British Virgin Islands Directory
British Virgin Islands Overview
Comprised of 60 islands and cays, dotted around 59 square miles, in the Caribbean, about 80 kilo meters 960 miles east of Puerto Rico, north of the Leeward Islands, and adjacent to the U.S. Virgin Islands; principal islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. Among the most frequently visited of the BVI's handful of inhabited islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Beef Island, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Peter, Mosquito, and Guana Islands. All of these lilting place names reflect idyllic sites for unwinding, wriggling your toes in the sand, and absorbing the tranquil pleasures of sunshine and sapphire seas.
The British Virgin Islands are among the world's loveliest cruising grounds. There are around 40 islands. Of these 40 British islands, 16 are inhabited. The population of all the islands is around 17,000. Tortola is the largest island with an area of 21 square miles. The other larger islands are Anegada -15 square miles, Virgin Gorda - 8 square miles, Jost Van Dyke - 3 square miles. Smaller islands include Great Tobago, Peter, Cooper, Norman, Guana, Beef, Great Thatch and Marina Cay.
Scuba diving is popular around sunken reefs and wrecks. Among wreck dives, RMS Rhone is reckoned to be the best in the Western hemisphere. Once the pride of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, the Rhone hit Salt Island in a storm in 1867 and sank. It is now an official marine park.
Snorkelers should visit the four caves at Norman Island, said to be the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Windsurfers benefit from steady winds and calm water.
Throughout the islands, beaches are splendid and the beach bars exceptional. Gourmet cuisine can be found, along with background music from steel pans and guitars. But don’t expect early-hours entertainment – except at summer festival time, when parades and parties rule Tortola. The beaches of The British Virgin Islands are peppered throughout the entire archipelago of 60 islands and cays. Some we have discovered and others are just waiting to be. Not only do they possess such natural beauty and character not seen elsewhere in the world, but also allow you to be a part of a captivating marriage of the Caribbean Sea and the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Tortola, the largest island and the primary center of Caribbean yachting...Virgin Gorda, an isle of natural wonders and home to The Baths...Picturesque Jost Van Dyke - The Caribbean as it used to be...Isolated Anegada, a coral atoll with miles of deserted Caribbean beaches.
Sampling some of our local dishes is a fantastic way to experience our culture, savour some "home food" and get a chance to mingle with the locals. Here's what the locals recommend - fish & fungi, conch or roti - try some!
Roti: A flavourful East Indian flat bread filled with a meat or vegetables.
Paté: Not to be mistaken with liver pâté, this West Indian dish is a baked/grilled style pita bread filled with spiced meat, seafood or vegetables.
Fungi: No way related to the mushroom, this delight is made from cornmeal and okra and is usually served with seafood dishes. Very similar to Italian polenta.
Whelks: A seasonal seafood delicacy that is quite similar to escargot.
Conch: Another seasonal seafood delicacy - try it in fritters, paté, soup, salad, or as a main entrée.
Anegada Lobster: The ultimate in BVI seafood delicacy - reputed to be the best in the Caribbean.
Fresh local fruits: Most of which are seasonal like soursop, papaya, mango, pineapple, guava, sugar apple, passion fruit and tamarind.
|British Virgin Islands Facts|
Caribbean, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Puerto Rico.
The Trade Winds in this part of the world push North Atlantic water westward, forming the North Equatorial Current. From the equator (0°) to 30°N, the winds are influenced by the spin of the earth and are bent from the north to the south. This is called the Coriolis Effect. These winds affect the currents, which run through the BVI and other West Indies islands and then turn northwards. Warm ... more
Local area code is 284 and all numbers have a 49 prefix.
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British Virgin Islands Accommodations