Tropical: British Virgin Islands

February 6, 2015

With beautiful tropical temperatures, steady warm breezes, and white sand beaches along calm blue waters, the British Virgin Islands are an idyllic location for a romantic honeymoon getaway.

Take in the beauty of the four main islands – Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost van Dyke – or explore the other 50 smaller islands and cays that make up the BVI chain.

The British Virgin Islands can fill your days with many adventures, especially for those who are sailors-at-heart and anyone who loves being in and on the water. You can enjoy sailing, snorkeling, diving, beach activities, fishing, kayaking, kite-boarding, surfing, wind-surfing, and even swimming with dolphins! Arrange a private tour to sail between the islands on a yacht – or charter a boat where you can spend the night onboard and island-hop as you please. Follow the path of Blackbeard as you explore the beautiful isles that inspired the book “Treasure Island”!

If you are a sailing fan, be sure to book your trip well in advance to join in the festivities of the week-long Spring Regatta, which is held every year in early April. Races take place daily throughout the islands – with everything from dinghies to yachts chasing the finish line. There are plenty of activities to participate in, including festivals and nightly parties.

Tortola is the main capital island of the BVI, with a sheltered yacht-filled harbor, secluded bays with beautiful white sand beaches, the rainforests of Sage Mountain National Park, botanical gardens, and several historic sites that whisk you away to the past of the West Indies. Shop for local spices, rum, and art in the Main Street area of the capital city, Road Town, or tour a rum distillery. Catch the perfect wave at the mecca of surfing, Apple Bay Beach, then join in a Friday night fish fry with the locals, under the banyon trees. Share an intimate romantic 4-star dinner in a converted 17th century sugar mill. Stay at one of the seaside resorts or rent a private villa.

The nature-lover will enjoy a “barefoot elegance” stay on the quiet island of Virgin Gorda. Hike trails lined by native plants. Discover the large granite boulders and exotic pools of the famous The Baths National Park on the North Shore. Or sit back and relax – hire a driver for a private guided tour of the island. Take a ferry to the all-inclusive Bitter End Yacht Club for your stay in a waterfront cottage and enjoy a cool beverage in the double hammock on your private wrap-around porch. Unwind in your own private villa rental, away from the hustle and bustle or escape to a beachfront cottage at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay and wander their garden paths to the unique cliffside spa.

Anegada – which means “drowned land” in Spanish – is the perfect spot for snorkeling and SCUBA diving. It is a small coral island, the only one in the volcanic chain of the Virgin Islands, and is home to Horseshoe Reef, the third largest continuous reef in the Caribbean. Stingrays, needle fish, parrot fish, and more interesting species leisurely guide you through mazes, tunnels, and drops, as well as several shipwrecks from British warships to Spanish galleons. When you get out of the water, relax on the protected sandy beaches, keeping watch for exotic birds, wild orchids, rare rock iguanas, and other wildlife that is exclusive to the island.

Visit Jost Van Dyke – named for a Dutch settler and former pirate – to explore sugar mill ruins and indulge in local culinary fares such as flying fish sandwiches, fresh lobster, and West Indian rotis or go to Club Paradise to try their famous conch stew and barbecued ribs. The island is also known for their cocktails – especially “The Painkiller” at The Soggy Dollar Bar. Watch for whales and dolphins or check out the East End’s natural sea-formed jacuzzi.

If you can get tickets, ring in the New Year at Foxy’s Old Year’s Night party in Great Harbour, aboard one of the many docked yachts.

This is definitely a trip that you will want to book through a travel agent. When you visit the British Virgin Islands, it is easiest to fly through San Juan, Puerto Rico, or St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and take a charter flight, helicopter, or ferry transfer to the BVI island of your choice. Most of these transfers only operate during daylight hours, so your travel agent will make sure your resort or private villa rental has transfers available, if you happen to arrive later in the day. Your agent can also arrange for you to stay the first night in San Juan or St Thomas before making a connection the next day. Take advantage of their experience and industry connections when you set sail on this trip-of-a-lifetime!


Lisa Hoppe Travel Consulting has been providing travel services to thousands of satisfied clients since 1991. They are a regular contributor to Premier Bride on honeymoon and destination wedding topics.

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