Once the hideout of buccaneers and pirates, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) offers honeymoon couples unspoiled white-sand beaches for sunbathing, clear turquoise waters for snorkelling, offshore reefs, walls and wrecks for diving, as well as numerous hidden coves, uninhabited cays and islets that combine with gentle sea breezes to make BVI a sailor’s paradise.
The 50-odd islands of this British Crown Colony offer a very laid-back lifestyle – perfect for a relaxing honeymoon holiday – that is in stark contrast to the crowds, casinos and mega-tourism resorts of nearby St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands (just 15 minutes away by air and 45 minutes by ferry).
The British Virgin Islands, include…
The main island of Tortola is the largest of the British Virgin Islands and was once a favourite haunt of Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard the Pirate). The northern coast is edged with palm-fringed white-sand beaches, while the southern coast is characterised by rugged mountain peaks.
Renowned as the yacht charter capital of the Caribbean, Tortola also offers a range of fun activities for the entire family.
Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery and hike or horseback ride through lush rainforest to the 532m-high summit of Sage Mountain National Park for a relaxing picnic and spectacular views.
Climb to the top of Skyworld for a 360-degree view of the surrounding islands and cays – stay for lunch or return for a candlelit diner. Scuba dive the 1867 shipwreck of the HMS Rhone, featured in the 1977 movie The Deep and rated as one of the world’s finest shipwreck dives.
Road Town, the capital of BVI, offers a yacht-filled harbour surrounded by lush green mountains.
Explore narrow streets lined with brightly painted homes, restaurants and shops and browse for local spices, jams, rums, soaps, perfume, handcrafted jewellery, silk screened fabric and local art along Main Street, Wickham's Cay or at the Crafts Alive Market on the waterfront.
The second-largest island in BVI, hike a network of trails that crisscross the Virgin Gorda Peak National Park, admiring local fauna and flora along the way.
Climb up to Gorda Peak (417m), the highest spot on the island, and be rewarded with sweeping views across the archipelago.
Then cool off with a refreshing dip in the sea and snorkel among the huge nature-sculpted granite boulders of The Baths, which indent the coves and shoreline of the southwest coast.
Virgin Gorda (or Fat Virgin) was so-named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 because he believed the island’s mountain looked like an extended stomach.
Play Robinson Crusoe on a day trip to the gorgeous white-sand beaches of remote Anegada Island or stay longer at a choice of accommodation options.
This small 38sq km island stands only 8.2m above sea level and is notorious for its rugged and treacherous offshore coral shelf, where more than 300 ships have sunk.
Dive among rainbow-hued tropical fish in the reef-protected waters, within walking distance of the shore.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) offers honeymoon couples a huge choice of unspoiled white-sand beaches that are easily found by boat or car.
Discover beaches lined with resorts that boast an array of creature comforts, or strike out on your own to find a quiet secluded beach for an intimate picnic and swim.
The best beaches in the British Virgin Islands, include…
(Tortola) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this gorgeous 2km-long crescent of palm-fringed, soft white sand that shelves into calm turquoise waters surrounded by forest-clad hills.
Cane Garden Bay Beach is regarded as Tortola’s best beach and is a favourite anchorage point for yachties.
Facilities include sun loungers and umbrellas for hire as well as water sports equipment including Hobie cats, kayaks and windsurfing boards.
The beach is lined with guesthouses, villas, restaurants and bars. Cane Garden Bay Beach is located on the northwest shore, around 3km from Road Town.
(Tortola) – Catch the perfect wave off this small, 400m-long white-sand beach; the surf is especially good in January and February.
Relax with a cold drink at Bomba's Surfside Shack, a classic surfies’ beach bar.
Come for a day or stay longer at one of the beachfront hotels. Apple Bay Beach is west of Cane Garden Bay Beach and just over the hill from Long Bay Beach on the north coast of Tortola.
(Tortola) – Unwind on one of BVI’s most beautiful beaches, a 2km-long stretch of soft white sand fringed by swaying palm trees and backed by rolling green hills – perfect for jogging, romantic strolls, sunset moments and, of course, swimming.
