BVI Reopens on 1st December 2020

I bring you more good news today. The beautiful BVI is completely Covid free – it’s probably the safest place on the planet to visit and starting 1st December…..you can!

I am pleased to report that bookings are increasing for December and throughout next year and people are once again looking forward to visiting the warm shores of the British Virgin Islands.

Sebastian’s on the Beach on Tortola has been completely refurbished and the rooms are lovely. Between November and March the surf is up and you can relax on the beach with a cold beer or wine and watch the surfers riding the waves.

 

Quito’s Luxury Inn, also on Tortola, offers fabulous rooms with stunning views. The beach that Quito’s overlooks is Cane Garden Bay – the sand is soft and the water is warm.  The beer is cold and the rum plentiful.

You could of course jump on the ferry and head over to Virgin Gorda to enjoy the luxury of Rosewood Little Dix Bay. Here, you will be spoiled rotten with 5 star butler service, beautiful rooms and excellent cuisine.

One of the best ways to see the BVI is of course from the water. BVI Holidays offers monohulls, catamarans, by-the-cabin charters and motor yachts. Combine a week’s sailing (or longer) with time ashore. If you can’t sail, we can arrange a skipper or a fully crewed yacht which is all inclusive….you do not have to lift a finger! Nice!

 

Wherever you decide to go in the beautiful BVI, you can rest assured your safety is of paramount importance and you will be looked after.

You are most welcome to call for advice or assistance in arranging your next holiday to the beautiful British Virgin Islands.

 

 

The Beautiful BVI is Reopening

The news last week that the British Virgin Islands will be reopening to visitors on the 1st of December was music to my ears and for a lot of other people as well.

The BVI Government reacted very quickly to the news that the Coronavirus was rapidly becoming a pandemic and banned all cruise ships and sailing regattas in February of this year from entering the territory and followed this in March by closing the borders to everyone.  This resulted in a lot of BV Islanders being stranded abroad but the Government had to take drastic action to protect their islands and the community.

They will be one of the last Caribbean destinations to reopen and this is because they are not taking any chances with your safety or that of their residents.  Of course businesses have suffered as they have here in the UK and around the world.  Everyone is excitedly preparing for the reopening and bookings are flooding in which is great news.  Some people are still nervous about flying anywhere but we have to make the effort, bite the bullet and board that big silver bird once again to far flung destinations.  We all need a holiday and even more so now as some of us didn’t manage to get away at all this year.

Think about booking your holiday to the BVI for 2021 or even 2022 and at least have something in your diary to look forward to.  Many of the hotels in the BVI are holding their current rates for 2021 and some for 2022.

Guana Island is special and like no other place on earth….just look at that view…..

All meals and wine with lunch and dinner are included at Guana and lots of other extras too.  Prices start at £2345.00 per person for 7 nights.  It’s excellent value for money.

The best way to see the BVI is from the water and BVI Holidays offers monohulls, catamarans, by-the-cabin charters and crewed yachts. You can also combine time afloat with time ashore.  Everything in the BVI is so flexible and you are not stuck to “turnaround” days as you are in so many other places.  If you want to arrive on a Wednesday and stay for 5 nights, that’s fine.

You may want to spend a few nights on beautiful Anegada and have a nice villa just for two.  You can do this at Big Bamboo Cottages which are on a beach to die for and right next to a fabulous beach restaurant and bar.

It really doesn’t get much better than this.  5 nights here will cost £680.00 per person.

There are lots of activities to keep you occupied throughout the British Virgin Islands.  If you’re not one for just lying on the beach, you will be spoilt for choice.

You could so easily plan to be here in 2021 – call BVI Holidays – we would love to assist.

 

How Much Does a Holiday in the BVI Cost?

This is something I am asked a lot and just to give you an analogy, it is pretty much the same as asking “how much does a car cost”?  If you called a car sales person and asked that question, the first thing they would ask you is “what type of car are you interested in?”  Same with a holiday to the BVI – at BVI Holidays we would ask “what type of accommodation are you interested in”.  Back to the car questions – “would you like an automatic or manual?”  We at BVI Holidays – “Would you like a villa holiday or do you prefer an hotel?”.  In other words, do you want to stay in an hotel and have everything done for you or would you prefer to have a villa and do your own thing.  Of course, you may prefer to have a sailing holiday and that is different again – “would you like a monohull or a catamaran?  Crewed or bareboat?”

A car salesman may also ask if you would like a Porsche, Aston Martin or perhaps a Daimler or maybe something a little less pricey, like a BMW, Ford or a Vauxhall.  At BVI Holidays we may ask if you would like to book Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Oil Nut Bay or something less expensive like the Sugar Mill Hotel or Sebastian’s on the Beach.

