Sailing around the British Virgin Islands

Sailing around the British Virgin Islands

Island hopping in the Caribbean's all-year-round holiday destinations

The Caribbeans are most definitely a paradise for sailing and sea lovers. With all-year-round amazing weather (except for rain season), and breathtaking scenarios, these islands located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico are a true gem in the ocean.

The British Virgin Islands, as mentioned in the name, are part of the oversea British territory and therefore an interesting holiday destination for many Europeans, as well as people from other parts of the world. The territory consists of four main islands - Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke – and 50-some smaller islands and cays. With so many places to discover and turquoise waters everywhere, the British Virgin Islands are perfect for hopping with a private boat.

Let’s discover them together with our exclusive sailing itinerary!

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Best time to visit the BVI

The best time to visit them is from March to June to avoid the big crowds of tourists that spend the Christmas holidays in the archipelago. This is also the best period in terms of precipitation because it has lower amounts of rain compared to the period between September and November. The breezy evenings will make you enjoy your stay even more!  

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Day 1 - Tortola/RoadTown – Pelican Island -  Norman Island

Day 2 - Norman Island - Peter Island – Cooper Island

Day 3 - Cooper Island – Virgin Gorda /The Baths/Spanish Town

Day 4 - Virgin Gorda – Anegada

Day 5 - Anegada – Beef Island

Day 6 - Beef Island – Jost van Dyke

Day 7 - Jost van Dyke


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Day 1 - Tortola/RoadTown – Pelican Island -  Norman Island

We suggest renting your boat in Road Town, where many of our charters are available. We set sail to our first stop of the day: Pelican Island. This inhabited island is a great location for snorkelling and exploring the underwater local fauna, so grab your goggles and dive into the turquoise water for an unforgettable experience.

We then move to the beautiful Norman Island, another great point in the BVI for snorkelling. The Treasure Point Caves are definitely worth a visit: these hidden caves can be explored only from the sea and should be added to your snorkelling list.

Not to miss: The rocky cliffs on the south-western face of Pelican island that plunge into the sea, a very popular snorkelling site. Willy T in Norman Island: the legendary floating bar and restaurant was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017, but brought back to life in recent years. Get there for a unique food and location experience!

The legendary Willy T on Norman Island - credits: www.caribjournal.com

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Day 2 - Norman Island - Peter Island – Cooper Island

The first stop of this second sailing day is Peter Island, the perfect location for feeling like Captain Jack Sparrow in a “Pirates of the Caribbeans” movie. Despite the name, Deadman’s Bay is the prettiest beach on the island, great for enjoying a day of sunbathing and snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters. The bay takes the name from the dead bodies washed up on the shores of pirates marooned and killed by Blackbeard on the neighbouring Dead Chest Island. Not spooky enough to stop us from spending a relaxing day on this white-sand beach, arrr!

We then leave for Cooper Island, another little corner of paradise with sandy beaches and turquoise waters to explore by boat. We recommend mooring at Manchineel Bay to spend the night and stopping at Cooper Island Beach Club for some pampering experience.

Not to miss: calling all scuba divers! Before heading to Cooper Island, make a stop in Salt Island to visit the famous shipwreck of the RMS Rhone, which sank during a hurricane in 1867.

The RMS Rhone shipwreck in Salt Island. Credits: www.tripadvisor.com

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Day 3 - Cooper Island – Virgin Gorda /The Baths/Spanish Town

We set sail to the beautiful Virgin Gorda, the second biggest island of the BVI. The first thing to visit is most certainly the renowned Devil’s Bay (The Baths) National Park, which comprehends a boulders-strewn beach near Spanish Town that remind us of how crazy and beautiful nature can be. Spend some time enjoying this marvellous part of the island, exploring the natural caves and grottos scattered on the beach. Spanish Town itself is also worth a visit and it hosts an excellent Yacht Harbour

Not to miss: Head to Virgin Gorda Peak for some of the most beautiful sceneries you’ll ever witness!

The famous Baths on Virgin Gorda

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Day 4 - Virgin Gorda – Anegada

You probably won’t see it immediately on the horizon (because it’s flat - no peaks, no hills, nothing) but this island hides some real beauties! Anegada is the southernmost island of the archipelago and it’s home to flamingos, rock iguanas and rare plant species like sea lavender.

The turquoise waters that surround this islet invite for a long, refreshing swim. Take your time and enjoy the day exploring this little gem.

Not to miss: The lobster at Potters By The Sea are a must-try!

Turquoise waters and white beaches on Anegada Island

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Day 5 - Anegada – Beef Island

Anegada is the beautiful island that will host us on the fifth day of this journey. The island is great to visit on the land, and we suggest renting a scooter for a day to explore every corner: here you will be able to spot flamboyances of flamingos that found their home in the evaporated basins used for salt extraction.

Cow Wreck Beach is one of the stunning white-sand beaches that we suggest visiting, but if you’d like to be pampered a bit, head to Anegada Beach Club, not far away from the snorkelling area of Keep Point.

We finally reach Beef Island as our final stop of the day. Long Bay Beach is perfect to relax and call it a day, but if you’re still into some action, you can visit Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, inaugurated by Her Majesty in 1866.

Not to miss: Horseshoe Reef is Anegada’s most acclaimed snorkelling spot as well as the third largest reef in the world (39 miles long): tunnels and caves full of sea life and vibrant corals. It requires a boat to reach, so make sure you plan ahead!

Cow Wreck Beach on Beef Island

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Day 6 - Beef Island – Jost van Dyke

We set sail to our final destination, Jost van Dyke. The island was named after a Dutch pirate who lived there and is the smallest territory in the British Virgin Archipelago. White Bay is the most popular spot for snorkelling and swimming with an amazing variety of coloured fish, but if you’re more into sports you can surf, jet ski, or practice other water sports in Cane Garden Bay.

Not to miss:  Jost Van Dyke hosts the renowned Soggy Dollar Bar, where you can sip their signature cocktail called “the Painkiller” with your feet digging in the sand of White Bay. Best painkiller ever!

The famous Painkiller, signature cocktail at Soggy Dollar Bar in Jost Van Dyke

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Day 7 - Jost van Dyke

We spend the last hours in Jost Van Dyke soaking up all the sun and swimming in the turquoise waters around the island before heading back to our charter company. The distance between all the British Virgin Islands is relatively short, and nothing stops you from making another stop in your favourite location of the holiday before the end of the day.

How many memories can you make on these islands before going back home?

White Bay on Jost Van Dyke Island

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If you liked this itinerary and would love to make a wonderful experience in the British Virgin Islands, we suggest checking our boat availability on our website.