Facilities include sun loungers, umbrellas, water sports equipment and a restaurant, courtesy of the beachside Long Bay Beach Resort. Long Bay West Beach lies on the northwest coast, around 8km from Road Town.
(Tortola) – Surrounded by scenic tree-clad hills, dig your toes into the soft white sands of this kilometre-long secluded beach that shelves gently into tranquil Belmont Bay.
Sunbathe on the beach, swim in the calm water or relax in the shade of swaying palm trees.
Smugglers Cove offers good snorkelling close to shore over a coral garden of sea fans, sponges, elkhorn and brain corals teeming with parrotfish. There are no facilities here so you may want to pack a picnic.
Smugglers Cove Beach, sometimes called Lower Belmont Bay, lies at the west end of Tortola, opposite the offshore island of Great Thatch and facing Jost Van Dyke Island, around 9km from Road Town.
(Tortola) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe, swim and snorkel on this gorgeous 1.2km-long, palm-fringed white-sand beach that shelves gently into the tranquil turquoise waters of Brewers Bay.
Except for a beachside bar, there are no facilities on this idyllic beach. Framed by tree-clad hills, scenic Brewers Bay Beach is located just east of Cane Garden Bay, around 4km from Road Town.
(Tortola) – Head to this secluded and typically quiet white-sand beach located east of Josiah's Bay Beach beneath tree-covered Buta Mountain.
There are no facilities on this beach – perfect for simply enjoying the scenic beauty of this idyllic spot.
(Tortola) – Sunbathe and swim on this 700m-long crescent of soft white sand that shelves into the calm turquoise waters of Long Bay East.
Come for a day and enjoy the facilities at the beachfront Lambert Beach Resort, or stay longer.
Elizabeth Beach is located on the northeast coast on Beef Island Road, around 6km from Road Town.
(Virgin Gorda) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on a series of unspoiled white-sand beaches.
Then swim and snorkel amid limpid pools and grottos flooded with turquoise seawater surrounded by gigantic granite boulders.
The Baths – a collection of massive granite boulders up to 12m (40ft) in diameter, surrounded by white sand beaches and secret rock pools – encompass the beaches and rocky shoreline on the southwestern tip of Virgin Gorda and are part of a protected national park encompassing 273ha along the southwest coast.
This protected area also includes Devil's Bay, which is easily reached by boat or by following the series of steps and rope handrails along the coastal trail through the boulders from The Baths.
Devil's Bay is also a popular daytime anchourage that is ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
A short walk or swim north of The Baths sits Spring Bay Beach, one of the best of the island's beaches, with white sand, clear water and good snorkelling among nature-sculpted boulders. The gorgeous white sands of Trunk Bay Beach follow Spring Bay Beach.
Onshore facilities at The Baths include bathrooms and lockers, creating a safe and enjoyable experience in this unique environment.
Note: Strong ocean swells may occur during the winter months, preventing use of the mooring buoys and access to the beach from the sea. Swimming is also discouraged during these periods, due to the b currents.
The Baths are located around 2km south of Spanish Town between Spring Bay and Devel's Bay.
Read more about The Baths…
(Virgin Gorda) – Come on a day trip to sunbathe, swim and snorkel on this splendid white-sand beach, which shelves into vivid blue water backed by bush-clad hills just north of Savannah Bay. Facilities provided by the beach resorts include toilets, restaurants and bars.
(Virgin Gorda) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe, swim and snorkel on the gorgeous, 600m-long crescent of white sand that shelves into the turquoise waters of Savannah Bay, located north of Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour and surrounded by bush-clad hills.
(Anegada) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this secluded white-sand beach that stretches for kilometres around the turquoise waters of Loblolly Bay.
Relax on a bench beneath a thatched parasol, climb to the lookout for 360-degree views and enjoy a cold drink at a choice of beach bars and restaurants that lie scattered along the beach.
Facilities include sun shacks and hammocks slung between the sea grapes.
