The Best Beaches in the British Virgin Islands


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British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are known around the world as one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful destinations. Its white sand beaches, clear blue waters, and pristine views attract millions of tourists each year, with many heading to popular spots like Virgin Gorda or Tortola Island.

If you’re planning a trip to this tropical paradise soon, here are the top beaches in the British Virgin Islands that you need to see.

West End

Long and wide, West End Beach makes up more than half of Jost Van Dyke’s white-sand shoreline. Locals often say that it’s a vacationer’s favorite: big enough to spread out on, but small enough to avoid getting lost.

The only bad thing about West End is that you have to go through Tortola (10 miles away) to get there by boat. You can get there by plane, though – it’s a 20-minute flight from Beef Island Airport on BVI Airways.

However you get there, West End Beach is worth it for its world-class snorkeling and clear waters.

Beef Island

The 10-mile wide island is packed with miles of beaches on both sides, and they are some of the finest in all of The BVI.

The calm waters are perfect for swimming and water sports. Make sure to check out Myett’s Bay, as well as Long Bay—you’ll likely never want to leave once you get there.

It’s also worth taking a boat ride over to Frenchman’s Cay for a day trip of snorkeling. Travelers should keep an eye out for North Sound Bay Beach, Carlisle Bay Beach, Carrot Bay Beach and White Bay Beach on your travels around Beef Island.

Norman Island

Norman Island (not to be confused with Norman’s Cay, a tiny privately owned island nearby) is an uninhabited and nature-traversed island located on Anegada’s North Shore.

There are several white sand beaches on its western coast and impressive limestone cliffs along its eastern shore.

In addition to those rocks, there are caves found all over Norman Island that serve as some of Anegada’s best snorkeling spots.

The most popular of these caves, aptly named Secret Beach, has a shallow water entrance which opens into a gigantic, reef-filled cavern; it’s also home to resident nurse sharks who don’t bother swimmers.


The most remote island in the territory, Anegada is located about 60 miles west of Tortola. The beach on Anegada is aptly named Devil’s Bay for its numerous coral pinnacles and other dangerous underwater obstacles that can easily wreak havoc on even advanced swimmers.

If you manage to dodge those jagged peaks, though, you’ll find a white-sand paradise to relax upon. Plus, it’s home to one of most picturesque lighthouses in all of North America.

From shoreline fishing trips and hiking tours to snorkeling excursions and a rock-climbing wall—Anegada has something for every thrill seeker.

Spanish Town

Spanish Town is a family beach and snorkeling hotspot located on Beef Island. The name comes from two sources: Spanish sailors were once common visitors to Tortola, and there was a Spaniard who lived near the beach whose last name was Spanish.

It may not be best known as an English-speaking destination, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find any of your fellow tourists.

While it can be busy on weekends with locals and expats coming to play, during midweek you’ll have plenty of space for your own beach party at Spanish Town Beach.

Cooper Island

Cooper Island is one of a handful of islands off Tortola’s north shore, easily reached by ferry or private watercraft. This small island features four resorts and several beachside cabanas, as well as watersports facilities and two restaurants.

The most famous attraction on Cooper Island is Smuggler’s Cove; a long reef that lines much of its eastern coast, it hosts excellent snorkeling and fishing and boasts some of Tortola’s best beaches.

Cooper Island Beach Park is one of these beaches and can be reached by ferry or by boat taxi. It offers swimming areas within rock groins and calm, clear waters for children; there are also food kiosks for snacks or meals as well as restrooms available on-site.

Virgin Gorda

The name Virgin Gorda comes from Christopher Columbus, who supposedly named it after a wild young girl on his crew’s ship. That’s all well and good, but I prefer my own theory: Gorda means fat in Spanish (and actually derives from gordo), so…VIRGIN GORDAS ARE FAT BEACHES! It all makes sense now! 😀 Anyway, you might be surprised to learn that Gordas doesn’t even rank as one of Virgin Gorda’s top beaches—it was just too rocky for me.


Tortola has great beaches, but many of them don’t get a lot of attention because there are so many more famous beaches on other islands. One exception is Long Bay Beach, which is located near the town of Great Harbour. This stretch of sand is isolated from roads, hotels and resorts.

You’ll find crystal-clear water that’s perfect for snorkeling, and powdery soft sand that’s even better for relaxing after you’ve spent a day exploring nearby Cane Garden Bay.

If you want to stay close to your resort but still experience beautiful scenery and clean water, visit Trunk Bay Beach at St. John. It’s known as one of the best beaches in all of America because it has natural pools where water cascades over rocks like a waterfall!

Peter Island

First stop on your British Virgin Islands itinerary should be Peter Island, which is just off of Anegada. Most people who stay here do so at Little Dix Bay—considered one of the top resorts in the Caribbean by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

The island is also home to a number of other activities, such as snorkeling, hiking and sailing. Oh, and cocktails! Never forget those cocktails…even while snorkeling or hiking.

You never know when you’ll want one!

Jost Van Dyke

This tranquil little island is ideal for those who wish to be totally removed from modern life and surrounded by natural beauty. An excellent spot for snorkeling, sunbathing, and relaxing, Jost Van Dyke is also home to one of the best beach bars in all of Belize: Foxy’s.

Located on White Bay Beach, Foxy’s can best be described as an open-air beach shack with a distinct Caribbean charm.

Perhaps most importantly, they serve beer. Make sure you order up their signature drink—the Painkiller—and make sure to try their chicken wings as well! Hungry?

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