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Best Beaches in the BVI

By Terry Ward

Jun 1, 2021

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With its white sand and turquoise water, White Bay is the quintessential Caribbean beach.

Photo by William Torrillo

With its white sand and turquoise water, White Bay is the quintessential Caribbean beach.

Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, snorkel, or sip a tropical cocktail or two, the BVI has the perfect beach for you.

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The sailing and yachting crowds know the British Virgin Islands as one of the most spectacular places for island-hopping in all of the Caribbean. At any time here, you’ll see their billowing sails and fancy boats dotting the horizon. Where there are islands to hop, of course, there are also beaches to plop down on and enjoy—not to mention beach bars serving frosty drinks.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best BVI beaches to visit next time you’re moving around this magical archipelago, including a peaceful cove with world-class snorkeling and an uninhabited island surrounded by deep blue seas. 

So grab your sunscreen, lay down your towel, and get ready to while the day away on some pristine white sand. 

When at White Bay Beach, hit the famous Soggy Dollar Bar for a Painkiller cocktail.

White Bay Beach

Jost Van Dyke

White Bay Beach is exactly what you imagine when you picture a perfect Caribbean shoreline: a long crescent of bright white sand lapped by waters that turn from turquoise to sapphire. Spend your time here snorkeling along the reef just offshore, or join the crowds who wade in from their catamarans to the Soggy Dollar Bar for some Painkillers—a potent cocktail with dark rum, tropical juices, and coconut cream that was reportedly invented right here.

Don’t miss Cane Garden Bay Beach on Tortola before moving on to other islands.

Cane Garden Bay Beach

Tortola

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Most visitors to the BVI fly into Tortola before sailing off to somewhere else, but there are spectacular beaches and bars to be enjoyed right here in the capital. One is Cane Garden Bay Beach, located about four miles west of Road Town. Among the most popular anchorages in the BVI for its sheltered setting, the clear-blue bay is fringed by a sweep of beach lined with swaying palms and laid-back bars. Hit Pusser’s at Myett’s to raise a Carib beer with locals and yachties alike, or settle in for some live music at Quito’s Gazebo, where you might even find the dreadlocked owner, Quito Rymer, strumming a song or two.

Check out Brewer’s Bay Beach for some of the best snorkeling on Tortola.

Brewer’s Bay Beach

Tortola

If Cane Garden Bay feels too crowded for you (it’s the most popular beach on Tortola, after all), make sandy tracks for Brewer’s Bay Beach, the next cove around the coast to the north. The road to get here makes some hairpin turns and involves more than one hairy switchback, but the reward comes in a quieter beach scene and some of the best snorkeling on the island, with tons of tropical fish just offshore from the palm-lined sand.

Devil’s Bay offers the same boulders as the Baths but with fewer crowds.

Devil’s Bay National Park

Virgin Gorda

After you’ve strolled among the boulders at the Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda, make the easy, 15-minute hike (it’s less than a mile) to Devil’s Bay National Park on the island’s southwestern tip for some less-crowded sunbathing and snorkeling. The beach here is similarly lined with boulders, and you won’t have to swim out far to find all the tropical reef fish. If the hike makes you hungry, grab a roti on the way back at Top of the Baths, an open-air bar and villa with panoramic views of the Baths and a mean Painkiller to boot.

Head to Spring Bay National Park for calm water and abundant marine life.

Spring Bay National Park

Virgin Gorda

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Just northeast along the coast from Devil’s Bay and the Baths National Park, Spring Bay National Park has Instagram-worthy granite boulders similar to those at the Baths—with just a fraction of the crowds. Relax on the soft white sand and enjoy the scenery, or snorkel out into the sheltered waters. Fishing isn’t allowed here, so marine life abounds.

Cow Wreck Beach

Anegada

The northernmost island in the hilly BVI chain, Anegada is known for its incredible white-sand beaches and delicious Caribbean spiny lobster. Rent a scooter with Anegada Amazing Rentals to cruise to the expansive Cow Wreck Beach in the island’s northwestern corner. Once you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, head to Cow Wreck Beach Bar, which fronts the turquoise waters and serves refreshing mango daiquiris alongside the requisite platters of lobster and fish, grilled over a barbecue fueled by local wood.

Located on Anegada, Loblolly Bay is considered among the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Loblolly Bay Beach

Anegada

Also on Anegada’s sublime shores, Loblolly Bay Beach is an unspoiled sweep of sand that stretches for miles and is consistently named among the most beautiful beaches in the world. The thing to do here—besides basking in the surrounding natural beauty—is to sit with a cold one and another platter of the island’s famed lobster at Big Bamboo, an iconic BVI beach bar overlooking the sand and sea.

Take a day sail from Tortola to the remote Sandy Spit and its picture-perfect beach.

Sandy Spit

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Located just east of Jost Van Dyke, the tiny, uninhabited island of Sandy Spit (also called Sandy Cay) makes up for its diminutive size with a postcard-perfect beach. On the remote stretch of sand, a few supermodel palm trees lean ever so elegantly over the beach, while gorgeous views stretch in every direction. The best way to get here is by private charter or a day sail with companies like Kuralu Catamaran Charters and Patouche Charters, which operate out of Tortola.

>>Next: The AFAR Guide to the British Virgin Islands

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