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The British Virgin Islands Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 991

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for The British Virgin Islands, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Capital Tortola
Language English
Time Difference -4 hours
Currency US Dollar
Voltage 110v

Home to some of The Caribbean’s most luxurious real estate, The British Virgin Islands are a treasured favourite amongst distinguished travellers. Comprising approximately, sixty islands and cays, this endearing archipelago maintains delightful, and purposeful, detachment from commercialisation or over-exposure. Just fifteen of the bounteous British Virgin Islands are inhabited and the exclusive, private nature of the region may have you believing you’re the only ones to know about them; a holiday here feels like discovering an exotic haven all of your own.

Whilst the tropical treasure island ambience of The British Virgin Islands naturally encourages relaxation and restoration, there is a wealth of activities available to help ensure you spend your days getting the most out of paradise.

Highlights+
Island-hopping

Sailing around the British Virgin Islands is the best way to make the most of this stunning landscape. Hire a luxury yacht with Elegant Resorts and explore at your own pace, and with the help of your knowledgeable crew you can experience a tailor-made sailing itinerary that includes a host of charming ports of call and exciting activities. Your experienced crew will guide you through inimitably beautiful surroundings, seeing to your every need with wonderful hospitality and service. Unforgettable activities available on this unique trip include snorkelling in a rare coral reef at Norman Island, protected by caves and only accessible by boat, or a visit to Anegada, the only complete coral island in the British Virgin Islands.

Water Activities

The best way to experience The British Virgin Islands as a whole is by exploring the inviting azure waters which surround the islands and cays. A luxury catamaran cruise or yacht charter may satisfy your inner voyager, whilst a scuba-dive adventure will uncover the abundant and colourful sealife thriving under the surface. There is much more to The British Virgin Islands than the miles of unspoilt powdered sands and our featured luxury resorts, located on the largest islands, showcase the very best of this divine location.

Nature

Gorda Peak is Virgin Gorda’s highest peak and is surrounded by a forested wilderness with hiking trails right up to the top. It is a very peaceful place and the habitat of rare birds and lizards – it is possible to see wildlife, including hummingbirds, within the island’s lush landscapes and greenery. A lookout point at the top offers spectacular views back down on the island and the vibrant anchorage at North Sound is where yachts drift in and out with the same ease as is the preferred pace of this tranquil region.

Heritage

Little Fort National Park on Virgin Gorda is a wildlife sanctuary and also home to the ruins of a Spanish fortress, including the remains of a munitions store. However, access to this site requires a hike along a difficult, rugged, undeveloped trail. There are also the remains of an old copper mine at Mine Hill on Virgin Gorda that was once used by Spaniards who travelled through the region in the 18th Century, then used by English miners who came from Cornwall and mined there until the mine’s closure in 1862. The area is also home to White-tailed Tropicbirds, a bird that dives from great heights into the sea to catch food.

Shopping

The Yacht Harbour at Spanish Town has a small selection of shops that sell items including traditional crafts, beachwear, jewellery and gifts with a nautical theme. Duty-free shops can be found on St Thomas Island if you’re looking to combine retail therapy with island exploring. Furthermore, the island of Tortola is home to an eclectic mix of art shops, island-made jewellery and traditional Caribbean resort wear clothing boutiques.

Travel Gems+

The Baths on Virgin Gorda
When visiting The Baths on Virgin Gorda, the best times to observe the tide-driven spectacle are 8-10am and 3-5pm. Changing rooms, lockers and refreshments are available on the beach. Sailing is a delight and passion in The British Virgin Islands and one of the highlights of the social calendar is the Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, which takes place 28th March to 3rd April 2016. This week-long event attracts sailing’s elite and travellers as it is one of the best showcases for the islands themselves. An excellent addition to any BVI itinerary, whether you’re a nautical fanatic or novice!

Music Festivals
Whilst the islands epitomise peaceful private island dwelling and barefoot beachcombing, each year the region plays host to a music festival which brings the BVIs to life. In true Caribbean carnival style the BVI Music Festival celebrates many genres of music, cuisine and dancing long into the night. Now in its 16th year, the dates for the 2016 festival are yet to be confirmed, but the event typically falls over the May Bank Holiday. Please ask your expert Travel Consultant for details of this BVI highlight.

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

 

Climate+

The British Virgin Islands enjoy a sub-tropical climate that is tempered by cooling Trade Winds. Temperatures are warm year-round, with little variation throughout the year. The temperature of the sea gravitates towards the mid to high twenties which is ideal for swimming. Night-time temperatures are also very pleasant. Rainfall is relatively low, however, as with any tropical destination, showers are common and they are often heavy but short – they can occur at any time.

The driest months are from January to July, with a brief peak in rainfall during the month of May. During these months humidity is low, the days are sunnier and the temperatures are not yet at their hottest, making it the most popular time to visit.

The wettest months are August to December, peaking in October and November. However, since showers are usually short, often centre on the mountains and are almost always followed by sunshine, holidaymakers are still attracted to the island during this time. Temperatures are hotter and humidity higher during this time, so you may not find it as comfortable. 

It is important to remember that during the rainy season, tropical showers can cause flash flooding and landslides. In general, this is most likely to happen during the hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, but particularly between August and November.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for The British Virgin Islands.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January2868
February2854
March2857
April2988
May29129
June3073
July3085
August31124
September31143
October30161
November29161
December28119

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Tortola (via Antigua). Private charter flights available on request.

Flight Time
From London Gatwick to Antigua: 8 hours, 40 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Antigua to Tortola: 1 hour.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in BVI and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more details about this outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre. View the travel advice in full here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/british-virgin-islands

Talk to our Caribbean & Mexico Experts

Our dedicated Caribbean & Mexico Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to The British Virgin Islands. Furthermore, we have 6 Travel Consultants who have personally visited The British Virgin Islands and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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