With calm, sheltered waters, moderate trade winds and short distances between each of the 60 islands the British Virgin Islands are paradise even if you can’t sail.
Year-round temperatures as hot as the local goat curry, white sandy beaches, sheltered coves and brilliant turquoise waters, make the BVIs one of the best sailing areas in the Caribean.
Marketed as ‘Nature’s Little Secrets’, there are a multitude of coves and islands to explore – and you don’t have to be able to sail to enjoy them.
The BVI’s calm waters are ideal for first-time sailors to the Caribbean. They are also great for rusty sailors wanting to get up to speed in sheltered waters.
Split the Cost of Hiring a Skipper on Tortolla
A skipper and a chef can be hired by holidaymakers who don’t sail. The advantage of doing this is that a local skipper will know the best places to swim, snorkel, eat out and moor for the night. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Splitting the cost between a group of 10 family and friends will make this option very affordable.
Yachts come in various sizes and can be hired from companies such as The Pacific Wave and Sunsail, which will organise the skipper, chef and all travel arrangements as well.
The highlight of the year is the three-day Spring Regatta at the end of March, where sailors from all over the world take part in races including one to Bitter End. Entertainment and music are held nightly at the tented village at Nanny Cay on Tortolla.
Where to Go – Peter Island, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda
With so many islands to choose from, the options are endless but here are some of the most popular. Have lunch at the superb Deadman’s Beach bar on Peter Island, a 90-minute sail from Tortolla, the main island, or stay at the island’s five-star hotel for a bit of luxury.
Swim the crystal clear waters of Green Cay on Jost Van Dyke and eat at one of the two rocking Foxy’s Taboo’s. The original more rustic Foxy’s is in nearby Great Harbour.
Swim at the Baths, nature’s Stonehenge by the sea, on Virgin Gorda, the BVI’s most popular tourist spot. Wade knee deep through huge granite boulders, saltwater rock pools and cooling grottos spotting turtles along the way.
Explore Caves on Famous Treasure Island
Moor at Norman Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island, and explore the caves, fish, coral and other underwater treasures. Snorkels and flippers are supplied on all the boats.
No sailing holiday would be complete without a drink for two at Bitter End on Virgin Gorda – Columbus named it the fat virgin. Its hotel, bars and restaurants are buzzing with the sailing fraternity especially during the spring regatta.