I am asked many questions about the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Things like – is it easy to swim off the beaches? Is the snorkelling good? How many islands are there? Do I need a visa? How do I get there? etc. etc..
I have travelled to the BVI over the years too many times to count, but it has to be upwards of 50 so I pretty much know the answer to most questions and if I don’t, I know who to go to to find out.
Let me try to answer a few of the questions you may have about the British Virgin Islands.
Yes – it is easy to swim straight off the beaches. The water is warm and the snorkelling is excellent all over the BVI. There are many sailing excursions and organised snorkelling trips you can go on too and experience amazing snorkelling spots – the Indians, the caves at Norman Island, Fallen Jerusalem and many others.
Do I need a visa to go to the BVI? If you are a British passport holder then no you do not. All you need is your 10 year passport with at least 6 months validity.
How do I get to the BVI? The quickest and easiest route is from Gatwick to Antigua then onwards with inter-Caribbean Airways to Tortola. If you want to arrive even quicker, a private charter flight from Antigua to Tortola can easily be arranged.
What is the best time of year to visit the BVI? Generally speaking the BVI enjoys a wonderful climate most of the year and it’s always warm – around 28-30 degrees. My favourite time to go is May or June – the weather is beautiful – you may experience a few short sharp tropical showers which the locals call liquid sunshine (!) but this is the reason that the islands are so lush, green and beautiful. It is also low season so the hotels and villas offer extremely reasonable rates and some even offer free nights.
This is the view from one of the Palapa Retreats at the Anegada Beach Club on Anegada. Heavenly isn’t it. From the 1st of December when the BVI reopens to visitors, YOU could be relaxing on that deck.
There are around 60 islands in the BVI but only around 12 with accommodation on. It is so easy to get around the BVI as they have excellent ferry companies with regular departures. If you are staying on Tortola, it is easy to jump on the ferry to Virgin Gorda or Anegada and spend the day. You can also have a two or three centre holiday depending on how long you wish to spend in the BVI.
If you are on a yacht, you will be able to visit almost all of the islands in a week. Navigation is easy and you are always in sight of land. If you hire a motor yacht, you can have breakfast on Tortola, lunch at Cooper Island or Virgin Gorda and dinner on Anegada. The scenery in the BVI is stunning to say the least and the best way to see the islands is from the water. There are plenty of beach bars and restaurants accessible from the water that provide dinghy docks for visiting yachties.
I hope I have answered at least some of your questions about the beautiful British Virgin Islands. You are of course always welcome to call for more information or to book your holiday to the BVI.