British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands dubbed ‘the Nature’s little secret’ are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea, east of Puerto Rico. The dwarf state has a total area of only 150 km² (58 mi²) and a total coastline of 80 km (49.7 mi). Its land mass is about 1.2 times the size of San Francisco. The British Virgin Islands are thus one of the smallest countries in the Americas by area and ranked 223rd worldwide. This is one of the reasons it is tranquil and thus a popular destination for those who want to escape the rat race. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago; the remaining islands constitute the US Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands.The Island group consists of about 60 islands and cays but only 15 are inhabited. The British Virgin Islands have no direct neighbours. The distance between New York City and the Capital, Road Town is about 2,630 km (1,634 mi). The capital, Road is in Tortola, which is the largest Island measuring about km long and 5km wide
Virgin Islands consist of the main Islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. The capital, Road Town, is situated on Tortola, the largest island, which is approximately 20 km (12 mi) long and 5 km (3 mi) wide. The islands have a population of about 27,800, of whom approximately 23,000 live on Tortola.The British Virgin Islands were administered as part of the British Leeward islands with St Kitts and Nevis, before gaining colony status in 1960 and autonomy in 1967. Under its latest constitution, which was adopted in 2007, the Territory operates as a parliamentary democracy hence HM The Queen remains Head of State with the elected premier presiding over the single head of parliament. National motto
is: Vigilate (Be Watchful) Virgin Islanders are classed as British Overseas Territories citizens and have had full British citizenship. Nevertheless, the territory is not part of the European Union and is not subject to EU laws, and its citizens are considered to be citizens of the EU. Islanders reflect British Tradition cum custom and their language is English. The countrywide time on the British Virgin Islands is Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is currently 4 hours behind London. As in many countries, there is no daylight-saving time on the British Virgin Islands. The currency on the British Virgin Islands is US Dollar (USD).
The traditional music of the land is ‘Fungi’ which is named after a cornmeal dish made from okra. The British Virgin Islands main religion is: Christianity which includes Methodist, Anglican and Roman Catholic. American influence has made basketball a more popular sport than cricket and immigrants from Spanish-speaking islands brought salsa and merengue to the British Virgin Islands The Islanders dress code is informal in most occasions except formal requirement of some luxury Hotels. Their customary way of greeting is a hand shake!
Here are 11 irresistible reasons to visit BVI
- YEAR-ROUND SUNSHINE:
Climatic condition in British Virgin Islands is that of subtropical with the trade winds exerting considerable influence. However, the sun shines year-round and temperature remains constant, maintaining an average of 24–28⁰C round the year. The best time to enjoy the weather is between April and May with a peak around October.Expect some rainfall between May to December, the wettest period been around September to November with occasional thunderstorm but Hurricane is rare. The beauty of it all, is that, the sea is warm enough to swim in, all year!The tourist high season is from mid-December to mid-April as these are the driest months. Just outside of this peak season is also a great time to travel as it can be more affordable and the weather is still comfortable.
Tropical white sand beach with beach chairs. Jost Van dyke, British Virgin Islands.
- SUNBATHE ON THE WHITE-SAND BEACHES
Most British Virgin Islands are endowed with white-sand beaches with spectacular white-bay been the most famous. The Islands also boast of clear blue waters, all which proffer loads of opportunities for sunbathing and water sports under the beaming sunshine. So many come here to relax and sunbathe in their white-sand beaches.
- SERENE AND PEACEFUL
The British Virgin Islands is relatively less in population density and thus devoid of hustle and bustle. For this reason and many more, that it is, a popular destination for celebrities, lovebirds and holidaymakers who want to escape the rat race and unwind. Many of the islands are uninhabited but instead are home to wildlife havens and national parks, making them the perfect place to visit.
- AIR PURITY AND CLEANINESS
The Islanders are very environmentally aware and strive to foster green energy and the air is clean. So, if you love nature and you’re eco-conscious, this is a perfect destination for you.
