With the longest beach and plenty of spots for peace and quiet, the beaches of Tortola are magnificent.
Cane Garden Bay: Tortola’s most popular beach is Cane Garden Bay. Lined with bars and restaurants, it welcomes cruise ship visitors almost daily (in season). Powerboats, paddle-Boards, Jet Skis and other watersports toys are available for rent. This is a family beach with a doughnut trampoline for the kids anchored in about five feet of water.
Long Bay: Aptly named, the 500-yard Long Bay is likely the longest sandy beach on Tortola. It’s a quintessential Caribbean photograph: gently breaking waves onto a palm-lined beach disappearing towards a magnificent Caribbean vista of hills, islands and the endless blue.
Josiah’s Bay: Towards the eastern end of the island on the north shore is Josiah’s Bay, a favourite with surfers when the waves are up. Surfing competitions are held here twice a year. Josiah’s Bay has two island-style beach bar/restaurants.
Rogues Bay: On the north shore, Rogues Bay is a wide swath of sand with a rocky peninsula at the western end. Pelicans dive for sprat, frigate birds wheel overhead and ghost crabs dart for cover whilst breaking waves turn to a frothy carpet as they hit the sloping sand. Here, your footprints are likely to be the only ones.
Trunk Bay: Trunk Bay offers another pristine alternative. This sandy beach is likely deserted, perfect for those searching solitude, peace and quiet. A helpful hint: Four-wheel-drive vehicles are a must.
Brewer’s Bay: A magnificent crescent of sand backed by lofty palms, Brewer’s Bay has managed to remain relatively free of crowds. One end of the beach has a small beach bar and café, with the ruins of an old sugar works abutting the road in the middle of the bay.
Smuggler’s Cove: At the very western end of the island on the north shore is Smuggler’s Cove, named due to its proximity to St. Thomas. This small beach is considered a local gem, with crystal-clear water and shady palms.
The Baths: Sometimes described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, The Baths are a must-see attraction for the whole family. This string of beaches along Virgin Gorda’s southwestern end — from Valley Trunk Bay to Devil’s Bay — features house-sized granite boulders that are strewn haphazardly, creating interesting trails marked by unusual natural sculptures and pools of water beneath the granite boulders. This BVI national park should be on everyone’s list of essential things to do whilst on vacation.
Savannah Bay, Teteor Bay, Mahoe Bay, Nail Bay and Long Bay: There are many beautiful beaches along Virgin Gorda’s west coast. Savannah Bay, Teteor Bay, Mahoe Bay, Nail Bay and Long Bay are all accessed from the coast road running along Virgin Gorda’s western shoreline. Savannah Bay, Nail Bay and Long Bay offer great snorkelling opportunities. Each sandy strip affords a stunning view of the islands with Tortola in the distance, a spectacular sight at sunset.
Bitter End Yacht Club: The North Sound of Virgin Gorda is a mecca for yachts. The most prominent resort here is the Bitter End Yacht Club. The main beach offers a panoramic view across the sound, perfect for viewing the hundreds of yachts as well as the windsurfers and kiteboarders that crowd the waters. Casual guests are welcome to enjoy the beach lounges and bar service.
Biras Creek Resort: Biras Creek Resort sits on a knoll between the Sound and the Caribbean Sea. Visitors are welcome to walk the many fascinating trails, one of which leads to a sandy beach, ideal for a quick dip after an invigorating hike.
JOST VAN DYKE
White Bay: Named for a Dutch pirate some 350 years ago, Jost Van Dyke is home to the BVI’s most spectacular beach playground: White Bay. The white powdery sand rises steeply from the turquoise water and is visible from miles away, thus its name. The legendary, award-winning Soggy Dollar beach bar is located here, as are other notable watering holes like Gertrude’s, One Love Bar and Grill and Ivan’s Stress Free Bar. Beach lovers can be seen waist deep in warm water sipping on the famous Painkiller, invented at the Soggy Dollar.
Great Harbour: Great Harbour is home to the worldfamous Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, restaurant and gift shoppe. Foxy’s is known for its mega parties, particularly the New Year’s Eve bash. Behind the shoreline of Great Harbour runs a sand lane lined with beach bar/restaurants and several souvenir stalls.
Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit: The islets of Sandy Cay and Sandy Spit are classic tropical island paradises. These locations provide great photo opportunities, both on the reefs and on land. Don’t miss the nearby Bubbly Pool, a result of large waves that are forced through a natural fissure in the rocks during the winter months. Caution is needed here during heavy north swells, which can become dangerous.
Anegada is really one big beach, ideal for quiet solitude and interesting walks. Its windward side will particularly delight beachcombers. The island’s windy conditions and flat water are perfect for kiteboarding and windsurfing. Long popular with yachtsmen, Anegada is now high on the list of visitors who arrive by ferry or day-excursion boat. Unlike its steep volcanic sister islands, it’s a flat coral island rising to a maximum of 28 feet above sea level. All along the north shore is a protective barrier reef producing frothy breaking waves. Between the reef and the beach is a calm and crystal-clear body of water dotted with coral heads that is great for snorkelling.
Loblolly Bay, Cow Wreck and Pomato Point: The popular Big Bamboo at Loblolly Bay was the first beach bar/ restaurant in this area. The Cow Wreck beach bar and restaurant is also well patronised. A favourite beach for many is a two-mile stretch of sand from the island’s western tip to Pomato Point. A small restaurant/bar of the same name Provides refreshments, and a one-room museum displays artefacts from the island’s many shipwrecks.
OUTER ISLANDS AND CAYS
The adventurous traveller can seek out these gems:
Cooper Island: There’s a superb sandy beach on Cooper Island at Manchioneel Bay. Lined with palm trees and sprinkled with beach lounges, this small beach is hard to beat. The Cooper Island Beach Club and Restaurant is situated right behind the palms.
Marina Cay: The small, intimate beach is adjacent to Pusser’s Landing Restaurant and features shady gazebos and steps for easy access to the crystal-clear water. A regular ferry runs between Beef Island and Marina Cay.
Peter Island: Dead Man’s Bay at Peter Island is a sweeping arc of fine white sand with swaying palms providing shade. Dead Chest Cay, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson in Treasure Island, is clearly visible to the east. Fantastic views are the reward for anyone hiking the surrounding hills.
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