to White Bay next door and you’ll find Hendo’s Hideout. Not only is it a lovely place for a morning coffee, but it’s also primed for sunbathing on their tangerine orange loungers with a frozen margarita in hand. As the day goes on, progress to the fun-loving Gertrude’s at White Bay or Corsairs at Great Harbour, which hosts pirate parties and serves up a Bubbly Pirate cocktail, as well as Caribbean fusion food.

Fancy something a little quieter? Stop for lunch at B-Line, a tiny rustic beach bar on Little Jost Van Dyke. If you’re travelling by yacht, there are mooring balls out front, so drop anchor and ride your dinghy in for a sunset rum cocktail on this remote stretch of sand.

What should I drink while visiting Jost Van Dyke?

The painkiller cocktail is the signature drink of the British Virgin Islands and there’s nowhere better to sample it than on Jost van Dyke. The Soggy Dollar Bar claims to have invented it, but the argument surrounding its origin continues to this day.

Frozen painkiller cocktails are a must-try for visitors to Jost Van Dyke | © Matt May / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo

The painkiller recipe is simple, although it never tastes as good when recreated at home. Mix dark rum with four parts pineapple juice, one part orange juice and one part cream of coconut with fresh nutmeg grated on top.

Other rum-based cocktails that you must try include the dark & stormy, the classic rum punch or the bushwacker, a milkshake with a serious kick.

What else is there to do on Jost Van Dyke?

Jost Van Dyke is best explored by boat. Charter a yacht from SamBoat and cruise between secluded bays and untouched beaches. Diamond Cay is one of the best; this uninhabited islet is protected by national park status and boasts a healthy bird population of pelicans and boobies.

White Bay on Jost Van Dyke is famous for a string of bars serving tropical drinks | © Have Camera Will Travel | Europe / Alamy Stock Photo

As well as hopping between bars, Jost Van Dyke is primed for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. White Bay is a great spot to venture out onto the water; it’s named after its pristine white sands and is protected from big swell by reefs. Look out for tarpon fish.

If you want to delve deeper into the underwater world, head to Great Harbour – Jost Van Dyke Scuba take small groups on daily dive trips to remote, spectacular sites, plus you can sign up for an accredited PADI scuba dive course.

How to get to Jost Van Dyke

If you’re exploring by boat, you’ll likely start on Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands. Jost Van Dyke is 12 nautical miles (22km) from Road Town on Tortola, which will take roughly by yacht. Alternatively, there is a passenger ferry from West End, Tortola if you don’t have your own watercraft to travel on.

Sailing around the British Virgin Islands can make for a blissful experience | Courtesy of Dream Yacht Charter

Explore the pristine coastline of Jost Van Dyke by chartering a yacht with SamBoat or explore via multi-day trip with Dream Yacht Charter.

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