British Virgin Island exotic cuisine
- EXOTIC CUISINE
Migration significantly altered the social-cultural landscape of British Virgin Islands including their food. Due to their inter-Caribbean migration, many foods from other Caribbean countries have been adopted into the BVI traditional cuisine. For example, a popular dish is roti, of Indo-Trinidadian origin, which consists of curried vegetables and meat wrapped in a paper-thin dough.Fungi – is a main staple of the traditional BVI diet. It consists of corn-meal that has been boiled and cooked to a thick consistency along with okra. It is usually eaten with boiled fish or saltfish.Callaloo – is a soup made from callaloo bush/leaf, often substituted with spinach. It consists of assorted meats and okra, and is boiled to a thick stew consistency. It is often flavoured with any combination of the following: salt beef, pig mouth, pig tail, hot peppers, ham bone, fresh fish, crab, corned conch, okra, onions, and spices.Fresh seafood naturally dominates most menus in the BVI with an plenty of spiny lobster, top quality conch, fresh mahi, and succulent grouper. You might want to brave the national dish of fish and fungi – white fish braised with tomatoes and spices and served over a cake of okra and corn-meal. Local chefs are generous with spices including jerk chicken, curry, and garlic.Main local fruits consumed in BVI are: sugar apple, mango, papaya, soursop, genip, sea grapes, tamarind (can be made in a sweet stew or rolled in sweet balls), and goose berries (small green sour fruit, smaller than a grape). These fruits are stewed together with sugar for a sweet snack.The most famous drink in the entire BVI, is the classical ‘Painkiller cocktail’ which was created by George and Marie Myrick of the Soggy Dollar Bar on the western Island -Jost Van Dyke Island, in 1971. It is now served in almost every restaurant and on every island in the British Virgin Islands and is now considered the official drink of the BVIs.6.CRYSTAL-CLEAR TOURQUOISE WATERS FOR WATER ACTIVITES:
Fresh seafood naturally dominates most menus in the BVI with an plenty of spiny lobster, top quality conch, fresh mahi, and succulent grouper. You might want to brave the national dish of fish and fungi – white fish braised with tomatoes and spices and served over a cake of okra and corn-meal. Local chefs are generous with spices including jerk chicken, curry, and garlic.Main local fruits consumed in BVI are: sugar apple, mango, papaya, soursop, genip, sea grapes, tamarind (can be made in a sweet stew or rolled in sweet balls), and goose berries (small green sour fruit, smaller than a grape). These fruits are stewed together with sugar for a sweet snack.The most famous drink in the entire BVI, is the classical ‘Painkiller cocktail’ which was created by George and Marie Myrick of the Soggy Dollar Bar on the western Island -Jost Van Dyke Island, in 1971. It is now served in almost every restaurant and on every island in the British Virgin Islands and is now considered the official drink of the BVIs.6.CRYSTAL-CLEAR TOURQUOISE WATERS FOR WATER ACTIVITES:
BVI is naturally endowed with picturesque beaches, soft breezes, warm waters and an incredible array of life above and below her waters, it is truly ‘nature’s little secrets’.World renown sailors or non-travel to the BVI to enjoy these beautiful, blue, clear and well-preserved waters. A unique point is wherever you are on land you can see the ocean and where you are on water there is always land in site.So, no matter what you seek, whether solitude, surfing, swimming, scuba-diving, sailing, snorkelling, Kayaking and canoeing or simply sitting on a perfect beach, the British Virgin Islands have something to offer you. Every March, the BVI features Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. The BVI are known as one of the world’s greatest sailing destinations, and charter sailboats are a very popular way to visit less accessible islands.
