Country guides Caribbean
Travellers escape to the British Virgin Islands, where balmy winds caress their skin and whisper a welcome to Caribbean bliss. Bone-deep relaxation is all that exists amid the region's palm trees, hidden coves and turquoise bays.
Yachtsmen can sail calm currents to the archipelago's remote, volcanic islands. Sun-chasers may forget the world on white-sand beaches, and in crystal-clear waters. Bold tropical colours will greet travellers by day, be it on lush slopes or laidback streets, and a bright moon will light their parties by night. Divers won't forget the destination's ethereal garden of reefs and shipwrecks.
Best time to visit the British Virgin Islands
The islands have a humid sub-tropical climate, though trade winds moderate temperatures. Travellers can expect pretty much the same temperatures all year round, with only slight differences between seasons. The months between January and June are the best time to visit, as they're slightly cooler and drier, and there is no risk of hurricanes.
What to see in the British Virgin Islands
-The Callwood Distillery, a legendary rum distillery that's been open since the 1800s and continues to use antique equipment and traditional methods.
-Cane Garden Bay for swimming, sunbathing and the islands' best nightlife.
-J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens to hike through a mini-rainforest and enjoy wildlife, waterfalls and indigenous plants.
What to do in the British Virgin Islands
-Visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda and explore the seaside wonderland of pools, arches, grottoes and tunnels.
-Enjoy a variety of water sports on Tortola.
-Dive Anegada's low-lying coral atoll.
Getting to the British Virgin Islands
There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands from outside the region. Travellers must connect through airports on Antigua or in San Juan. Terrance B. Lettsome International (EIS) welcomes fliers to the British Virgin Islands. The small airport takes up most of Beef Island, which is located just seven miles (12km) from the region's major island of Tortola, and only accepts small aircraft.
Wild Fire, by Liz Fielding, Trouble in Tortola, by Channon R Lytton
Virgin Island (1958)
Pates (fried dough pockets stuffed with spiced chicken, beef or salt fish), johnnycake (a golden, slightly sweet disk of fried bread), Callaloo (soup or stew made from dasheen-plant leaves or some other green leafy plant such as taro leaves or spinach. It's usually flavoured with okra, salted meats, hot and black pepper, fish, onions, and spices.)
Bailey's Banana Colada, rum punch, Bushwacker (cocktail).
What to buy
Carved dolls and figurines, shell or coral necklaces.
What to pack
A hat, swimsuit and sunscreen.
What's on in the British Virgin Islands
The annual New Year's Eve party on Jost van Dyke is a must. The event sees fun-seekers and celebrities from all corners party at what is consistently ranked among the world's top five places to bring in the New Year. Full-moon parties at Trellis Bay on Tortola are another quintessential Caribbean experience.
Did you know?
-The British Virgin Islands were popular among pirates.
-Christopher Columbus was so impressed by the number of islands, he named them after Saint Ursula, who's said to have led 11 000 virgins to martyrdom rather than betray the faith.
-Tortola's Callwood Distillery is one of the Caribbean's oldest rum distilleries. The Callwood family has maintained it for more than 200 years.
Caribbean charm, laidback luxury, and the bold beauty of the tropics are all on offer. Visitors are sure to find adventure and relaxation in the British Virgin Islands.