Which Towns Should You Visit While Sailing in the British Virgin Islands?

Known for flawless beaches and vibrant street markets, the British Virgin Islands have some incredible towns on its coastline
Known for flawless beaches and vibrant street markets, the British Virgin Islands have some incredible towns on its coastline | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
Miranda Blazeby

Remote beaches and azure waters aren’t all the Caribbean has to offer. The British Virgin Islands are dotted with characterful towns and settlements brimming with life. Dip in to explore bustling street markets, authentic restaurants and a colourful patchwork of buildings boasting Caribbean and colonial flair. You’ll also have the chance to stock up on supplies before heading back out to sea. Here, we reveal some of the towns you should point your compass towards while navigating the British overseas territory.

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Road Town on Tortola

The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Road Town, is a lively town that serves up a hearty dose of Caribbean culture and energy. As a bustling yachting hub and the base of many charter companies, it could well be where you start and end your charter. The town itself is set against a backdrop of lush green mountains scattered with colourful houses and bursting with cultural highlights – such as the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works, the Callwood Distillery and HMS Prison, the oldest building on the island.

Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke

Also known as Belle Vue, Great Harbour is located in the middle of the volcanic Jost Van Dyke Island. Green hills and a strip of white beach make up the landscape of this close community town, while marinas and mooring balls welcome visiting yachts. The star of the show however is Foxy’s – the harbour’s infamous beach bar. The bar first opened in 1968 and Foxy himself is still greeting visitors through the doors with traditional Caribbean food and famous weekend beach barbecues.

Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda

Spanish Town is one of the largest towns in the British Virgin Islands and centres around the yacht harbour, which offers plenty of restaurants, bars and shops for provisioning, as well as a direct ferry service to Road Town. The famous Baths sit to the south of the town while plenty of mooring balls are available in the bay for visiting yachts. Don’t miss the Spanish Town Fisherman’s Jamboree – an annual event that offers lots of opportunities to try fresh seafood.

The Settlement on Anegada

The only town on sleepy Anegada, the Settlement is near Lower Bay in the southeastern part of the island. The centre of the town sits alongside the main road but if it’s bars and restaurants you’re looking for head to Setting Point – where highlights include Potters by the Sea and Lobster Trap. Anegada is also home to the Horseshoe Reef, scattered with shipwrecks and one of the largest coral reefs in the whole of the Caribbean.

Parham Town on Tortola

Looking out over Fat Hog’s Bay and East End Bay, Parham Town has plenty of mooring opportunities. Alternatively, bag a berth alongside the dock at the marinas in East End Bay. The town is small but offers grocery stores for provisioning, car rentals and a few restaurants and bars, including Gram’s Place – a favourite with the locals – and Red Rock, which is regarded as one of the best restaurants on Tortola with an extensive selection of whiskies.

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