Though it is the smallest of the three U.S Virgin Islands, St. John’s unspoiled beauty is perhaps the greatest found anywhere in the Caribbean.
St John’s beaches offer a variety of experiences and adventures. Some beaches like Trunk Bay are world famous, appearing on TV, in magazines and postcards. Others are hidden, private utopias that take a bit of hiking or some adventure to get to. Join us as we tour St John searching for some of the Caribbean’s finest beaches.
SOPER’S HOLE – WEST END
Soper’s Hole is situated on the far western end of Tortola and offers a busy and deep but well protected anchorage with many amenities. Soper’s Hole is a primary port of entry to the BVI.
Although Soper’s is a bustling harbor, it’s roomy enough to handle it elegantly. There is an ample mooring field and room for just about any boat, including mega-yachts to anchor. Soper’s Hope is a great stop for provisioning, shopping, dining, marine services, etc.
Norman Island is home to the legend of pirates, hidden caves and buried treasure.The Bight is the biggest and well protected anchorage on Norman Island.
The Indians, Pelican Island and the Caves are outstanding day spots around Norman Island that feature some great snorkeling. You will see some magnificent coral formations abundant with vibrant sea life. Pirates restaurant on the far end and The floating bar The Willy T are Norman Island’s famous top party attractions.
Peter Island has 3 main anchorages: Little Harbour, Great Harbour and Deadman’s Bay. Deadman’s Bay is an absolutely picture perfect beach. You will find some good snorkeling with high chances to see turtles.
Great Harbor is a wide-open and deep harbor making for a very easy approach. There are lots of hiking trails around. Peter Island also offers a 5 star resort which offers a beautiful Spa for those who want to relax and be pampered. Next to Peter Island is Salt Island where you can find the Wreck of the Rhone, a perfect spot for snorkeling and diving (see our dive page).
Cooper Island is a wonderful little island just across Sir Francis Drake channel to the east of Tortola. Manchioneel Bay is the primary anchorage on Cooper’s northwest side facing Road Harbor.
There is a small but nice sandy beach lined with gorgeous palm trees in front of the Cooper Island Beach Club, which is a terrific restaurant which has a delightful outside lounge area under shade umbrellas. Cooper Island’s superb snorkeling site is in the waters around Cistern Point and the rock named Little Carvel Rock.
The Baths in Virgin Gorda are without a doubt one of the signature attractions of the BVI. They are essentially a magnificent structure of boulders that sit on the beach in beautiful formations with serene cave like pools.
You will find great snorkeling to the south of the Baths. There is also a nice trail that will take you climbing through the Baths boulders to Devil’s bay. It’s rocky and as with all BVI hikes, be sure to wear proper footwear (not flip flops!). A small trail also leads to a nice restaurant on the top of the Baths with a small pool for a great views of The Baths
Gorda Sound is in the North of Virgin Gorda and is one of the most enchanting sailing locations. Nowhere do you have such a perfectly protected area of deep water with trade wind breezes. It truly is a lake in the sea, 3-4 square miles of flat water.
Your have lots of destination in the Gorda Sound like Leverick bay, Saba Rock an Bitter End to name the most famous ones. This Bay is very protected and flat, so the perfect spot for water activities including windsurfing, water-skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding etc.
Anegada is an atoll and the only island in the Virgin Islands made of coral and not volcanic. It is super flat with white beaches all around and completely surrounded by coral reefs. Anegada the second largest island in the British Virgin Islands.
The local friendly taxi drivers will be more than happy to provide a tour of the island complete with a running history. Or, rent a jeep or bicycles to explore on your own. You will see pink flamingos in the salt pond and miles of white sand beaches like Cow Wreck Beach and Loblolly Beach
SCRUB ISLAND / MARINA CAY
Scrub Island is a private island with a first class marina and Luxury Resort & Spa for some extra luxury on or after your sailing vacation: Indulge by the pool or discover one of the beaches, have a relaxing spa treatment or just wonder around in the marina.
Opposite Scrub Island is Marina Cay. The flower covered, eight-acre island is ringed by a soft, white sand beach. The island is nestled in a sheltered, emerald green, lagoon whose shallow waters are always calm and lukewarm. It is the ideal place for snorkelers to enjoy the colorful fish and sea life that inhabit the coral reef and the lagoon.
Trellis Bay is a bustling little community on the beach, just beside the airport on Beef Island. Trellis Bay is a great spot for people-watching, windsurfing, shopping for unique gifts or just chilling out with a cold beer.
The Last Resort restaurant is located on Bellamy Cay, which is a small spec of an island with a dinghy dock and a great restaurant. Every month, there is a Full Moon party in Trellis Bay, where vendors line the beach with arts and crafts for sale, and party-goers get their groove on to live calypso music and poi shows. At midnight, a giant iron fireball is set on fire in the bay.
CANE GARDEN BAY
Cane Garden Bay is the ultimate Caribbean beach. It has everything – swaying palm trees, a perfect sweep of fine white sand and turquoise blue waters that lap the shore. Above, and all around , the view of stunning tropical hillsides will astound you.
Tortola’s most famous beach is popular with visitors who like to be at the centre of it all – as the beach also plays host to an array of restaurants, water sports companies, shops and bars. If you have a chance to visit Callwood’s Rum Distillery, you should. Callwood’s has been producing quality rum since at least the 1800’s.
JOST VAN DYKE
Named after an early Dutch settler and former pirate, Jost Van Dyke has been a sailor’s mecca for years. Great Harbour, the main port of entry, is always bobbing with sailboats and home of the famous bar/restaurant Foxy’s. White Bay offers various bars – like soggy dollar- on a pristine white beach.
A hike over the hill from Great Harbour will put you in Little Harbour, a smaller bay with several seafood restaurants. Diamond Cay is another attraction with a small seaside restaurant and a trail to what is known as “the bubbly pool” a natural breakwater from the sea that comes alive when waves pour into a pool-like formation stirring up the waters.
Sandy Cay is an uninhabited island and is located between Tortola and Jost Van Dyke. It has one of the most photogenic and inviting beaches on the planet and only reachable by boat.
The island has an amazingly beautiful beach that wraps around nearly half of it, gorgeous blue water and great views of neighboring islands. There is a path that cuts through the center of the island, where you can see a multitudes of crabs scurrying around as well as lush green foliage.
Sandy Spit is another uninhabited tropical island, with a “spitting” distance from Jost van Dyke. It is much smaller than Sandy Cay, but definitely worth the visit for beautiful pictures.
Approaching this desert island by boat is the ultimate thrill – as you realize that the beach of your dreams really does exist. It will only take a few minutes to walk around Sandy Spit – if you walk slowly (it measures less than half and acre in size)! Slowly the beach is eroding, so go and visit Sandy Spit while it is still there.
A Few of our favorite Restaurants/Bars:
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