Whatever the conversations or the questions, it all comes down to one thing – how much do you wish to spend on your holiday?  What is your budget?  Only you know what you can afford to spend and there is absolutely no point in a sales person putting a lot of effort and work into presenting you with something that you cannot afford.  Whether it is a car, or a music system for your home, a hot tub for your garden or that all important holiday.  We all need to know how much you are prepared to spend.

At BVI Holidays that is one of the first things we need to know to ensure that we are offering you the perfect holiday that will also suit your pocket.

We also need to know when you wish to travel as prices can vary enormously at certain times of the year.  Let me give you a few examples ….

A Sea View Cottage on Guana Island between 1st June and 31st August will cost £2310.00 per person for 7 nights. This includes all meals, afternoon tea, wine with lunch and dinner and lots of other things too.  The same room between 20th December and 3rd January will cost £6735.00 per person – why?  Because the former period is low season and the latter is peak season.

At the Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola a Deluxe room between 1st April and 24th December will cost £1015.00 per person for 7 nights including breakfast (they also offer an excellent All Inclusive package) and between 25th December and 31st March, that cost will increase to £1360.00 per person.

Villa Tamar on Virgin Gorda is a fabulous 4 bedroom luxury villa with pool.  7 nights here between 16th April and 14th December will cost £720.00 per person based on 8 people sharing whereas the Lighthouse Villas on Tortola for the same period will cost from £340.00 per person for their lead in studio.  These costs will also increase in high season.

Flights are of course additional.

So you see – there are a lot of factors to consider when asking “How much does a holiday in the BVI cost?”  But, that’s where BVI Holidays can help and we will be delighted to assist.  We love all things BVI, we love talking about the BVI and we would love to have the opportunity to send YOU to the BVI on the most amazing holiday you will ever go on….in our opinion of course!

Call BVI Holidays to arrange your next holiday to….the beautiful BVI of course!

Are There Hotels on the Beach in the BVI?

There are many lovely beachfront hotels, villas and apartments in the beautiful British Virgin Islands and here, I am just giving you a very small selection – there are many more!

Tortola is home to the Sugar Mill Hotel which is a lovely boutique hotel with only 23 rooms.  The Sugar Mill is on the beach at Little Apple Bay on Tortola and offers fabulous food, excellent service and stunning views.  The Sugar Mill offers bed and breakfast and all inclusive options to their guests.

Just along the beach from the Sugar Mill is Sebastian’s on the Beach – stunning location and you can surf here between November and March.  The rooms are beautiful and the staff friendly and helpful. It’s so relaxing sitting on the terrace next to the sand sipping a cocktail and lazily watching the world go by.

Quito’s Luxury Inn on Cane Garden Bay, Tortola is just that – luxurious and affording spectacular views over the bay.  The owner Quito Rymer is a renowned musician and artist and entertains visitors to Quito’s Gazebo on a regular basis.

The Lighthouse Villas, also on Cane Garden Bay is a small collection of reasonably priced apartments and close to the numerous beach bars and restaurants on Cane Garden Bay.  Road Town, the capital of the BVI is less than 15 minutes drive.

Lambert Beach Resort and Spa on Tortola has a truly stunning location at the East end of the island and close to Terrance B. Lettsome airport on Beef Island.  Lovely rooms which are scattered among the tropical gardens and along the beachfront, fabulous restaurant and a large swimming pool.

Virgin Gorda is home to lots of beautiful beachfront properties – Rosewood Little Dix Bay is an amazing 5 star luxury resort hotel with butler service, set in tropical gardens with 3 restaurants serving first class food, fitness centre, six tennis courts and two pickleball courts and the most amazing Spa I have seen anywhere with views to die for.  They have a great kids club too from teenys to teens, offering something for every age.  You will never hear your children utter the words “I’m bored”!

Mango Bay on Virgin Gorda offers studio and villa accommodation which is spacious, comfortable and totally relaxing.  They supply kayaks for their guests’ enjoyment and one has a clear bottom, so you can view the amazing marine life without getting wet!  Mango Bay is in a very private location but only a short drive from bars and restaurants on Virgin Gorda.

Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel on Virgin Gorda is in a great location next to the Yacht Harbour.  Their restaurant sits out over the beach and the food is wonderful.  If you just want a simple pizza – this is the place to go.  They make all their own pizzas in their pizza oven and provide a takeaway service too.  Fischer’s Cove is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment of all of their rooms and they are beautiful.  I had a tour a few months ago and was very impressed.  I am looking forward to seeing the finished article which should be around November/December 2020.

