The British Virgin Islands are widely regarded as the ‘sailing capital of the Caribbean’. It serves as an adventure playground for sailors with more than 30 islands to explore, as well as favourable conditions year-round. Here, Culture Trip reveals the top reasons why you should go sailing in the British Virgin Islands.
Explore the British Virgin Islands from the water by booking onto an eight-day sailing adventure with Culture Trip, where you’ll get to see pink Caribbean flamingos and snorkel through tropical reefs.
Enjoy favourable sailing conditions
One of the biggest lures of the BVIs is that it has excellent sailing conditions all year round, due to near-constant trade winds, calm waters, very few navigational hazards, and a consistent climate. The average temperature is around 25ºC, rising to plus 30ºC during the summer months. If you’re fairly new to sailing, it’s best to avoid the busier sailing months. May, October, and November are quieter on the water, making it easier to navigate marinas and anchorages.
There are four main islands in the BVIs – Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke – and 32 smaller islets. Travelling by boat means you can explore the territory at your leisure and hop from island to island. Many are uninhabited so you’ll get a true Robinson Crusoe experience mooring up at some of these lesser-known spots.
Lounge on pristine beaches
If you’re looking for some of the most Instagrammable beaches in the world, then head to the BVIs. While the Baths on Virgin Gorda might attract the crowds for good reason, there are plenty of secluded strips of sand that can only be accessed by boat. Find some of the most sublime beaches on Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Expect the whitest sands imaginable along with piercing aquamarine waters.
Dock at the finest marinas in the Caribbean
The BVIs play host to the Caribbean‘s best yacht clubs, with state-of-the-art facilities and picture-perfect scenery to boot. The best-known spots to moor up include the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda, which spearheads a variety of regattas and sailing events throughout the year; the Royal BVI Yacht Club in Road Town; and the West End Yacht Club is based at Soper’s Hole and Nanny Cay on Tortola.
Spot unique wildlife
Dolphins, whales, sharks, sea turtles and manatees are among the creatures you might catch sight of while cruising through the BVIs. Sailors are encouraged to report any sightings of marine mammals to the Conservation & Fisheries Department and to shift to neutral if an animal approaches the vessel. On land, endemic species include the Anegada ground iguana and the Virgin Gorda least gecko.
Sail into the sunset
If you’re looking for the ultimate sunset shot, the BVIs is the place to be. You’ll find some of the best sunsets in the Caribbean here. As evening descends, the sky often sets ablaze with a fiery mix of orange, pink, and purple hues. There’s no better way to witness the setting sun than by boat, preferably with a cocktail in hand. Top spots to see the sunset from the water include Cane Garden Bay on Tortola and off Anegada.
Dive into top snorkeling spots
Plunge into the BVI’s azure waters and witness the magical world lurking below the surface. The region is home to hundreds of top snorkelling and scuba diving spots, which you can easily access from your vessel. Our favourite spots include Leinster Bay on Saint John, where sea turtles and rays are known to congregate and just off the Bight anchorage on Norman Island, where you’ll find a healthy reef harbouring a cornucopia of creatures.
Tuck into local delights
Get a true taste of the Caribbean by dipping into local restaurants and bars as you weave your way around the BVIs. There are dozens of waterside spots that you can moor up by. Must-try delicacies include Anegada lobster, rotis (a flatbread sandwich that can be filled with a variety of fillings) as well as fish and fungi (a cornmeal and okra mixture served with seafood). On the drinks front, you can’t leave the BVIs without trying a painkiller cocktail. The moreish concoction of rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice, and a grating of nutmeg on top, was invented in the 70s at the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke.
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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: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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