If there was ever an island to be stranded on, it’s the British Virgin Islands. Located in the Caribbean and made up of four mainland islands and approximately 50 smaller islands, the British Virgin Islands is magical, mesmerizing and quite possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world. Thanks to more than 400,000 travelers booking flights to the British Virgin Islands every year, tourism accounts for 45 percent of the island’s income.
Once a haven for pirates and sea captains, the islands today welcome hundreds of cruise ship passengers and tourists who fly to the British Virgin Islands for vacation. The islands are equally as attractive to sea-lovers as they are to those who like to keep their feet on land. Book flights to the British Virgin Islands for a walk on the white sand beaches, a visit to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, or snorkel the coral reefs. The British Virgin Islands is a sea-lovers paradise – charter a yacht and explore the other islands in the Caribbean.
Virgin Islands, British climate
The British Virgin Islands are sub-tropical and have high humidity. Temperatures are made much more comfortable by trade winds, averaging 79 to 88 F in the summer and 72 to 82 F in the winter. Rainfall is sporadic and there have been droughts.
Best Time to Fly to Virgin Islands, British
The weather in BVI is good year round. The peak season is December-May, because this coincides with the cold weather in Europe and North America. Travelers seeking British Virgin Island flights and hotel rooms should make reservations at least six months in advance to get good rates. November to June is the peak season for divers (away from any possible hurricanes).
September through November is the rainy season. Rainfall is usually in short bursts, however, and everything dries off quickly afterwards. The good news is that this season can be the best time to find cheap flights to the British Virgin Islands.
Getting around Virgin Islands, British
Car or jeep hire is the most popular means of transport, if you’re staying on one island, though taxis are readily available. To rent a car, you need to buy a BVI license, as well as showing proof of the drivers license from your country of origin. This only costs $10.
For island hopping, inter-island British Virgin Island flights are available, and a luxurious way to travel. Most BVI flights are based on Beef Island. There are three charter air companies, as well as a chartered helicopter service. There are also many ferries running between the islands; far more enjoyable is to charter a boat yourself.
The following chart gives approximate journey times fromBeef Island, Tortola
(in hours and minutes) to other major destinations in the British Virgin Islands and the surrounding area.
|Jost Van Dyke||-||0.40|
Virgin Islands, British Travel Information
- The British Virgin Islands are a very popular destination for honeymooners and also for weddings. If you’re planning on getting married here, you’ll need to arrive at least three days before the date of the wedding. You can apply for your marriage license on arrival at Tortola.
- Fishing is popular in the warm waters of the Caribbean, but be aware that tourists need a fishing permit to remove anything from the sea. This can be purchased from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labor. Alternatively, go fishing with an islander – permits are only required for tourists.
- As you’d expect from a Caribbean island, clothes are usually casual, even for evening dress. However, don’t wear your swimwear away from the beach or pool. It’s not appropriate when you’re in the town.
- Diving is popular and there is an abundance of reefs and wrecks to explore. The waters around the island of Anegada are especially good. More than 300 ships have run aground on the coral surrounding the island, which leads to plenty of wrecks to explore.
- Tortola is the largest and main island and the site of the airport. Since your flight to the British Virgin Islands arrives here, it's worth spending some time on the island. There are many restaurants and shops as well as good beach accommodation.
- Jost Van Dyke Island is only four miles long and one of the most relaxing places to visit. The bars boast beach-side hammocks and the largest, Foxy’s, has a renowned New Year’s Eve party. If you’re visiting, make sure you take plenty of cash. There are no ATMs on the island and many places don’t take cards.
- Try the local food and drink: a freshly-caught lobster for supper and a “painkiller” cocktail. The latter is made of rum, pineapple juice, coconut, orange juice and fresh nutmeg and is the cocktail of choice in the country.