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The British Virgin Islands, or simply, the BVI, are composed of more than 60 separate islands amid some of the best sailing waters in the world. Officially a "British Overseas Territory," the islands are incredibly laid-back. British accents pass in the breeze, but the attitude is much more UK-on-holiday than UK-in-plaid. Thanks to a stable economy fueled by offshore banking and a thriving charter boat industry, the islands feel prosperous. Tax accountants in breezy linen shirts share pints with sweaty sailors and West Indian fishermen. Travelers consider becoming locals and almost everyone wonders what life would be like living on a boat in ...

The British Virgin Islands, or simply, the BVI, are composed of more than 60 separate islands amid some of the best sailing waters in the world. Officially a "British Overseas Territory," the islands are incredibly laid-back. British accents pass in the breeze, but the attitude is much more UK-on-holiday than UK-in-plaid. Thanks to a stable economy fueled by offshore banking and a thriving charter boat industry, the islands feel prosperous. Tax accountants in breezy linen shirts share pints with sweaty sailors and West Indian fishermen. Travelers consider becoming locals and almost everyone wonders what life would be like living on a boat in these warm salty waters. Like most islands in the archipelago, Tortola has lovely beaches and impossibly steep mountains. It is the jumping off point for trips to other islands including Virgin Gorda (sheltered resorts and superb snorkeling), Jost Van Dyke (a fun getaway), and Anegada (flat coral atoll with more iguanas than humans). The nearby US Virgin Islands are easily accessible by ferry, though travelers do have to pass through customs when traveling between the islands.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to May