(Peter Island) – Unwind on this palm-fringed white-sand beach that lies on the north shore of Peter Island and is a popular yacht anchorage.
Come for the day or stay longer at the exclusive Peter Island Resort where you can enjoy a range of creature comforts and water sports activities.
While the main attribute of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are the mainly uncrowded and unspoiled white-sand beaches, there are also a variety of water-based activities for honeymoon couples to try, including…
For some of the best snorkelling in BVI, head to Brewers Bay Beach, the islet of Marina Cay, Cooper Island and Norman Isle.
Or try the warm limpid pools surrounded by majestic granite boulders at The Baths on Virgin Gorda (photo). Most hotels and operators offer masks and flippers for hire.
Dive the wreck of the HMS Rhone, which sank in 1867 near the western point of Salt Island or check out the still visible hull of Chikuzen, which sank off the island's eastern end in 1981.
Both sites are home to a vast array of tropical marine life including black-tip sharks, yellowtail, barracuda and octopus.
For wall dives, try Alice in Wonderland south of Ginger Island, which begins at around 3.6m and descends gently to 30m and is surrounded by marine life such as rainbow-hued fan coral and mushroom-shaped coral.
Try also the Spyglass Wall, a 3m to 18m drop surrounded by tarpon, eagle rays and stingrays. Several licensed operators offer diving excursions as well as PADI open-water certifications.
Tortola boasts one of the largest fleets of bareboat sailing charters in the world and is generally regarded as the cruising capital of the world.
Depending on the level of your nautical skills, you can either charter a bareboat yacht or hire a fully crewed boat with skipper, crew and cook. You can also sign up for a sail-training course.
All the inhabited islands in the BVI group are easily reached by regular ferry; uninhabited islands can be visited on a charter.
Head to Guana Island, a private hideaway island located just off Tortola. This 340ha island offers seven pristine white-sand beaches and several hiking trails that range through a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary where you can look out for rare species of orchid, iguana, red-legged tortoise and the Caribbean roseate flamingo.
Come for a day or stay longer at the charming Guana Island Club resort.
The nearby US Virgin Islands of St Johns and St Thomas are a short flight or ferry ride away and offer a different array of activities, including theme and water parks, gambling and probably the best duty free shopping in the Caribbean.
BVI offers a wide choice of honeymoon accommodation options. For the most exclusive resorts, head to Virgin Gorda and Peter Island.
On Virgin Gorda: discover the lively Bitter End Yacht Club, which boasts the BVI’s best sailing and diving complex and faces an unspoiled and secluded deep-water harbour; or unwind in comfort at the luxurious and spacious Katitche Point Greathouse overlooking Mahoe Bay.
On Peter Island, try Peter Islands Resort & Spa, an exclusive resort surrounded by tropical gardens facing one of the best beaches in the world – Deadman's Beach.
On Tortola, try The Sugar Mill, a secluded hillside cottage colony facing a white-sand beach, or opt for Tortola Beachfront Villa & Suites Hotel, which nestles in a small palm grove facing a gorgeous beach.
On Anegada, try Anegada Seaside Villas, set in front of a long stretch of pristine white sand.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
Location: Scrub Island
Prices: from AUD668 per room
Description: This beachfront complex is located in Scrub Island, on the West South Bay Beach. It offers an outdoor pool, a private beach area, free Wi-Fi and ocean views. The rooms at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection feature air conditioning, a safety box, iPod docking station, seating area and a flat-screen cable TV. Each one has a coffee maker, minibar and balconies. The bathrooms are private and have bathrobes, a shower and slippers. The Scrub Island Resort serves international and seafood. There are also a pool bar and a beach bar for the guests to enjoy. Activities like hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling are also an option to arrange at this resort. This private resort is accessible only by boat or helicopter and the Tortola's Trellis Bay Dock is a 10-minute boat trip away. The dock is 2 minutes’ drive from Tortola's International Airport.
