The British Virgin Islands is a chain of 60-plus islands, with volcanic origins, blessed with white-sand beaches contracting with striking cliffs, and constant trade winds that make for excellent sailing conditions. Unwind and recharge amid the islands’ breathtaking natural beauty. more...
Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Peter Island are the largest and most frequently visited islands. They offer accommodations ranging from elegant hotels and inns to villas and cottages.
Tortola is the larges and most populous of the BVI, with 15,000 inhabitants. Its south coast is green and mountainous while the northern side has beautiful sandy beaches, many protected by cays. Cane Garden Bay is perhaps the most popular, and you can usually find solitude at Smuggler’s Cove, Lambert Bay, or Brewers Bay. The main town on the 24-square-mile island is the colony’s capital, Road Town, with a population of 4,500. With only two main streets and colourful West Indian-style buildings and shops, it is more of a sleepy village than a sophisticated resort town. Virgin Gorda is the second most populated of the islands. Spanish Town is the island’s main settlement, more of a group of buildings than a real town. Most visitors come in search of The Baths, a unique formation of granite boulders and hidden sea pools, a delight to swimmers and snorkellers alike. Most of Virgin Gorda’s resorts are clustered around North Sound, a yacht haven on the northern tip, with its blue lagoon, protected coral reefs and white beaches.
Tortola and Virgin Gorda are the shopping hubs, where you’ll find Caribbean handicrafts, island-made jewellery, resortwear, and spices.
Traffic drives on the left.
New Year's Day (1 Jan), Commonwealth Day (early March), Easter (late March or April), Queen's Birthday (30 April), Whit Monday (late May or early June), Sovereign's Birthday (June), Territory Day (early July), St Ursula's Day (21 Oct), Birthday of Heir to the Throne (14 Nov), Christmas Day (25 Dec), Boxing Day (26 Dec).
Citizens of the US and Canada do not require a visa or passport, but should carry a birth certificate or naturalisation certificate with a picture ID to prove citizenship. British citizens need a passport but not a visa. Citizens of all other countries need a passport and, in some cases, a visa. Visitors are permitted to stay up to six months but must have an onward ticket.
Virgin Islands (British) Area
153 sq km (59 sq miles)
Virgin Islands (British) Capital
Virgin Islands (British) Currency
Virgin Islands (British) Head of state
Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor David Pearey.
Virgin Islands (British) Language
Virgin Islands (British) Main exports
Rum, fruit, livestock, sand and gravel
Virgin Islands (British) Population
22,200 (via UN, 2006)
Virgin Islands (British) Status
British overseas territory
Virgin Islands (British) Telephone codes