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THE ISLES OF THE BVI - AROUND THE ARCHIPELAGO
ALL AROUND THE ARCHIPELAGO
Uncommonly breathtaking, filled with wonder, and yours to discover — the isles that comprise the British Virgin Islands archipelago are the Caribbean’s most treasured jewels. Each is a verdant piece of paradise dotted with endlessly charming points of interest, surrounded by immaculate white beaches and sapphire-toned waters. As you make your way from dock to dock, the unique character of each landing will delight and surprise you while compelling you to explore.
Anegada is one of the archipelago’s most unique islands, given its nearly level coral and limestone topography (in contrast to the volcanic origin of most of the region’s other islands). In fact, Anegada only rises 28 feet above sea level at its highest point! The island is also surrounded by striking reefs, underwater caves, tunnel formations and age-old shipwrecks, making it a popular spot for snorkelers and SCUBA divers. Nature enthusiasts will also discover much to love on Anegada, thanks to a largely unspoiled ecosystem that incorporates several interesting native species (such as rock iguanas, wild orchids, lush tropical vegetation and coloU
rful exotic birds). The island’s main township — The Settlement — is also home to unique island-style lodging and shopping.
Virgin Gorda is BVI’s third-largest island, and was so named by Christopher Columbus — being as he found its shape reminiscent of a reclining woman. The island is regarded as one of the area’s most beautiful, which is high praise given how utterly stunning the archipelago’s isles are in general. Visitors to Virgin Gorda will discover vegetation-lined walking trails, several nature sanctuaries, and a truly awe-inspiring view from Gorda Point. From there, you’ll enjoy a panoramic eyeful of the island’s pristine beaches and national park space. Natural beauty isn’t the only sort that’s on offer, however. Virgin Gorda is also home to several historic sides, including the remnants of early African, Spanish and Indian settlements. The island’s largest city (Spanish Town) is a must-visit for exceptional cuisine, gifts, yacht clubs, luxury lodging, and local culture.
As the archipelago’s largest island, the Capital isle of Tortola is the most likely starting point for your British Virgin Islands adventure.
Ancient ruins of historic settlements past coexist side-by-side with oceanside luxury resorts and modern townships here. Some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the world line the shores of Tortola, inviting romantic strolls and cool dips in the shade of gently swaying palms. Elsewhere, the landscape is characteriSed by lush mountains, hidden harbours, and sweeping plains.
If you’re looking for more exciting escapades (such as water sports, fishing, or boating), then Tortola is more than up to accommodating you there, as well. Anchorages at Brandywine Bay, Soper’s Hole and Trellis Bay afford excellent origin points for sailing, while surfing Cane Garden Bay, or game fishing the North and South Drops are also popular. History buffs will also find much to explore here. Pay a visit to the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum, Fort Burt, Mount Healthy Windmill, Callwood's Rum Distillery, J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens, Old Government House Museum and VI Folk Museum to learn about Tortola’s rich past.
When staying on Tortola, travelLers have a range of options — from luxury resorts, to private villas, and even a scenic campground. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time here, you’ll find both the landscape and the locals to be warm, friendly, and hospitable.
JOST VAN DYKE
Although it’s one of BVI’s smallest islands, Jost Van Dyke (named for a Dutch privateer) still encapsulates an abundance of charm and history.
Intrepid explorers can discover the ruins of early sugar mills, still-surviving explorer footpaths, and near-endless amounts of interesting wildlife here. Archaeological evidence suggests that Jost Van Dyke was visited by civilizations as diverse as the Arawak tribe, Caribs, Africans, the British, and — naturally — the Dutch. Despite its diminutive stature, Jost Van Dyke’s rich melting-pot history has fostered some of the Caribbean’s best dining, with barbecue, Indian and seafood dominating the menus at the isle’s various beachside eateries.
When here, don’t skip visiting Bubbly Pool, a naturally occurring “hot tub”-style swimming hole on the northeast shore.
OTHER NOTABLE ISLANDS
The British Virgin Islands archipelago comprises more than 60 individual islands. The largest are known for rich vegetation, exceptional luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, fantastic food, and friendly locals. Some of the less-prominent islands are completely uninhabited, and designated as national park space. But each has its own character, rich history, and reason to visit. If you’re feeling adventurous, we encourage you to explore.