Many islands in the Caribbean offer sun, sea, sand, snorkeling and sailing, but the British Virgin islands trumps the others for sugary stretches of white sand, flawless weather for world class sailing, and clear luminous turquoise waters that bring snorkelers and divers from all over the world.
I thought that I had seen beautiful Caribbean places, but when I first saw the sparkling turquoise ocean and the stunning views in the BVI’s, I commented to my colleague “my plane must have crashed en route , and this is what heaven looks like.”
The British Virgin islands are comprised of over 40 islands, islets, and cays, sixteen of which are inhabited, with a total population of about 25,000. The largest islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada. The BVI is a colony of the United Kingdom and its links with Great Britain remain strong. Although it is a self-governing Territory, responsibility for its defense, internal security, external affairs and the administration of the courts rest with the Governor. Its roads, main airport, electricity and water facilities, schools and other public services have been funded both from local revenue and external assistance, particularly from the United Kingdom. The word “British” was added to the Territory’s name for clarity, when at the end of World War I, the United States bought the “Danish West Indies” from Denmark and renamed them the “U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Our group stayed a few days in Road Town on Tortola Island, then sailed to Virgin Gorda for a couple of nights at Biras Creek Resort. We toured Virgin Gorda, lunched at Saba Rock, Peter island, Cooper Island, and snorkeled at the Baths, a conservation type area where you walk down a steep path and squeeze through enormous rocks to a beautiful beach. Another day we moored our boat, and snorkeled around Indian Rocks.
Many know about sailing and the link to the BVI’s, but they have kept their gourmet tendencies to themselves. I have traveled extensively, and was blown away by the incredible quality at many meals that I savored. Watch this blog in the near future for notes on where to eat and what to look for when it comes to eating your way through the British Virgin Islands.
When I looked back over my trip, the prize for the most magic moment went unanimously to one of our days on a 46 foot Catamaran, perched at the top deck at the bow, camera slung over my deck, constantly clicking photos of the BVI Sailing Regatta in full swing. Sailboats stretched as far as the eye could see , all vying for a plum position in the race. The crystal clear sky, a fairytale blue, the sun shining as brightly as it possibly could, the luminous turquoise water, and steady wind held all the right ingredients for the race day. The energy and excitement of being positioned right at the start buoy was palpable, and I clicked hundreds of photos trying to capture that feeling.
Depending on what type of experience and price point you want on holiday, there are many resorts to choose from, ranging from a green resort with affordable prices and stellar location on a private island to luxurious resorts with prices to match. My next blog will be a roundup of where to stay, and what to look for in a resort so you can get what you need for an ideal holiday. Anywhere you stay in the British Virgin islands, you cannot go wrong. The islands delight at every turn combined with the leisurely pace found only in the Caribbean.
Melody’s trip was sponsored by the British Virgin Islands Board of Tourism. For more information: http://www.bvitourism.com