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.
The accommodation options for a luxury beach holiday in The British Virgin Islands are endless. From opulent all-whims-catered to hotel resorts, exclusive luxury yachts and even your own private island, our featured properties on The British Virgin Islands are sure to fulfil any exclusive travel fantasy.
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.
Virgin Gorda enjoys a gentle pace of life, with days generally spent on the quiet beaches and beautiful bays, swimming and watching the sea for dolphins or whales. The island is home to one of the BVI’s most prominent Yacht Clubs and enjoys an affluent clientele and ambience. The intimate island owes her beauty to the picturesque beaches and coves nestled quietly on her edges, whilst the rolling hills are the epitome of unspoilt, lush nature. For a panoramic island view,take a trip to Gorda Peak, the highest point on the island, where an observation deck provides island-wide views and a panoramic vista of the surrounding islands.
Those seeking to make the most of the region’s thriving marine life can take to the water for snorkelling or diving. The waters around the islands are filled with underwater caves, lava tunnels and dramatic shipwrecks, so unleash your inner voyager and take off in search of treasure. The island’s most famous attribute is above sea-level, however. Known as The Baths, this geological wonder is now a national park comprising giant granite boulders, forming pools at the edge of the sea which fill with saltwater; nature’s answer to an infinity pool.
Located next to The Baths, Spring Bay, a local secret, has glorious boulders to climb and one of the best beaches in the region. Savannah Bay is another stunning beach that is long enough to never get crowded, has shallow waters that are great for children and first-time snorkelers, and offers views of The Dog Islands and passing sail boats; it is idyllic island living at its best. For a livelier scene, visit a restaurant in Spanish Town or dance to live reggae music at Bitter End, Saba Rock or Leverick Bay. You can even take a dinghy for a ‘pub crawl’ of some of the eight bars.
If you’re staying at Peter Island Resort & Spa – a luxury private island escape, accessible only by boat or helicopter – 1,800 acres, including lush palm groves, tropical mountains and pristine beaches, are waiting to be discovered. Of the five beaches, the exquisite Deadmans Bay, offers a beach service and from here you can enjoy windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling and other watersports in the protected waters. From here, there is access to the Coral Gardens, a renowned dive site that features an underwater aeroplane wreck, large coral formations and an array of aquatic life. Alternatively, take a picnic lunch to White Bay Beach, on the other side of the island, where you can easily forget that there are other guests on the island. Peter Island presents laid-back luxury at its finest, boasting paradise in paradise. With a range of dining options available, Peter Island Resort & Spa is a truly indulgent and sensory experience for all. From the resort’s signature restaurant Tradewinds, which offers Asian-Caribbean cuisine in the ambience of an elegant European eatery, to the relaxed pool-side peacefulness of Drakes Lounge; this resort is sure to appeal to your head, heart, soul and stomach. Peter Island Resort & Spa is an incredible venue for a one-of-a-kind wedding, whilst the signature spa offers some of the world’s finest luxury treatments.
Necker Island is Sir Richard Branson’s private island and is available for hire in its entirety. Guests staying at Necker Island can live out their James Bond fantasies and take a ride in the aero-submarine Necker Nymph, one of the world’s first underwater aircraft. It’s also another gorgeous location for an incredible wedding. How you spend your time on Necker Island is to your own discretion, but the island’s prominent location on the furthermost Easterly point of the BVIs makes it the ideal spot to begin a day’s island hopping or beachcombing, as you’re sure to pass several secluded and uninhabited gems as you sail. Despite the private and boutique nature of Necker Island, the resort does comprise many of the finest amenities one would associate with a definitive luxury hotel. Private island living doesn’t get much more bespoke than this and, therefore, Necker Island is the ideal choice for those seeking privacy, seclusion and a truly tailor-made luxury beach holiday.
Rich marine life thrives amongst the coral reefs and turquoise waters surrounding the British Virgin Islands and it is possible to spot dolphins, sharks, turtles and tropical fish in their favoured realm. There is fantastic off-shore snorkelling and Rosewood Little Dix Bay offers guided snorkelling tours for an authentic experience. The pure paradise beach of Devil’s Bay, in The Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda, offers the purest of white sands and deep waters perfect for diving. Scuba-diving can also be arranged by most of our featured properties. In addition, watersports including windsurfing, are popular, with Mahoe Bay Beach offering a good choice of water activities.
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.
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.
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.
The British Virgin Islands – mostly tiny and uninhabited – are seemingly made for sailing around. Hiring a luxury yacht with Elegant Resorts is a fantastic way to explore at your own pace, and with the help of your knowledgeable crew you can experience a tailor-made sailing itinerary including a host of possible ports of call and activities. Your experienced crew will guide you through your beautiful surroundings and look after you with wonderful hospitality and service. Exciting activities available to incorporate into this unique trip include snorkelling in a rare coral reef at Norman Island that is protected by caves and only accessible by boat, or at the equally impressive Monkey Point on Guana Island. You might like to visit Anegada, which is the only complete coral island in the British Virgin Islands and one that few visitors are lucky enough to experience. It has sixteen miles of untouched powder-fine beaches where you probably won’t encounter another soul for hours and shallow coral reefs that present breathtaking snorkelling and diving opportunities. The Cooper Island Beach Club on Cooper Island is a popular stop for yachters in the know, serves up refreshing cocktails at the beach bar and lounge, a wonderful atmosphere and seats overlooking the sea. Or, relax on the beach and look out for the turtles that are often seen in the area. At Jost Van Dyke you can anchor just inside the reefs and enjoy superb snorkelling, or swim ashore to The Soggy Dollar Bar; a small, fun bar on a glorious beach and you can even enjoy your drinks in the sea. For something a bit different visit BVI Greenworks located on Cane Garden Bay on Tortola where bottles from local bars are recycled into blown glass items including bowls that you can purchase.
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.
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!
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.
The weekly Asian buffet at Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda has an exceptional choice of dishes. If you get chance, visit Virgin Gorda’s ‘Fat Virgin Cafe’ which is a great place to experience local food in a laid-back setting.
If you’re looking for a luxury villa holiday, Peter Island Resort & Spa has three to choose from; Crows Nest, Falcons Nest and Hawks Nest.
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.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for The British Virgin Islands.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick to Tortola (via Antigua). Private charter flights available on request.
From London Gatwick to Antigua: 8 hours, 40 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Antigua to Tortola: 1 hour.
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 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