Caribbean Tourism

British Virgin Islands

Shopping

The BVI is not duty-free. There are gift shops and boutiques in Road Town, Tortola and in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. The BVI Philatelic Bureau or Post Offices sell stamps for collectors. You can also buy BVI coins, but they are not used as a currency. Samarkand, on Main Street, Tortola, sells gold and silver jewellery created by the local Bibby family with...

History

Although discovered by the Spanish in 1493, the islands were first settled by Dutch planters before falling into British hands in 1666. In 1672 the Governor of the Leeward Islands annexed Tortola and in 1680 planters from Anguilla moved into Anegada and Virgin Gorda. Civil government was introduced in 1773 with an elected House of Assembly and a part-...

Government & Economy

Government A nearly self-contained community, the islands are a Crown Colony with a Governor appointed by London, although to a large extent they are internally self-governing. The Governor (Frank Savage, appointed 1998) presides over the Executive Council, made up of the Chief Minister, the Attorney-General and three other ministers. A Legislative Council...

Golf & Other Sports

Golf Golf has not been developed although a couple of the hotels have small practice courses. Tennis There is a tennis club on Tortola and many hotels have their own courts. Horse Riding Horse riding can be arranged through the hotels, or T4942262, Shadow’s Stables, or T4940704, Ellis Thomas, for riding through Mount Sage National Park or down to Cane...

Places to Eat - Tortola

Road Town Restaurants serving West Indian specialities include CRoad Town: Restaurants serving West Indian specialities include C & F Restaurant, Purcell Estate, T4944941. Very popular with visitors and locals, excellent local food, slow but friendly service, dinner 1830-2300. Mario’s, Palm Grove Shopping Centre, T4943883. West Indian specialities,...

Places to Eat - Anegada

Pomato Point Beach Restaurant, T4959466, VHF Ch 16, barbecue dinners, reserve by 1600. Neptune’s Treasure, T4959439. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, camping available, delicious breads and chutneys, make sure you take some home. Big Bamboo, T4952019. See above, Aubrey and his wife serve delicious lobster and conch on the beach at Loblolly Bay, VHF Ch 16. Anegada...

Food & Drink

Most things are imported and will cost at least the same as in Florida. Try local produce which is cheaper, yams and sweet potatoes rather than potatoes, for example. Fish dishes are often excellent, try snapper, dolphin (fish, not the mammal), grouper, tuna and swordfish, and don’t miss the lobster. There are lots of good restaurants across the islands....

Festivals

Festivals The BVI Summer Festival is held over two weeks at the end of July and beginning of August. There is entertainment every night with steel bands, fungi and calypso music, a Prince and Princess show and a calypso show. During the year there are many regattas, such as the annual BVI Spring Regatta in April, Foxy’s Wooden Boat Regatta in September and...

Entertainment - Tortola

In Road Town, The Pub, at Fort Burt Marina, T4942608. Dancing Fri-Sat, they also serve lunches and dinners, happy hour 1700-1900 daily and all day Fri with free hot wings 1700-1900 and music 1800-2200. Stone’s Nest is a weekend disco in Road Town, T4945182. The hotels organize live bands and movie nights. At East End is Bing’s Drop Inn Bar, see above....

Entertainment - Virgin Gorda

Live music at The Bath and Turtle and Little Dix Bay, live music and/or DJ at Pirate’s Pub, Pussers, Bitter End, Andy’s Chateau, Mine Shaft (also a fun place to eat), Chez Bamboo and Copper Mine. Check the bulletin board at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour for special events and concerts.

Diving & Marine Life

There is much to see around the Virgin Islands and considerable work is being done to establish marine parks and conserve the reefs. The Department of Conservation and Fisheries is in charge of the BVI’s natural resources and a fisheries management plan aims to avoid over-fishing and help conserve the reefs. The 17½ km Horseshoe Reef off the south shore of...

Beaches & Watersports

There are lovely sandy beaches on all the islands and many of them are remote, empty and accessible only from the sea. The clean, crystal-clear waters around the islands provide excellent snorkelling, diving, cruising and fishing. Most of the hotels offer a wide variety of watersports, including windsurfing, sunfish, scuba, snorkelling and small boats. Jet...

Accommodation - Jost Van Dyke

LL-AL Sandcastle, at White Bay, T4959888, F4959999, Owned by Debby Pearse and Bruce Donath, 4 wooden cottages, basic amenities but great for total relaxation, hammocks between palm trees on the beach, snorkelling, windsurfing. The Soggy Dollar Bar is popular at weekends, most people arrive by boat and swim or wade ashore, aspires to be the birthplace of the...

Accommodation - Tortola

Road Town LL-AL Treasure Isle, on hillside overlooking the marina and Sir Francis Drake Channel, PO Box 68, T4942501, F4942507. 40 rooms and 3 suites, pool, tennis, restaurant, a/c, TV, convenient for business travellers, used by people on crewed yacht charters for first and last night, helpful staff at front desk. Under same ownership and used by Treasure...

Accommodation - Virgin Gorda

In the South LL Little Dix Bay, PO Box 70, Virgin Gorda, T4955555, F4955661, Email: Rose...@GTE.net Luxury 98-roomed chalet hotel, with four 1-bedroom suites, on ½-mile beach, watersports arranged, tennis, health and fitness centre, hiking trails in surrounding hills, quiet, lovely gardens in extensive grounds, no TV or pool, strict dress code after sunset...