It’s a sweltering summer back home in the States, but you’re stretched out on a golden-sand beach, drink in hand, with the cooling trade winds wafting over you. After a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear sea, you dig into a gourmet meal and get ready for an evening of nighttime fun.
Welcome to the British Virgin Islands, summer-style. The temperatures average a balmy 75–90 degrees, amazing hotels and restaurants are open, prices are lower, the beaches are less crowded, and the famous hospitality you’ll find on the BVI’s 60 idyllic islands remains a constant. Experience “Sail + Stay” in the BVI and discover why summer is the perfect time to explore the wide variety of unforgettable options. Here’s what to do.
Summer Events Summertime in the BVI features some awesome, can’t-miss events. The season kicks off on May 26 with the Leverick Bay Poker Run—a speedboat race that’s a blast to watch, with accompanying parties and prizes. And it’s all done for charity. July 24 brings Summer Sizzle BVI, a 5-day event full of fashion shows, beauty and wellness workshops, and great parties that attract some of the world’s biggest fashion icons. And the country’s most important cultural showcase—the 65th BVI Emancipation Festival—runs from August 2–10, celebrating the country’s freedom and cultural history. The whole of the BVI explodes in colorful parades, great music, food fairs, and more.
Get Out on the Water You don’t need to come during an event to enjoy a BVI summer. The clear, turquoise sea is the perfect playground for an adventure anytime, either above or below the water. Get a little of both by taking a glass-bottom boat ride with Gumption’s Nature Tours; look for sea turtles and eagles rays, along with all kinds of colorful fish—you can even tour the teeming reef at night. Or go angling for some of those fish with Danny’s Bonefishing, on the island of Anegada. The son of Anegada’s first bonefishing guide, Danny has the expertise to take you out casting for bonefish, tarpon, and snook. You can also get an up-close look at some of those fish—as well as some cool shipwrecks—by going snorkeling or diving with Kelly’s Land and Sea Tours.
Adventure on Land Get the adrenaline flowing with an exciting zipline across the treetops with the Original Virgin Canopy Tour. You’ll be soaring with an incredible bird’s-eye view of Road Town, the shimmering sea, and islands off in the distance. Horseback riding along the beach more your thing? Go with Francis Family Farm and you’ll sit atop one of these gorgeous, rescued animals as you breathe in the sea air and take in the scenery. Or explore on your own two feet: Hike through the old-growth forest of Sage Mountain National Park or out to a dramatic lookout at Shark Bay, where you can look for frigate birds, pelicans, and brown boobies.
Where to Wind Down After all that action, you’ll need a rest: Get a massage while feeling the gentle rocking of the sea at a unique floating oasis, Ocean Spa. You can also surprise your significant other with an exclusive picnic or dinner on the beach: Navanchor can arrange a gourmet meal, along with all of the transportation. And if you’re out boating, stop by Cooper Island Beach Club (open through mid-August) for lunch or dinner. There’s a microbrewery, rum bar (with one of the region’s largest selections), coffee shop, and restaurant. Dine on the West Indian roti and conch fritters, or just soak up the tropical view with a cocktail on the comfy outdoor sofas.
Then turn in at one of the BVI’s comfortable hotels. Discover your own slice of paradise on the private retreat of Scrub Island and bask in its luxury accommodations, secluded beaches, and excellent dining. The budget-friendly Maria’s by the Sea Hotel is the largest hotel in Tortola and offers views of the sea or city. Or experience glamping in luxury palapas with an ocean view at Anegada Beach Club, where you’ll find all the comforts of an upscale hotel—king-size canopy bed, hot showers, comfortable furniture—in a truly unique environment.
Learn more about BVI summer fun at BVI Tourism.