BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
A group of idyllic Caribbean islands offering world-class sailing, white sand beaches and tales of buried treasure that inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Treasure Island.
Only, in September 2017 it was directly hit by Hurricane Irma, the worst Atlantic hurricane on record, causing devasting destruction across the territory.
We know because we were there when it happened.
The recovery for the territory and its people is underway. And with such a reliance on tourism – in particular, boating – we sincerely hope that it’s not too long before the islands can welcome back people from across the world.
THE ROTI MAN OF TORTOLA
The green shoots of recovery are apparent in the British Virgin Islands – and here’s one family-run catering business who are leading the way…
SANCTUARY – HOW WE FOUGHT TO BE EVACUATED FROM TORTOLA
How we finally made contact with the outside world after Hurricane Irma and our frantic search for a way to evacuate from Tortola…
AFTERMATH – STAYING STRONG IN THE FALLOUT FROM HURRICANE IRMA
Irma’s devastation on the British Virgin Islands was total – and like everyone else, we had to stay strong if we were to survive its aftermath…
THE EYE OF THE STORM – HOW WE SURVIVED DEVASTATING HURRICANE IRMA
Our house sitting assignment in the British Virgin Islands was quietly drawing to a close – but the largest Atlantic hurricane in history changed everything…
A PERFECT DAY OF SAILING IN THE IDYLLIC BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
How we combined a perfect day of sailing lessons with a beautiful round trip between Tortola to Norman Island, via “The Indians”…
THE BEST BEACHES IN TORTOLA – AND HOW TO EXPLORE THEM IN A DAY
Visiting the British Virgin Islands soon? Here’s how to explore the best beaches on Tortola by road
POSTCARD FROM THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
How we’ll spend 21 weeks house sitting in the British Virgin Islands – the premier sailing destination in the Caribbean
WHERE WE’VE STAYED
House-sitting assignment – 21 weeks
IMAGES OF BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
CANE GARDEN BAY
The beaches and bays of Tortola’s northern coastline are typically Caribbean – blessed with clean, white sand and dotted with moored yachts. Cane Garden Bay is where the cruise ship daytrippers head to, with its plethora of beach bars and restaurants. But there are plenty of less visited gems to explore if you have the time.
Read more at The Best Beaches In Tortola And How To Explore Them In A Day.
WEST END, TORTOLA
Possibly one of the most stunning vistas we’ve ever seen, the view from our housesit to Tortola’s West End was huge in scale. In the distance is the US Virgin Islands territory of St Thomas, which also suffered from the impact of Hurricane Irma in September 2017.
SUNSET OVER TORTOLA
The changeable weather during the hurricane season makes for some spectacular sunsets. This was one of the more dramatic we experienced, ahead of a tropical storm that evening.
SOPER’S HOLE, TORTOLA
Pastel-coloured buildings and multi-million dollar yachts combine to make Soper’s Hole, in Tortola’s West End, one of the most picturesque anchorages in the Caribbean.
BOMBA SHACK, TORTOLA
One of the BVI’s legendary beach bars, Bomba Shack, near Carrot Bay, was wiped out by Hurricane Irma. Only time will tell if it recovers to once again serve its famous “mushroom tea”.
Just one of the many small islands and bays on the BVI boating circuit, Sandy Cay is situated between Tortola and Jost Van Dyke. We took part in a sailing race from Soper’s Hole which used Sandy Cay as the turning point.
CAVES OF NORMAN ISLAND
One of the joys of staying on Tortola is the ability to take day trips out on the water to many of the surrounding islands and bays. Norman Island and its caves are said to have been Robert Louis Stevenson’s inspiration for Treasure Island.
Read more at A Perfect Day Of Sailing In The Idyllic British Virgin Islands.
MOUNT SAGE NP, TORTOLA
You’d be forgiven for thinking that BVI’s attractions are purely water-based. And, to be fair, most of them are. But Tortola’s Mount Sage National Park has some lovely forest walks and panoramic views of the surrounding islands.
MORE ON THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
BVI’S official tourism site
Online version of the guide first published in 1971
Travel advice from one of the world’s top bloggers
The indispensable guide for budget travellers