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Top 5 Islands in the BVI


Readers’ Choice Focus – Top 5 Islands in the BVI

Photography credits in order – Susan J. McDavit, Mallory Sammons, James Bryant, Trudy Childs, Mallory Sammons, Trudy Childs

These beautiful isles were voted by our readers as the BVI’s top 5 islands in the Virgin Islands Property and Yacht Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014. Here’s a little information about them from our alternative publication BVI Newbie.

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1) Tortola

Stretching about 21.5 square miles and housing approximately 22,000 inhabitants, Tortola is the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands. Road Town, the Territory’s capital and financial hub as well as the location of most bars and restaurants, is situated on Tortola. Beef Island, connected to Tortola by a small bridge, is also often included as part of the main island and is home to the international airport. To some residents, Tortola has it all—beaches, nightlife, watersports, mountains, wildlife—which is why they are content to explore all it has to offer without visiting the other islands. While we recommend getting to know Tortola and all its secrets as much as possible, the other islands have their own special attributes as well.


2) Virgin Gorda

A short ferry ride from Tortola, Virgin Gorda seems like another world – the air feels lighter over there. Snorkelling among the boulders at The Baths, driving past Savannah Bay and over Gorda Peak, exploring the Caves, watching the incredible super yachts in the North Sound and relaxing in Spanish Town bars rank among the best times a resident or visitor can have here. The vibe on the eight-square mile island is very friendly with a tight community of approximately 3700 residents that includes both expats and BVIslanders. Since the island does not have the same financial district as Tortola, its central industry is tourism, and VG boasts several high-end resorts and excellent customer service.



3) Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke—the fourth largest British Virgin Island—is approximately three square miles and lies five miles northwest of Tortola. Jost Van Dyke is internationally famous for Foxy’s Old Year’s Night (a New Year’s Eve party) in Great Harbour—often voted one of the best parties in the world. White Bay is a popular spot for Sunday revellers from neighbouring islands. The Bubbly Pool near Diamond Cay is a refreshing reward after a short hike. In 2008, the island’s population was estimated at 297 people. Jost Van Dyke also contains the popular snorkelling spots of Little Jost Van Dyke, Sandy Cay, Green Cay and the miniature Sandy Spit. Jost Van Dyke is an island concerned with conservation; the Jost Van Dyke Preservation Society serves to protect the history, wildlife, culture and environment of its small archipelago.


4) Anegada

A 15-square mile coral and limestone island, the flat Anegada is not visible as you approach until you’re about a mile away as its highest peak is only about 8.5m above sea level. The island boasts some of the clearest waters in the area. Relatively free from industry, self-sufficient, and with a population of approximately 200 people, the community of Anegada centres on its visitors and caters in hospitality. Anegada is aptly known for its fresh lobster. Must-sees are the mile-long walks across Pomato Point, the flamingos at the salt ponds and the wild shorelines of the west. The island can be toured by foot, bicycle or scooter but not ruling out yachting, kiteboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding or windsurfing. There are a lot of cows on Anegada – one rumour claims that a cunning bull, infamous for eating residents’ gardens, swam around a fence only to have a tiger shark defend the flowers by biting it. Things are big and wild in and on Anegada. Most common approaches are by air, private boat and ferry from the North Sound or Road Town.

5) Peter Island/ Cooper Island – JOINT!


(i) Home to the BVI’s largest private island and the fifth largest of its 60 islands, cays and rocky outposts, Peter Island is the residence to a 52-room resort, consistently ranked among the most prestigious in the world. Visitors are able to access its famous spa, trails and beaches, but be sure to call ahead. Ferry service is available from Baughers Bay on Tortola.


(ii) Situated on this unique island are Cooper Island Beach Club Resort—the most beautiful eco-friendly retreat you will ever come across—and five privately owned properties. The island is a popular destination for daytrips and dart tournaments. It also lies adjacent to wreck alley, the popular dive site that is home to the Wreck of the Rhone.


Erin Paviour-Smith

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