Oil Nut Bay is a luxurious property at the northern end of Virgin Gorda where the accommodation ranges from Bay Suites and Cliff Suites for two, to six bedroom luxury villas with pool.  The facilities at Oil Nut Bay are first class and their kids club is aptly named “The Nut House”.  My favourite spot at Oil Nut Bay is the Marina Village where there are shops, a library/reading room and their wonderful restaurant – Nova.  Nova serves delicious tapas and other appetising dishes and you can relax in one of their overwater hammocks or cool off in their pool while enjoying a cocktail or two from the pool bar.

Anegada is the most northern of the British Virgin Islands and unlike the rest of the BVI – completely flat.  It’s easy to reach from Tortola or Virgin Gorda either on the ferry or a very short flight.

Anegada Reef Hotel is right next to the ferry dock, you can walk from here to the hotel.  The hotel is waterfront with the most spectacular views and from here you can hire a jeep or scooter to explore the island and access the many fabulous beaches on Anegada.  Here you will sample the best lobster in the BVI.  Freshly caught every day and grilled on the barbecue on the beach every evening.  Their rooms have been completely refurbished and are very comfortable.  Anegada Reef Hotel is within walking distance of several bars and restaurants on Anegada.

The Anegada Beach Club is located at Keel Point on a fabulous white sand beach and offers romantic Palapa Retreat rooms right on the beach.  Tommy Gaunt, the world class kitesurfer has his kitesurfing school at the Anegada Beach Club and offers lessons in kitesurfing and paddleboarding.  When Tommy and his team take to the sky, the shows are breathtakingly spectacular.

Big Bamboo Beach Cottages on Anegada enjoy a fabulous location on Loblolly Beach and offer the traveller an inexpensive and comfortable base for exploring Anegada.  You will live in t-shirt and shorts or swimwear here for your entire stay.

These represent only a small amount of the stunning beachfront hotels, apartments and villas in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.  Call BVI Holidays for more information.  We are happy to assist and just love talking about the beautiful BVI!  Call us now and this could be you!

 

The Affordable BVI

Many people associate the BVI with Necker Island which as we all know, is owned by the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.  Of course this is correct, but the big mistake made, is that an awful lot of people also think that the BVI in general is only for the wealthy, the rich and the famous.  They could not be more wrong.  There are literally dozens of very affordable properties throughout the British Virgin Islands on various islands and I would like to share a few of them with you.

These are in no particular order but all quality accommodations at affordable prices.

Guavaberry Spring Bay is a lovely property on Virgin Gorda.  They have one, two and three bedroom cottages elevated on stilts set among gigantic boulders and only a few minutes drive from the famous Baths.  The stunning white sand beach at Spring Bay is a few minutes stroll through the beautiful, tropical gardens.

 

The cost for 7 nights at Guavaberry Spring Bay in a one bedroom apartment starts at £680.00 per person.

The Anegada Beach Club on stunning Anegada where Tommy Gaunt the world famous kitesurfer has a base.  The beach here is literally to die for and the snorkelling along the reef is superb.

5 nights here will cost £555.00 per person based on a king size bedroom overlooking the pool and their “Toes in the Sand” restaurant where the lobster is the best you will ever taste.  The photo above is taken from one of Anegada Beach Club’s romantic Palapa Retreat rooms.

Sundowner at Nail Bay on Virgin Gorda is a wonderfully romantic and completely private one bedroom villa just for two.  The views are stunning and there is a great snorkelling beach right on your doorstep.

The cost for 7 nights at Sundowner starts at £1015.00 per person and with an address of 1 Paradise Lane, Virgin Gorda – what are you waiting for!

The Lighthouse Villas on Tortola is right next to the beautiful beach at Cane Garden Bay and offers self-catering apartments.  You can enjoy the many beach bars and restaurants and small boat sailing, plus lots of other activities.

The lead in price for a studio apartment at the Lighthouse Villas is £340.00 per person for 7 nights or for a one bedroom suite (pictured above) – £530.00 per person for 7 nights.

The Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola is a beautiful boutique hotel with only 23 rooms.  Located right next to the beach at Little Apple Bay, they offer a selection of rooms either on bed and breakfast or, alternatively, they have one of the best All Inclusive packages I have seen anywhere.

Above are the lovely private sun pods on Sugar Mill’s beach.  The lead in room category at the Sugar Mill is a Deluxe and will cost £935.00 per person for 7 nights on bed and breakfast.