Peter Island Resort and Spa
Location: Peter Island
Prices: from AUD495 per room
Description: A 30-minute boat trip from Tortola, this resort sits high on the peak of a mountain overlooking White Bay Beach. Peter Island Resort features an extensive garden and a sun terrace with swimming pool and hot tub. Each of the 52 guestrooms and junior suites has a terrace or balcony with teak dining set and lounge chair. Views of the water are surrounded by palm fronds or lush tropical gardens. All the suites and rooms offer free Wi-Fi, tropical décor, air conditioning, iPod dock, a private bathroom and sea views. The on-site restaurant offers Caribbean-style dishes and international cuisine, and guests can also find a variety of food places within 5 minutes’ walk. This complex features a gym, diving shop, spa treatments and tennis courts. From the resort's yacht harbor, boats depart for snorkeling and diving adventures; snorkeling gear is complimentary, as is use of kayaks, windsurfers, stand-up paddle boards, 4 tennis courts and a beach shuttle. This resort is 10 minutes’ walk from the Deadman’s Beach and 6 km from The Baths Virgin Gordan geological formation.
Sugar Mill Hotel
Location: Apple Bay, Tortola
Prices: from AUD420 per room
Description: The Sugar Mill is a boutique hotel set amid lush tropical surroundings. All rooms have balconies or terraces and panoramic sea views, and include free WiFi, refrigerators, safes, dressing gowns and slippers, iron and board, hairdryers, flat screen TVs, mobile device charging points, luxurious new european bedding and new tropical designer furniture. The hotel offers a beach restaurant and a fine dining restaurant offers fresh lobsters, succulent steaks, crispy belly pork, rack of lamp, scallops in champagne sauce and other mouth watering fare served in the dining room which has been restored from the Rum House of a 400 year old sugar mill. Our small secluded beach offers luxurious loungers and umbrellas with bar and snack service right at your bedside. A fresh water circular pool is set among swaying palm trees with a help your self honour bar.
Surfsong Villa Resort
Location: Beef Island, Tortola
Prices: from AUD720 per room
Description: A secluded beachfront resort offering seven extraordinary villas. Luxuriously appointed with plush king beds, fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning, satallite TV, DVD, room safes, high speed internet, beach lounge, full concierge services, massage pavilion and tranquil courtyard. Surfsong offers a perfect blend of Caribbean charm and romantic modern style in a relaxed resort.
Anegada Beach Club
Location: Anegada Island
Prices: from AUD336 per room
Description: Located on secluded Anegada Island, the Anegada Beach Club features a sun terrace with swimming pool, a hammock area and free Wi-Fi connection throughout. The rooms with tropical décor offer air conditioning, ceiling fan, safety box and cable TV with DVD player. All rooms are equipped with iPod dock, coffee maker, alarm clock and a private bathroom with bath or shower and hairdryer. This complex also features the restaurant Bar and Grill serving snack, burgers, pizzas and local food for all guests. Activities such as kayaking and snorkelling can be arranged, as well scooters and bikes for rent and spa treatments are available.
Bitter End Yacht Club
Location: North Sound, Virgin Gorda
Prices: from AUD628 per room
Description: Accessible only by boat, this Virgin Gorda resort faces a long, gently curved beach and a protected, deep-water harbor. Rates include three daily meals, use of the club fleet and a introductory sailing course. Every room features custom designed teak furniture, twin or king beds, colorful accessories, an old-fashioned ceiling fan, refrigerator, coffee maker, large dressing area with double vanity and H2O amenities, spacious shower with sea view, and wrap-around veranda with steamer chairs and romantic couples’ hammock. Free WiFi is offered throughout. Guests that stay 7 nights or more enjoy a cocktail party, blue water excursions, snorkelling trips, sunset sails, champagne cruises and a Sunday regatta and party. At Bitter End Yacht Club you will find several restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisine, and the property also has a pizzeria and a bakery. Guests can order drinks at the convenient swim-up bar. Activities like sailing lessons, wind surfing, scuba diving, fishing are available on-site. Virgin Gorda Airport is 15 km away.
