If you are one of those who have dreamed more than once of living adventures sailing turquoise seas by boat, fighting with bloodthirsty pirates or discovering treasures hidden in paradisiacal islands, sailing the British Virgin Islands or BVIs will be a unique experience that you cannot miss.
The BVIs, discovered by Christopher Columbus, are an archipelago of more than seventy islands and islets of volcanic origin, many of them uninhabited, located in the Caribbean Sea, east of Puerto Rico and north of the American Virgin Islands. Its four main islands are Tortola, where Road Town the capital is located, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
Reasons to sail the British Virgin Islands (BVIs)
Playground of countless pirates, such as the famous Blackbeard, the BVIs are recognized as one of the best sailing destinations in the Caribbean and even the entire world.
Discover its spectacular turquoise waters. Relax sunbathing on its white sandy beaches. Snorkel with cute sea turtles or explore coral reefs of a thousand colors. The BVIs are an ideal postcard destination for boat vacations with family or friends.
“You certainly have to get lost to find a place that can ́t be found, or else everyone would know where they are.“ - Captain Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean.
Sailing the BVIs will delight sailing lovers, with or without experience. The trade winds blow in a pleasant and constant way in calm sea. Also, the distance between the islands is small, which will allow you to make short, comfortable and easy navigation crossings.
As a good cradle of pirates, in the BVIs you will find lively beach bars where you can have a famous Caribbean rum while you dance barefoot on the beach.
You will also enjoy a great climate practically all year round, without forgetting the Caribbean hospitality. All this will make your vacation sailing the British Virgin Islands an experience to live at least once in life, whether with your family or friends.
What you can't miss in the BVI
- Explore the spectacular beaches of The Baths National Park.
- Enjoy a Ron Punch to the rhythm of reggae at the beach bars of Jost Van Dyke.
- Try the famous Anegada lobster.
- Look for hidden treasures in Norman Island (the famous Treasure Island).
One week itinerary sailing the BVIs
Note: The dots indicate the approximate places where the ship anchors at night.
In this post, we propose you a 7-day sailing itinerary in the British Virgin Islands to enjoy with your family or friends. If you want to enjoy your vacation very calm, to the "rhythm of the Caribbean", it is also very common to charter a boat to sail in the British Virgin Islands for 10 days or even two weeks. At the end of this post, we include a map with the route for a 10-day boat cruise in the British Virgin Islands.
The most popular way of sailing in the British Virgin Islands is by charter catamarans. Although you can also explore the islands by sailboat or motor yacht.
Note: This itinerary is an inspiring guide. You can take it as a starting point and make the necessary modifications to adapt it to your preferences. If you rent a skipper boat, remember that he will always have the last word, depending on weather conditions.
Useful Information for sailing the BVI
|Cruise duration:||7 nights|
|Nearest airport:||Terrance B. International Airport. Lettsome (Tortola)|
|Arrival at the marina:||The marina is 10 km (15 min) from the airport. Private transfer service, taxi, public transport.|
|Best time to sail:||The best weather is from December to May, but you can sail most of the year.|
|Best time to book:||It is recommended to book several months in advance.|
|Weather and winds:||Annual temperatures are between 24ºC and 28ºC. The rainy season is from June to October. Hurricane season is between September and November. The trade winds blow from the E or NE constantly during most of the year with a force of 10 to 20 knots. Exceptionally, during Christmas the "Christmas winds" usually arrive with a force of 25 to 30 knots.|
|Recommended holidays for:||Enjoy family time, groups of friends, nature lovers, relaxing vacations, snorkeling and diving, beach bars, paradisiacal tropical landscapes, explorers and adventurers, beach and sun.|
|Indicative price boat rental for 8 people:||From € 3,000 / week full boat (€ 300 / week / person)|
Detailed 7-day guide to sailing the BVIs
Day 1: Sailing the Caribbean: Cooper Island - 7 min - 1h 15 min
Welcome aboard pirates! Your week-long sailing holidays in the British Virgin Islands begins at Road Town Marina, Tortola. From there, our ship will anchor at Cooper Island.
We will anchor safely moored to a buoy in Manchioneel Bay. The place has everything to be a little piece of paradise. The turquoise water gently bathes a white sand beach protected by palm trees. It is our first day of vacation sailing the Caribbean. Relax under the sun, snorkel or have a nice walk on the beach. If you're in the mood for a refreshing cocktail or the day at sea has whet your appetite, the Cooper Island Beach Club will be a great option.
Day 2: Exploring The Baths National Park, Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda Island will conquer you. The paradisiacal beaches of Devil's Bay and The Baths National Park, some of the most exotic beaches in the world , are a mandatory stop. It's time to explore its labyrinth of caves, passageways, and crystal-clear natural pools formed among the giant stones. The area offers impressive routes for lovers of hiking and nature.
If you get thirsty with so much activity, Spanish Town offers a great variety of “Beach and Rum Bars” where you can enjoy a piña colada. A very good option is the pleasant Cocomaya.