This is a little flavour of what you can have for your own personal budget in the beautiful BVI and there are many more other affordable properties too.  Remember, flights are additional.

Tempted??  Call or email BVI Holidays – YOU could be sitting here sipping a cocktail and marvelling at this stunning view of the beautiful British Virgin Islands…….

What’s not to like……?

 

What Islands Make up the BVI

I am often asked “which islands make up the BVI?”.  The British Virgin Islands is a British Overseas Territory and consists of approximately 60 islands.  The main islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada (which is the most northern of the BVI) and Jost van Dyke.  Lesser islands include Great Tobago, Salt, Peter, Cooper, Norman, Guana, Beef, Great Thatch, Little Thatch, and Marina Cay.

There are some great stories about the islands in the BVI – Salt Island for example has had a population of no more than 3 people since the 1980s.  They have to pay an annual rent to our Queen also their Queen, of a one-pound bag of salt.  This is delivered to the Governor of the BVI.

Salt Island is most notable for the wreck of the Royal Mail packet steamer RMS Rhone which sank in a hurricane on 29 October 1867 after she was driven back on Salt Island while attempting to head to safety at sea. Most of the ship’s crew were lost. Many of the bodies were buried in a mass grave on Salt Island which is a short walk from the main beach and can be easily seen today. A wide circle of stones is laid upon the grave.

The wreck of the Rhone is one of the best SCUBA diving sites in the Caribbean. Some of the underwater scenes in the film “The Deep”were filmed in and around the wreck.

In the 18th century, two Quaker families came to Guana Island as part of what was called the “Quaker Experiment” which lasted for about forty-five years in the BVI. They cultivated sugar cane and built homes. When they were recalled to the United States and England, they left behind two cannons which are still on Guana today.  Archeologists have extensively studied the Quaker ruins and have also unearthed older artifacts that give insight into Guana’s earlier Amerindian history.

Henry and Gloria Jarecki bought Guana in 1975 and began improving accommodations and other facilities with the goal of maintaining the island’s historic style and ambiance.  An interest in conservation led them to establish a long-term restoration program to protect the island’s flora and fauna and bring back once-common species.  Scientists say that Guana has more flora and fauna than any island of its size yet studied in the Caribbean and possibly the world.  The Jarecki family still own Guana to this day.

Cooper Island in the BVI already produce their own water and electricity, so they decided to be even more self-sufficient and make their own beer too!

Through the picture window in the Coffee Box which is their coffee shop, you can see their brewing room with stainless steel kettle, mash tun and whirlpool, plus five 500L fermentation vessels. They have six craft beers on tap – usually a Lager, Pilsner, Amber Ale & Best Bitter as well as their guest beers such as Wheat, Oktoberfest and Stout which feature during the high season. Their Turtle IPA was launched in 2017 and $1 from every IPA sold is donated to BVI Sea Turtle conservation.

Cooper Island also has one of the best rum bars I have ever seen!  The Rum Bar has a collection of over 280 rums, meaning they have the largest selection in the British Virgin Islands. Featured are a range of house-infusions, rare aged rums and classic cocktails made with rums from all over the world.

Try a rum sampler board and their knowledgeable staff will explain about their origins and history while you take in the atmosphere. And don’t forget to ask about their homemade rum infused chocolates too!

The BVI has many interesting and fascinating tales to tell of pirates and treasure and days of yore.  You really do need to go and see for yourself and….don’t forget to look for treasure!

DCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_1434.JPG

Learn to Sail in the BVI

Can’t sail but would like to learn?  Look no further, the BVI is known as the sailing capital of the world for good reason.  BVI Holidays work with Swain Sailing, who are in our opinion – the best in the business.

The Rob Swain Sailing School on Tortola offers courses from complete beginner to advanced.  From Basic Keelboat to Ocean Passagemaking.

If you just want to learn to sail to enjoy the BVI, the course for you is the Fast Track to Bareboating. This complete certification course can be done in a week and starts from Tortola on a Saturday with Basic Keelboat.

The Fast Track to Bareboating course is designed for beginners and also those who have had some sailing experience, but little to no formal training who enjoy learning at an accelerated pace.

This 8 day / 7 night course combines Swain Sailing’s two day Basic Keelboat course and six day Live Aboard cruising course, offering the most comprehensive sailing course you will find anywhere. Upon completion of this course, students will have the skills, confidence and international certification necessary to bareboat charter a monohull up to 54′.

The key to learning at a more accelerated pace is training on the correct boats and learning from excellent instructors who know how to teach the fundamentals of sailing and have the years of experience not just sailing, but teaching sailing and can impart their knowledge to their students beyond what the standards require.

