The British Virgin Island beaches are some of the best hidden gems in the Caribbean. That’s saying a lot for a region packed with lush rain forests, pristine beaches, and all-inclusive resorts. With over 50+ isles dotting the tropical landscape, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect beach to relax on. This guide will show you where you can find the best British Virgin Island resorts and beaches.
If you’ve never visited the British Virgin Islands, you probably can’t even fathom how many islands you’ll find there. You might expect there to be an overtly British vibe there, but its all about that quirky Caribbean charm. Whether you choose to visit the mainland in Tortuga, or head out to one of the more creatively named islands, like Jost Van Dyke, it’s a laidback, relatively undeveloped island paradise.
One of the main hobbies in the British Virgin Islands is sailing, which makes for an incredible experience. But it’s not the only reason to visit the islands. The beaches, the lagoons, the boat trips, the sunsets – it’s all going to blow you away.
Also check out our guide to the best beaches in Jamaica for more sun and sand.
5 Best Virgin Island Beaches
White Bay – Jost Van Dyke
On the island of Jost Van Dyke is one of the best party beaches in the British Virgin Islands. White Bay boasts several bars and small eateries and has the distinction of the being the birthplace of the Painkiller – a potent cocktail combining several fruit juices and dark rum. The sand has a reputation for being some of the softest in the world, due to its being produced by fish eating the coral surrounding the island.
The Baths – Virgin Gorda
The Baths are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the British Virgin Islands, and for good reason. The huge boulders encompassing hidden beaches and rock pools make this a true geological wonder. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, with turquoise waters perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. This, of course, results in both tourists and natives flocking to these gorgeous sands, so go early to avoid crowds.
If you take a 15-minute hike through the boulders, you’ll reach the gorgeous horseshoe-shaped bay of Devil’s Bay State Park, at the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda. If you though The Baths was something special, you’ll flip for Devil’s Bay. It’s by far one of the most tranquil, calm beaches in the British Virgin Islands. If you go through the effort to get there, you’ll be rewarded with swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing in one of the most beautiful spots.
Apple Bay Beach – Tortola
Apple Bay on the island of Tortola is, quite simply, a surfer’s paradise. The winter season brings with it some totally rad waves, dude! Surfers describe it as having some of the best swells in the tropics. It’s not the best swimming beach, but it definitely satisfies surfers.
This side of the island is more rustic and undeveloped, so expect to find a little slice of real life. Yes, you’ll be there with other tourists, but it will be one of the most local experiences you can have. And don’t forget the food! The Sugar Mill Restaurant is often referred to as the best in the Caribbean.
Cane Garden Bay – Tortola
Cane Garden Bay on Tortola is known as the “Jewel of the British Virgin Islands”. This sheltered beach is set against a backdrop of green, thanks to the nearby hills covered in trees. The clear blue water is calm for the majority of the year, making Cane Garden Bay a serene place to swim, snorkel, or just relax with a rum punch from Myett’s beach bar. Note that it is a stop for most cruise ships, so check with the BVI Port Authority before planning your day.
Smuggler’s Cove – Tortola
For the ultimate in peace and quiet, Smuggler’s Cove is the place to be. Accessible only by a dirt road, this hidden gem offers wonderful snorkeling in the coral bank near the shore. Make sure you bring everything you need, as Smuggler’s Cove remains one of the most secluded beaches in the British Virgin Islands, with no beach bars or snack shacks around.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to set sail and drop anchor near one of these perfect slices of paradise! Which beach will you check out first?
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.