British Virgin Islands - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- s it safe to drink the tap water?
- Where are the British Virgin Islands?
- Where are the best beaches?
When is the best time to go?
The weather in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is pleasant all-year-round. In winter average temperatures are around 25 degrees Celsius and in summer they reach 28 degrees Celsius with very little rain. Although the hurricane season in the Caribbean typically runs from June to November, it usually peaks in August and September. The tourist high season is from December to April.
Do you need a visa?
British nationals don't need a visa to enter the British Virgin Islands. On arrival you will get a one-month entry stamp and can apply to extend this to up to six months. You need proof of an onward ticket and your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after the date you enter. Likewise, European citizens and those from Canada and the United States don't need a visa to enter the BVI, only a valid passport is required.
How can I get there?
There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands - you have to fly to another Caribbean destination and transfer from there. The most popular option is to travel to Antigua and take one of the daily connecting flights to the BVI. There are regular weekly (but not daily) flights from London Gatwick with either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. The average flight time to Antigua is eight hours and 25 minutes. The journey from Antigua to the BVI is around one hour and 20 minutes.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency is the US dollar and major credit and debit cards are accepted in most of the islands' establishments.
What is there to see and do?
The main attractions in the British Virgin Islands are its natural sites, with the beautiful virginal beaches, exciting sea caves and pristine national parks among the things to look forward to. In fact, there are 21 national parks dotted throughout the archipelago that protect sections of coastline, areas of lush forest and even historical sites. Sailing is, not surprisingly, one of the most popular activities here, but scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, kite surfing and windsurfing are also on offer. Head to one of the inland areas - like Sage Mountain National Park on Tortola - and you'll have access to outstanding hiking trails. For those with a more relaxing holiday in mind, there are some excellent spas and health and wellness centres in the BVI, where you can be pampered to no end and really unwind. If it's history and culture you're after, spend some time on Tortola, which is home to numerous museums, galleries and heritage sites. Among them are the Virgin Island Folk Museum,
s it safe to drink the tap water?
The local tap water is safe to drink, although it is advisable to check with your hotel, as some advise against drinking the tap water.
Where are the British Virgin Islands?
The British Virgin Islands is an archipelago in the Caribbean. Tortola is the largest island.
Where are the best beaches?
The BVI is home to a wide variety of beaches that all have their own attractions and charms. From beaches perfect for sports like surfing to peaceful coves and bays with unusual rock formations, the BVI has it all. One of the most popular beaches to visit is The Baths on Virgin Gorda, which is protected as a national park due to its unusual rock formations. Huge grey boulders line the shore and have created an interesting network of grottoes and pools where the sunlight sparkles on the water. Anegada boasts vast sweeps of pristine sand - like Loblolly Bay, which has been named one of the world's best beaches. Meanwhile on Tortola you have Cane Garden Bay, which is a favourite anchorage for yachts and where you will find a host of restaurants and bars just a short distance from the sand.
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The tourism sector in the British Virgin Islands is continuing to grow, and in 2016 it experienced a significant increase in overnight visitors. Figures released by the government revealed that more than 406,000 visitors stayed overnight in hotels, apartments, and B&Bs by the end of the year. This is the first time that the Caribbean nation has recorded more than 400,000 visitors overnight.
The north-eastern Caribbean's British Virgin Islands (BVI) is hosting its very first month-long celebration of island food this November. The BVI Food Fete's highlights will include the Anegada Lobster Festival, Restaurant Week and a range of street barbecues and parties showcasing local cuisine.
The Great House on Richard Branson's private Necker Island will be opening its doors once again to holidaymakers wanting to experience a truly luxurious Caribbean holiday, after it was badly damaged by a fire in 2011. The nine-bedroom property has been renovated over the past two years and it is scheduled to open again in September, 2013.