Course Format: The Progression from Basic Keelboat to Live Aboard Cruising

The progression from Basic Keelboat, covering the fundamentals of sailing to training on a cruising boat helps to reinforce the material, mechanics and techniques.

Fast Track to Bareboating is comprised of two parts. The Basic Keelboat curriculum is structured to challenge every level of person and rewards each with the objective and subjective know how to command a boat of this size.

The second component of the course is Live Aboard Cruising. This portion of the course is designed to instill complete confidence in captaining a bigger (36′ – 54′) sailboat. Bareboating is not necessarily difficult to do. If you want to do it with comfort and confidence, this is the correct and best course to get you to your goal.

Your training can also be done on a catamaran in the BVI, if this is what you would prefer, just ask BVI Holidays for details.

Live Aboard Cruising Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Following an afternoon of big boat tacking, crew over boards, maneuvering under power, sail trim, and eyeball navigation, we find our anchorage on the eastern end of Tortola.  Marina Cay (like all of your stops) is idyllic with a fringing barrier reef for snorkeling or just staring at calm, clear water where the bottom looks six feet away, but could be fifty.

Curriculum

  • Overview of boat (below and above deck)
  • Engine- gauges, shifting, neutral, prop walk
  • Dock lines
  • Electrical panel
  • Stowage
  • Refrigeration (stowage)
  • Safety equipment
  • Dinghy and outboard operation
  • Depth, speed, auto pilot
  • Through haul fittings
  • Propane operation
  • Successful provisioning
  • Maneuvering under power
  • Proper sail raising/unfurling
  • Fair lead placement,tell tales
  • Big boat tacks -team work
  • Rights of way
  • Man Overboards
  • Double Anchor prep
  • live aboard cruising

Day 2

Tuesday you will sail up to the Bitter End Resort located in North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Head ashore for some of the best water sports in the world or stroll through this world class resort, or stay on the boat and watch the sun go down.

We call day 2 “big Tuesday”, in that Swain Sailing cover: solo reefing, solo MOBs, docking practice, upwind sailing performance, and more rudimentary navigation.

Curriculum

  • Mechanical systems
  • Electrical systems
  • Fresh water systems
  • Solo reefing
  • Solo man overboards
  • Perfect sail trim
  • Mooring balls
  • Power spins with prop. Walk
  • Reversing
  • Incessant docking
  • Weather reports
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 3

Anegada is your Wednesday destination. On this day, you will fully cover navigation – all fixes, dead reckoning, gps., lines of position, depth sounder navigation, danger bearings, and more. Along with this comes sail trim and sail shape as it relates to reaching. You cannot see Anegada when you set out so your navigation skills are both fresh and necessary.

Anegada is actually a sand bar on top of a reef. Its mean elevation is six or seven feet which requires solid navigational skills. Always worth the sail, Anegada is almost completely circled by reefs and is surrounded by white beach. After snorkeling the reefs, long walks on the white sand beach, or relaxing in a hammock under sea grape trees, you’ll have dinner ashore at a fabulous restaurant on the beach.

Curriculum

  • Navigation i.e. dead reckoning, lops, (all) fixes, gps depth contours etc.
  • Trimming sails to course
  • Man overboards
  • Position and DR fixes
  • Cooking underway
  • Compass steering
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 4

From Anegada, you will perfect jibe angles and wing on wing skills. It’s the longest sail of the week, so there is ample time for navigational fixes and dead reckoning.

After a long broad reach, you will sail into Cane Garden Bay on Tortola, a picture book anchorage with palm trees and a fabulous white sandy beach, Cane Garden Bay is a small beach community that you will find difficult to leave the next day.

Curriculum

  • Broad reaching with proper trim
  • Jibe angles and wing on wing;preventer
  • Controlled jibes
  • Navigation
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 5

After picking up the anchor, you will reach down the NW Tortola coast, piloting your way to the West End, from there you will tack your way through the Thatch Cut to Norman Island. The snorkeling here is tremendous, and the harbour is always flat and breezy. Whether you enjoy dancing it up on the “Willie T” (a floating bar known by countless visiting boaters) or sitting back on the boat, Norman Island will be on your list of islands to return to.

Day 6

  • Sail instructor back to base
  • More docking practice
  • “Debrief”

Tuition Rates

The tuition rate for the group Live Aboard Cruising course (maximum 4 students) is £1740.00 per person (May 15- November 15); £1895.00 per person (November 16 – May 14).

