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A guide to activities in the British Virgin Islands

Sightseeing in the British Virgin Islands

While the British Virgin Islands may be best known for their pristine beaches and stunning turquoise seas, there are plenty of cultural and historical attractions to discover as well. Many of these can be found on the largest island, Tortola.

Wander around Road Town, the capital of the BVI, and pop into some of its many shops that sell everything from jams and rum to handcrafted jewellery. Among the most interesting cultural attractions are the BVI Folk Museum, Government House, the ruins of the Dungeon - a Spanish fort from the 18th century - and the Callwood Rum Distillery, which is situated in Cane Garden Bay.

On Virgin Gorda, meanwhile, you should take the time to visit the ruins of the Copper Mine, which was constructed and worked by Cornish miners. However, the main attraction on this island is The Baths - an amazing series of grottos and pools created by vast boulders strewn along the shoreline of one of the many pristine sandy beaches.

Water sports to try

The British Virgin Islands is a great place for active travellers to come to, as there is a wide variety of activities on offer across the numerous isles. Water sports are, naturally, a big attraction, with plenty of things to try if you're keen to do something a little different.

The Caribbean is renowned for its outstanding coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it a natural place to go for scuba diving or snorkelling. There are dive schools based on the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke if you'd like to take the plunge for the first time.

Sailing is another popular water-based pastime in the BVI, with many keen yachtsmen and women heading to the archipelago in March and April for its famous annual regatta.

Kayaking, kite surfing, windsurfing and fishing are just a few of the other pursuits you may want to have a go at during your holiday in the British Virgin Islands.

Land-based activities

Of course, there is a lot you can do on land as well, if you don't fancy spending your entire break in the water. Hiking is particularly popular and with numerous national parks to discover, you won't be short of places to stretch your legs.

On Tortola, head to Sage Mountain National Park for some stunning forest walks and the chance to hike to the highest point on all of the islands. Over on Virgin Gorda, make sure you explore Gorda Peak National Park, where there are some lovely hiking trails. Climb to the top of the eponymous mountain and you'll find an observation tower, from where you can take in breathtaking views of the neighbouring islands.

Diamond Cay and Sandy Cay on Jost Van Dyke are much smaller reserves than the other national parks we've mentioned, but still well worth exploring on foot. They are primarily protected as bird sanctuaries, although turtles nest on some of the beaches on Sandy Cay. There are marked trails you can follow here to allow you to discover their untouched beauty.

Rest and relaxation in the British Virgin Islands

While getting active is all well and good, one of the biggest appeals of a holiday in the British Virgin Islands is making the most of the beaches and completely relaxing. Most of the local hotels and resorts are situated next to pristine stretches of sand, so you'll never have far to go in search of the perfect sunbathing spot.

The best resorts in the BVI also have their own spas, so you can indulge in a treatment or two during the course of your trip to ensure you properly unwind and let go of all the stresses and strains of daily life.

If you're looking for undisturbed beaches with little around other than palm trees and the odd fishing boat, spend a few days on Jost Van Dyke. This island has very few amenities and is a wonderful choice if you want to get back to nature and experience the Caribbean in its rawest form.

Excursions and Attractions

day on the beach at norman island

Day on the Beach at Norman Island

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...

diving in the british virgin islands

Diving in the British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands is one of the Caribbean’s premier diving destinations, boasting crystal clear waters, numerous shipwrecks, one of the largest barrier coral reefs in the world and an abundance of marine life. Whether you are an experienced...

fly the bvi (british virgin islands)

Fly the Bvi (british Virgin Islands)

One of the best ways to witness the breathtaking beauty of the British Virgin Islands during your Caribbean holiday is to fly. This tour will take you on a short scenic flight from Beef Island or Virgin Gorda to the stunning coral island of Anegada, where...

glass bottom boat cruise in the british virgin islands

Glass Bottom Boat Cruise in the British Virgin Islands

If you want to explore the beauty of the crystalline waters surrounding the British Virgin Islands during your Caribbean holiday, snorkeling and diving are the most obvious choices. But if you don’t want to get wet, this glass-bottom boat cruise is...

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Necker Island in Caribbean reveals photos of refurbished retreat

Virgin Limited Edition has revealed pictures of Richard Branson's Necker Island in the Caribbean, after it reopened in October 2018. The island retreat has welcomed back guests after it was forced to close due to Hurricane damage. The Great House has two new rooms and a new Balinese style house with accommodation for two adults. The island resort is available to hire exclusively for up to 30 guests.

Richard Branson's Necker Island to reopen in Caribbean this month

Richard Branson's exclusive Necker Island in the Caribbean is getting made to make a comeback this month. The private island closed following significant damage from Hurricane Irma last September, but it will reopen to guests with renovated accommodation and facilities. The reopening will coincide with Extreme Tech Challenge, a global start-up competition.

Chic Cooper Island Beach Club to reopen in British Virgin Islands in April

The trendy eco-resort Cooper Island Beach Club in the British Virgin Islands has revealed it will reopen to guests next month after it was forced to shut when it was damaged by the hurricanes last September. The chic hotel has beachfront accommodation with balconies, a rum bar, brewery and restaurant, and is scheduled to open to guests in April 2018.