The British Virgin Islands are made up of four main islands; Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. BVI was colonised by the Brits in 1672 and remains a British Overseas Territory though, unusually, there’s very little British influence to be found.
The main island is Tortola, home to business and trade and the capital, Road Town. It’s also the most popular cruise port. Action centres around the Cane Garden Bay beach area, a beautiful stretch of sand were visitors can stretch out with a fruity cocktail, rent a a sail boat for the day or snorkel around the western edge.
Three of the islands are volcanic and Mount Sage, on Tortola, is the highest peak and popular trekking spot. Anageda is the only coral island and is home to the largest barrier coral reef in the Caribbean, so it’s a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. Experienced divers can explore the wreck of RMS Rhone off one of the smaller islands – the Royal Mail steamer sank in a hurricane in 1867. On Virgin Gorda, the most popular spot is The Baths, a beach area with huge granite boulders and saltwater pools. Shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts at Crafts Alive Market in Road Town.
PLACES TO STAY
Surfsong Villa Resort, Frenchmans, Sugar Mill Hotel, Myette’s Garden Inn are some of the popular hotels in Tortola.
Who goes there : Norwegian Cruise Line, Sea Dream, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, SilverSea, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, Cunard Cruise Line, P&O World Cruises, Holland America Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises.
Best for: Families, couples, divers, watersports enthusiasts, people looking to relax.
Getting around: Cruise ships dock in Road Town and the area around the port has been extensively developed. The downtown area is accessible on foot or mini cabs are available. Ferries are also popular to visit neighbouring islands if you have a full day.