North Sound, in the northern part of Virgin Gorda, is the ideal place to spend the night. Leverick Bay or Prickly Pear Island are probably one of the best anchorages in the British Virgin Islands. It is a beautiful bay surrounded by nature, with shallow waters and a very good refuge. The perfect place to enjoy a beautiful night under the stars.
Sailing the British Virgin Islands is a roller coaster for addicts to new experiences. So do not miss making a stop at The Dogs, a group of islets where you can dive in its live coral reefs of thousands of colors.
Day 3: Anegada: The island of calm
There are those who assure that Anegada is far from the rest of the islands and that its visit is not worth it. For us, this island maintains the true spirit of the Caribbean. It's quiet, there are no crowds, it's surrounded by reefs that stain the sea with a thousand colors and it's full of deserted white beaches, where time passes slowly.
Our boat will sail during a pleasant journey of around two and a half hours to Anegada. And far from being an inconvenience, it will be the perfect time to enjoy sailing. Feel the sea breeze and relax in the sun. In the end, this is why you have chartered a boat to sail the BVI.
Anegada Island has a single anchorage, called Setting Point. It will be fun to rent a scooter or a summer Moke from there to explore the secrets of the island.
Want to find a yacht to sail around British Virgin Islands?Explore yachts for charter in British Virgin Islands
Day 4: Sail the BVI: Anegada lobster
Anegada is a mandatory stop for nature lovers. It is also the perfect place to disconnect and enjoy the essence of the Caribbean with family or friends. Despite being a place where time does not seem to move, the island has lots of activities to offer.
Take a selfie with the flamingos in the salt ponds, your friends will envy you. Snorkel on the reefs surrounded by impressive marine life. Visit the iguana sanctuary or just relax and enjoy spending time with loved ones on its spectacular and peaceful beaches. You cannot miss Cow Wreck Beach or Loblolly Bay, possibly one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. If that's not enough, go to Potter’s and try its famous lobster. You’re gonna end up licking your fingers!
At this point, you will have no doubt that this sailing week hopping from island to island in the BVI is turning out to be a once in a lifetime experience.
Day 5 - The most beautiful islands in the Caribbean: Guana Island, BVI
Sailing around the British Virgin Islands by boat and hopping from island to island is a treat for the senses. Today we will enjoy the longest trip of our holiday in the Virgin Islands.
Our catamaran sails to the island of Guana. This small private island hides some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. White Bay gets its name for its spectacular tropical white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise sea.
For diving enthusiasts, the island hides several reefs and sunken ships, home to more than 150 varieties of tropical fish. Be sure to explore Monkey Point at the southern tip if you want to enjoy a five-star snorkel.
Some say that Guana Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. But it is not just a marine paradise, if you decide to explore the small island by land, you will discover endless routes that will make you feel like the protagonist of an adventure book discovering a desert island.
Note: If you are a true pirate, instead of nature you may be interested in the Full Moon Party , which takes place in Trellys Bay.
Day 6: Jost Van Dyke, the BVI by boat
Jost Van Dyke is a pirate island, just as you imagine it. Spectacular tropical beaches with turquoise water, trails of lush vegetation and home to the most famous “Rum bars” in the Caribbean.
“They say that not all treasures are silver and gold, S andy Cay and Sandy Spit islands are a good proof of this...”
The ideal time to explore Sandy Cay or Sandy Spit is in the morning, two postal gems that will leave you speechless. Snorkeling in this national park, among friendly tropical fish or exploring its islands by kayak or paddle surf will be an unforgettable experience.
Jost Van Dyke is home to two of the BVI's most famous beach bars. It's time to show if you are a true pirate by taking a “Painkiller” at the Soggy Dollar Bar, located on the beach of White Bay. It will be the perfect moment to enjoy the sunset dancing on the sand with your family or friends.
Day 7: Norman Island: Sailing to “Treasure Island”
Hands up! You have just arrived on Norman Island, the island on which Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired to write his famous novel Treasure Island.
Sailing the British Virgin Islands is a journey to share unforgettable adventures. Our last day of boat vacation will be the icing on the cake. Our ship is safely anchored at The Bight Bay. You can explore the caves at Treasure Point from there, where you might find a hidden treasure.
You can take a dip in the The Indians picturesque islets in the morning, they are located around Norman Island. Or maybe you just prefer to dive among the ruins of the RMS Rhone, a ship sunk in 1867. And if the treasure hunt has whetted your appetite, Pirates Beach Bar is the place to be, perfect for buccaneers of all ages.
Once you return to Tortola, you will have the opportunity to share a dinner with your family or friends while remembering the incredible experience of sailing the British Virgin Islands on your vacation.
10-day British Virgin Islands (BVI) sailing itinerary
As you have seen in this post, the British Virgin Islands have a lot to offer. For this reason, we leave you an alternative itinerary in case you want to sail the BVI for 10 days and enjoy your vacation in the Caribbean with a very tropical rhythm.
What do you think about our one-week itinerary sailing the British Virgin Islands (BVI)?