Day on the Beach at Norman Island
Duration: Half Day
The British Virgin Islands is a British overseas territory and an idyllic holiday destination, comprising 60 islands and cays which make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago. The remaining islands are American territory, forming the U.S. Virgin Islands. Approximately 15 of the British Virgin Islands are inhabited, so there is a vast choice of deserted islands to escape to during your holiday in the Caribbean. This tour will take you the beautiful Norman Island, which is believed to have been the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 19th century novel Treasure Island.
Norman Island is renowned for its legends of pirates, caves and buried treasure. Allegedly, the island was named after a pirate who either bought it or leased it some time during the early 18th century, although this hasn’t been proved. Documented records state that treasure was once buried here, part of which was later found deep in the caves by local residents. Legends of Norman Island are filled with tales of additional treasures still waiting to be discovered here. You are unlikely to find hidden chests of gold and silver on this trip, or pirates roaming the shores, but there is still plenty of fun and excitement to be had on and around the islands’ beautiful beaches.
Covering an area of over 600 acres, and stretching approximately 2.5 miles (4km), Norman Island is the largest uninhabited island in the British Virgin Islands. Its main beach can be found at The Bight, a large sheltered harbour which is often crowded with sailboats, dinghies and swimmers. On this trip you can enjoy a wide range of activities and water sports here, such as kayaking, diving and snorkelling, enabling you to explore the island’s beautiful coastline, which comprises a number of secluded bays and offshore reefs.
One of the most exciting points to explore on Norman Island is Treasure Point, a rocky headland situated at the southern entrance of The Bight. Located at the base of the cliffs are the famous Caves, which can be easily accessed by snorkelers. In and around the caves you will find a myriad of fascinating sea life forms such as brightly-coloured corals and sponges, parrot fish, angel fish, barracuda, sergeant majors, octopus, sea turtles and many more marine species. If you venture deep into the caves, the darkness provides a similar experience to a night dive. Close by, another exciting place to snorkel is The Indians, which comprises four tall rock formations rising from the sea.
After all that exploring, enjoy a refreshing rum punch at Pirates Bight beach bar and restaurant, and then climb aboard the legendary William Thornton floating restaurant for lunch. You may not find buried treasure on Norman Island, but there is a wealth of natural treasures to discover instead – both on land and in the sea.
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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.
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