Location: Frenchmans Cay, Tortola
Prices: from AUD499 per room
Description: Nestled on the beach, this West End resort is within 5 km of Soper's Hole Marina, Smuggler's Cove Beach, and Long Bay Beach. All 9 rooms provide conveniences like living rooms and kitchens, plus free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with digital channels. Balconies, iPod docks, and in-room massages are among the other amenities available to guests. Highlights at this beachfront resort include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and free continental breakfast. At Frenchmans, relax by an outdoor pool or hit the beach where you can enjoy kayaking. Cane Garden Bay Beach and North Shore Shell Museum are also within 10 km.
Long Bay Beach Club
Location: Road Town, Tortola
Prices: from AUD336 per room
Description: This Virgin Islands resort boasts panoramic ocean views and sits on a kilometre-long whie-sand beach on the western tip of Tortola; the ferry to St Thomas is less than 2 miles away. The resort boasts on-site dining, free WiFi and free local calls in all rooms. Each of the 40 guest rooms at Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas features vaulted ceilings and a furnished balcony. A flat-screen TV and coffee maker are provided. Two lighted tennis courts are part of this Virgin Islands resort. Snorkeling equipment and body boards are available. One of Long Bay Beach’s on-site restaurants, 1748, offers a daily breakfast along with barbecue and local cuisine for lunch and dinner. Sage Mountain National Park is a 10-minute drive from the Virgin Islands Long Bay Beach Resort. The nightlife of Road Town is 12 km from the property. It is a 5-minute drive from the West End Ferry Terminal.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotels in the British Virgin Islands at TripAdvisor.
Anytime is good for a romantic honeymoon in the British Virgin Islands, but avoiding late May to early November – the hurricane season – may be a good idea.
With a subtropical climate cooled by gentle trade winds, temperatures average 28°C (82°F) in the summer months of May to October and around 25°C (76°F) in the winter months of November to April.
More information about British Virgin Islands weather…
The British Virgin Islands (or BVI) – a British Overseas Territory – are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles to the east of the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico, and north-west of Anguilla in the Caribbean.
The British Virgin Islands comprise around 60 islands, including the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, plus numerous, small uninhabited islets – only 16 of the islands are inhabited.
Tortola is situated 6km (3.7mi) northeast of the US Virgin Islands, 97km (60mi) east of Puerto Rico and 150km (93mi) north-west of Anguilla.
Virgin Gorda is situated 19km (11.8mi) east of Tortola and 41km (25mi) east of St Thomas (USVI). Anegada, the most northerly of the Virgins, lies 48km (5mi) east of Tortola.
The capital, Road Town, is located on Tortola, the largest island, which is about 20km (12mi) long and 5km (3mi) wide.
There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands from North America or Europe, but BVI is easily accessible by sea and air from the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Antigua.
The most convenient route to the British Virgin Islands is by air to Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS), previously known as Beef Island Airport.
The airport sits on Beef Island, a tiny island connected to Tortola by the one-lane Queen Elizabeth Bridge, around 14km (8.6mi) from Road Town – about 14 minutes by taxi.
Virgin Gorda and Anegada have their own smaller airports.
Alternatively, you may fly to Cyril E. King Airport (STT) in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and then take a 45-minute ferry ride to Road Town on Tortola.
The larger Cyril E. King Airport (STT) offers more international and US flights than Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS), and may offer less-expensive air fares.
By cruise ship, Road Town Harbour in Tortola is a major port-of-call for many cruise companies.
The best way to get around BVI is by car, taxi and boat.
The British Virgin Islands has a good road network, although roads are often steep, narrow, and poorly maintained.
Ferries are a popular way to get around the islands with frequent daily links between Tortola and Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Peter Island.
There are also daily ferries between Tortola and St Thomas and St John in the US Virgin Islands. Ferry journeys between Tortola and St Thomas take about 50 minutes.
You can also get around by chartering a boat.
More information about how to get around the British Virgin Islands…
Latest update: British Virgin Islands honeymoon guide: 25 March, 2020
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