Why You Must Visit The British Virgin Islands
A British Virgin Islands Caribbean holiday is like no other Caribbean holiday, from the laid back islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda, to the exclusive luxury of Necker Island.
Christopher Columbus was the first European visitor to the British Virgin Islands. He named them ‘Las Mil Virgines’, or ‘the 11,000 Virgins’, to reflect the number of islands that he could see in every direction! Today, these unspoilt islands are an escapist’s paradise and perfect for those in search of world-class beaches, crystal clear waters, secluded coves and a safe anchorage.
Tortola is the largest island and home to the capital, Road Town from where regular ferry services link to neighbouring islands and the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands. The pace on the islands is slow and laid-back, and the local population are welcoming and friendly. Many visitors seek nothing more than unwinding on a white sand beach, fringed with palms and sea grapes.
One of the best known and most photographed beaches is to be found on the island of Virgin Gorda, where The Baths – an intriguing canopy of giant granite boulders framing seawater grottos – creates a unique setting in which to swim or explore. Best time to plan a visit is in the late afternoon when you can watch the sun set over a host of tiny islands. The scenery below the sea is equally appealing and diving and snorkelling enthusiasts flock to the Virgin Islands to view spectacular coral reefs, breathtaking marine life and numerous shipwrecks.
Necker Island is the pinnacle of private luxury. Owned by Richard Branson, it is one of his favourite holiday spots. When he is not using it himself, it is available for up to 28 guests. It is an utterly private and extravagantly stylish hideaway, where even the rich and famous feel completely at ease. The island itself is a mass of delightful scenic contrasts – rocky headlands are interspersed with beautiful sandy beaches and beneath the translucent blue waters are spectacular reefs of coral and colourful shoals of fish.
With small bays and hidden coves and islands always in sight, the sheltered waters afford some of the finest sailing opportunities in the Caribbean and make the British Virgin Islands the ideal spot to hone your skills in the art of sailing. In fact, the ‘yachtie’ atmosphere is intoxicating as small towns and bays bustle with the comings and goings of yachts mooring up at marinas and anchorages.
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