- BEST NIGHTLIFE EXPERIENCE:
BVI boast of abundance of exciting nocturnal adventures to behold both week-nights and weekend-nights. The numerous live entertainments ranges from live music, clubs, calypso and reggae bands, bars, restaurants, pubs etc. Best places for nightlife in BVI include: Soggy Dollar Bar, Foxy’s Bar and Bamboushay, chillout Charters, Scatos Bus N Taxi-Tours, The beach bar at nanny cay
BVI beach outlook
- MUST-VISIT BEACHES
BVI beaches are one of its best treasures in the Caribbean. It is packed with lush rain forests, pristine beaches and all-inclusive resorts. So, whatever you’re looking for, be it, sunbathe, snorkel or just sip a tropical cocktail, BVI has the perfect beach for you and loved ones.Some of their spectacular beaches are: White-Bay Beach in Jost Van Dyke, Cane Garden Bay Beach and Brewer’s Bay Beach in Tortola, Devil’s Bar National Park and Spring Bay National Park in Virgin Gorda, Cow Wreck Beach and Loblolly Bay Beaches in Anegada, and the Sandy Pit located east of Jost Van Dyke
5 star Hotel in BVI
- LUXURY AND AFFORDABLE HOTELS
Contrary to speculation, BVI is for everyone both rich and poor. There handful of luxury as well as affordable Hotels.The 3 best Luxury Hotels are:SCRUB ISLAND RESORT, SPA & MARINA, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTIONThis is a boutique luxury hotel on Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands. The resort features 26 ocean view guest rooms; 26 ocean views one-bedroom suites; two-, three- and four-bedroom luxury British Virgin Islands villas; a 55-slip marina and the Ixora Spa. It provides guests access to modern luxuries and amenities, as well as a unique opportunity to explore the unspoiled natural beauty of Scrub Island and is close to local attractions such as ‘The Baths National Park and Wreck of the RMS Rhone’.
ROSEWOOD LITTLE DIX BAY in Spanish Town, BVIA luxury hideaway in a private, 500-acre beachfront estate with 80 guest rooms, suites, beach houses & villas. Laurance Rockefeller, a champion of conservation, opened this resort in 1964, with a view to creating a “sophisticated fishing village” vibe. It is family friendly.GUANA ISLAND in Road Town, Tortola Island
- It is accessible only by boat or helicopter. There’s only a maximum of 40 guests in residence at a time, which makes it feel like a private club.
Available services and facilities are: Restaurant, Bar, Pool, Spa, Wi-Fi. Tennis court, Beach.Some affordable Hotels in BVI includes:
- Sugar Mill
- Maria’s By the Sea
- Sebastine’s On the Beach
- The Heritage Inn
And many more!
- TOURS AND DAY TRIPS FOR SIGHTSEEING
BVI remain a popular travel destination for sailors, fishermen and women, divers and other independent travellers. Whatever is your travel objective, there are a handful of day trip and tours to enjoy. They include:Bus and mini-van tours, walk tours, Shore excursions, Photography tours, city tours, cruise and water tours, helicopter tours, sustainable tours and many day trips for your unforgettable encounter.
- YEAR-ROUND FESTIVITY
Weather you choose to visit in winter or summer, be sure of a festive event. Some are:
- BVI FOOD FETE IN NOVEMBER:
This is a celebration of British Virgin Islands cuisine, with a series of events which includes; ‘Taste of the BVI’ events on Tortola and Virgin Gorda, each featuring cookery demonstrations, mixology competitions and live music. The Anegada Lobster Festival is perfect for those who love lobster, a two-day culinary festival which takes place on the coral island of Anegada and allows visitors to sample excellent dishes created by talented local chefs.
- CHRISTMAS ON THE MAIN STREET
This three-day event which has been a popular outing for many families since its inception in 1999. This event features loads of fun activities such as Performances from local groups like the Fungi Band, The Heritage Dancers, Steel Pan groups to many other individual as well as local vendors.
- EMANCIPATION FESTIVAL AUGUST:
This is a carnival which celebrates the emancipation of their ancestors from colonialism. It highlights the culture and history of the island with numerous performances like music, parades and food fairs.
- BVI SPRING REGATTA:
This annual racing event that takes place over the course of a week usually in late March to early April. It was established in the Caribbean Yachting Calendar. It guarantees the most racing of any Caribbean regatta, allowing competitors to experience the most racing each day.