Rate includes the ASA Bareboat Cruising Made Easy text, first night Tortola hotel accommodations or sleep aboard option, cruising permit, provisioning for 5 days (5 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 3 dinners; snacks and starter kit); ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising certification fee.

The BVI offers the best sailing in the world as you are always in sight of land and Swain Sailing is the best company to learn to sail with.

Call BVI Holidays and we will be happy to arrange whichever course you decide you need – whether you want to brush up on your existing sailing skills, obtain certification or learn to sail from scratch, Swain Sailing is the “go to” sailing company.

Why Go Sailing in the BVI?

The British Virgin Islands (or BVI) is known as the sailing capital of the world and is the perfect Caribbean sailing destination. With calm seas, constant trade winds and line-of-sight navigation, the BVI is perfect for sailors of all levels. There are literally dozens of very different and diverse islands to visit, including the most northern island in the BVI – Anegada.  Anegada is a coral island, therefore an experienced skipper on board is essential to save you from running onto the reef.

What types of yachts are available for rental in the BVI? More or less – whatever you wish. BVI Holidays offers monohulls from 34′ to 54′, Catamarans sleeping up to 13 guests, motor yachts which include power catamarans, crewed yachts for people who don’t sail but want to enjoy the experience of seeing the BVI from the water and by-the-cabin charters where you share with a small group of like minded people.

There are many places to visit while sailing in the BVI but just to give you an idea of what is available, here is a suggested itinerary.

DAY ONE | NORMAN ISLAND, THE BIGHT

So many islands to choose from in the BVI but which one first? Probably your best bet for a brilliant introduction to the Caribbean is to take a short reach over to Norman Island and anchor in The Bight. Here you will find the floating pirate ship “William Thornton” affectionately known as the “Willy T” where you can have a beer or a body shot, depending on the mood you are in! There are also two great restaurants right on the beach, “Pirates” and “The Club”. Pirates restaurant has more traditional island fare and The Club specialises in an excellent tapas menu. Both are great places to hang out with your toes dabbling in the warm water and a frozen cocktail in your hand. There are some wonderful hiking trails on Norman Island and once you reach the top, the vistas to the south are spectacular. Norman Island is reputed to be Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for his book “Treasure Island”. Local legend agrees – apparently treasure was found here in the cave – enough to set the person up who found it as a BVI taxi driver!

DAY TWO | SALT AND COOPER ISLANDS

A short beat up the Sir Francis Drake Channel takes you to Salt Island. Here you can pick up the National Parks moorings and either dive or snorkel the wreck of the Royal Mail Steamship Rhone, a casualty of a bad storm in the BVI in 1867 and famous for its part in the movie ‘The Deep’.  Alternatively, go ashore and visit the settlement and salt pond from which the island takes its name. The annual rent for the whole island is a bag of sea salt which is paid each year directly to our Queen. After lunch, sail to Cooper Island where you can pick up a mooring in front of the beach club bar and restaurant. There is an amazing rum bar, gift shop, a dive shop, and you can even purchase a delicious gelato or two! You may also want to sample a couple of Cooper Island’s new home-brewed beers. Just to the south of Manchioneel Bay is Cistern Rock which offers some of the best snorkelling in the BVI. On any given day you will see squid, turtles, barracudas, and occasionally the odd shark.

DAY THREE | VIRGIN GORDA, THE BATHS

Sail to the Baths, one of the most unique natural formations in the BVI. Consisting of thousands of smooth boulders, some as big as a house, strewn along the beach on the southern tip of Virgin Gorda. You can explore the many gaps that open into massive rocky grottos filled with sea water. Nearby is Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, with a full service marina, shops and restaurants. If time allows you could get a taxi to the nearby Copper Mine restaurant which sits on an old copper mine site. Alternatively from the Baths you can walk to the Top of the Baths restaurant for lunch, killer cocktails, and a dip in their fresh water pool.

If you decide to spend the night in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour or anchor just outside the harbour, you can take a short 10-minute walk to “Coco Maya” which is an excellent restaurant serving great tapas and other delicious dishes along with extremely creative cocktails. Enjoy an after dinner cocktail next to their firepit on the beach.

North Sound, Virgin Gorda offers a huge safe area of inlets and anchorages. Whether you want to snorkel Eustatia Sound with its sunken canyons and great reef fish, or sail past Richard Branson’s Necker Island this is a great area. Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda has two good restaurants, transient dockage and gift shops and ice is available to purchase. There is also a provisioning store, a laundromat and a Spa.

DAY FOUR | ANEGADA

Either relax and spend the day in North Sound or sail the 11 miles north to Anegada. Anegada means ‘drowned island’ and when you see it you’ll realise why! The highest point is 28 feet above sea level and Anegada is famous for its fresh lobster, iguanas and flamingos.

You will have to leave North Sound early in order to arrive at Anegada during the middle of the day. This will give you good light to navigate through the coral heads at the entrance to the anchorage. Once you arrive, take a taxi ride, or perhaps for the more adventurous, rent a ‘scooter’ to Loblolly Bay or Cow Wreck Beach on the north side and snorkel inside the reef or enjoy a beautiful walk along the miles of white sand beaches. Anegada boasts the perfect conditions for kiteboarding and if you are not an avid ‘kiter’ you can always take a beginner lesson from Tommy Gaunt Kitesurfing located at the Anegada Beach Club. After an amazing day you can then head back to the anchorage for smoothies and a lobster dinner at Neptune’s Treasure or the Anegada Reef Hotel.

DAY FIVE | TRELLIS BAY AND MARINA CAY

Sail from either North Sound or Anegada to Trellis Bay on Beef Island, which is a well protected natural safe harbour. An even more tranquil spot is Marina Cay across the channel to the north, off Great Camanoe. A fun-filled Full Moon beach BBQ party, complete with real ‘Moko Jumbies’ is held monthly at Trellis Bay.

DAY SIX | CANE GARDEN BAY/JOST VAN DYKE

Weigh anchor and take a short cruise up to beautiful Guana Island for spectacular snorkelling and a superb beach at Monkey Point. It’s a great spot to picnic. Then take an afternoon sail to either Cane Garden Bay on Tortola’s lush north shore, or to the island of Jost Van Dyke. Great Harbour on Jost Van Dyke is home to the infamous ‘Foxy’s’, and Little Jost Van Dyke or Diamond Cay are also worthy of a visit. From Diamond Cay you can hike over to the ‘bubbling pool’ for some amazing photo opportunities and views to the north. This well-known pool is beautiful to see, but can be very dangerous if the north swell is running so please don’t be tempted to swim. All locations have good anchorages, beautiful beaches, hiking, beach bars and unique restaurants to tempt your palate.

OR – DAY SIX | SOPER’S HOLE/PETER ISLAND

Alternatively on day six anchor off of Sandy Spit and enjoy a swim into shore. You can walk around the entire island in five minutes, but snorkeling around is more fun. Then sail west to Soper’s Hole Wharf, the home of Pusser’s Landing, said to be built on the spot where Blackbeard the pirate once lived. Ashore there are restaurants, boutiques and provisions. For your last night, sail across the channel to Little or Great Harbour, Peter Island and enjoy some amazing snorkeling.

DAY SEVEN | Back to base or embark on another 7 day voyage in the beautiful BVI.

Mooring balls in the BVI are plentiful and easy to pick up for either an overnight stay, lunch or a snorkel stop.

The BVI has many great beach bars and restaurants that are accessible from the water. Just call ahead on Channel 16 to make your reservation or of course on your cell (mobile) phone.

Whatever your sailing requirements may be, BVI Holidays will be delighted to assist in providing the perfect sailing holiday in the BVI just for you.

Where Is There to Eat in the BVI?

This is a question I am asked a lot and it is only possible to give a few examples as there are loads of wonderful bars and restaurants throughout the BVI serving excellent food.

Let’s start with Tortola, the main island in the BVI.  The Sugar Mill Hotel has two excellent restaurants – Tramonti is on the beach and is the Sugar Mill’s Mediterranean themed restaurant and also serves more casual food – pasta, burgers, fish and chips etc..  The Sugar Mill restaurant is fine dining, serving dishes such as scallops in champagne sauce, Tournedos Rossini, escargot and many other tantalising dishes – you can even choose your own lobster straight from the tank.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that!

Tropical Fusion right on the beach on Tortola is wonderful for lunch and dinner – this is a picture of my lunch during my last trip to the BVI…

 

Bananakeet at Carrot Bay on Tortola is set in a fabulous location with stunning views and the food is amazing.  Go on a Sunday afternoon for a dip in the pool, enjoy the jazz band, delicious cocktails and spectacular views of some of the neighbouring British Virgin Islands.

If spice is more your thing – A Taste of India in Road Town, the capital of the BVI is one of the best Indian restaurants I have been in.  The food is simply wonderful and the service first class.

On Virgin Gorda – the second largest island in the BVI, my favourite restaurant has to be Coco Maya.  Choose from the Tapas menu or the regular menu and afterwards, take a cocktail onto the beach and relax around the fire pit.  So romantic…..

There are many more lovely places to eat on Virgin Gorda – Chez Bamboo which serves great food and has a softly lit garden where they have bands on selected evenings, Fischer’s Cove which is right next to a beautiful white sand beach and serves a truly tempting selection of food throughout the day.  They also offer their very own stone-baked pizzas to take away.  The Village Cafe and Restaurant is a beautiful location with a pool serving lunch and dinner or you can drive to Hog Heaven on Virgin Gorda and take in the stunning views while enjoying a cold beer and a delicious pulled pork burger.  The Cove at Leverick Bay is a great little restaurant serving casual food like Cottage Pie and Steak and Ale Pie and on selected evenings they have a fun party night with barbecue and band for dancing under the stars till late!

Anegada is the most northern of the British Virgin Islands, much less populated but still offering lots of wonderful beach bars and restaurants.  The Toes-in-the-Sand Restaurant at the Anegada Beach Club is one of my favourites.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and you are welcome to cool off in their pool before enjoying a Bushwhacker on the beach.

Cow Wreck on Anegada is set on the most beautiful white sand beach and great staff will serve you great food.  Another waterfront restaurant on Anegada is the Wonky Dog offering entertainment on selected evenings and massive platters of fresh seafood and look – it’s that fresh Anegada lobster again, being brought in right on their dock.

There are dozens of other restaurants I could tell you about – far too many to mention here, but rest assured, the food throughout the BVI is world class and will not disappoint.  All dietary requirements are catered for.

I am always happy to talk and suggest places for you to go and to answer any questions you may have.  You just have to pick up the phone and call me.

What is There to do in the BVI?

Answer….lots!

A visit to the British Virgin Islands is not all about lying on the stunning beaches, although of course you can do this too and….there are countless beautiful beaches to choose from.  Not everybody wants to do this all of the time and you are spoilt for choice from the many wonderful and different activities on offer in the beautiful BVI – here are just a few…..

1) The diving in the BVI is second to none and there are many excellent dive companies dotted around the islands all catering for various levels of divers. If you don’t dive but want to learn, the BVI is the perfect location.  Reef diving, wreck diving and night dives too.  The BVI has it all.

Painted Walls

This visually stunning site is perfect for beginners. This site is fun to explore because the colourful canyons create unique passageways for swimming. The sun helps keep visibility fairly high lighting up beautiful corals and all kinds of aquatic wildlife.

Wreck of the Rhone

This is the Royal Mail steamship which sank in a storm in the BVI in 1867. This is the most popular dive site in the BVI that, as an advanced diver, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on. RMS Rhone is rich in history and home to a significant number of artefacts from 1867.

2) The BVI is known as the sailing capital of the world and justifiably so.  If you want to charter a bareboat, choose from monohulls, catamarans or power boats.  If you can’t sail and would like a skipper, this can be arranged for you. If you would like to share aboard a luxury catamaran with like-minded people, BVI Holidays can arrange a By-the-Cabin charter.

If you don’t sail but would like to learn BVI Holidays works with an excellent sailing school on Tortola which offers courses from beginner level to Yachtsmaster and Coastal Navigation.

3) If kitesurfing is your thing, the Tommy Gaunt Kitesurfing School on Anegada offers lessons and equipment rental.

4) On Tortola a high flying trip with The Original Virgin Canopy Tour is a must.  It’s similar to zip-lining only safer and quieter and certainly exhilarating!

5) A day out on the water with Captain Patrick at Celtic Power Boats is not to be missed.  Captain Patrick will take you to places in the BVI that a lot of the locals don’t know exist!  There are also other companies offering day sails throughout the BVI.

6) If you like to kayak, you can either rent your own kayak or book a guided tour through the flats and mangroves with GroundSea Adventures. You can also do this on a paddleboard and really put your core to the test! BVI Holidays can put you in contact with them.

7) Blue Rush Watersports on Virgin Gorda provide clear bottom kayaks, sailing dinghys, windsurfers and paddleboards.  However, a really fun thing to do with them is Fly-boarding.  Josh will teach you how!

8) The Callwood Rum Distillery on Cane Garden Bay, Tortola is interesting, historic and the rum samples are excellent!

9) Road Town is the capital of the British Virgin Islands and home to the beautiful Botanical Gardens – another “must do” to add to your list.

10) If you are staying on Virgin Gorda or just spending the day, you may like to visit the Nail Bay Sports Club where you can play tennis, squash, table tennis, work out in the gym and finish with a dip in the pool and a fabulous meal at Sugarcane restaurant.

These are only 10 of many things you will find to do while holidaying in the beautiful BVI. If you would like more information, please do give us a call on 01279 871188 or drop us an e-mail.