The best time to visit the British Virgin Islands is between the months of January through to May. During this time you can expect warm, dry, sunny weather with a tropical climate. Temperatures can reach highs of 28–31°C with around 8-9 hours of sunshine per day.
Consider travelling to the BVI in April or May though and you will be able to benefit from this beautiful weather but also be able to pick up a bargain on hotels and flights as it is coming to the end of the peak season.
Hurricane season is usually over the summer months leading into November with greater rainfall and humidity to be expected. This is a much quieter time of year were you can get the best prices for your trip away but also be able to see these beautiful islands in a different light.
So, lets get to know the British Virgin Islands a little better!
The British Virgin Islands is an archipelago made up of 60 breathtaking islands that are covered in protected, emerald coloured waters, incredible tropical marine life, picture perfect white sandy beaches and cool consistent trade winds that make the heat that bit bearable.
There are four main islands, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke. Tortola is the largest island that is most developed, fringed in luxurious hotels, villas and resorts. Jost Van Dyke, is the more livelier island where you can find a large number of bars and very tasty restaurants.
Virgin Gorda has the famous Baths, where vast granite boulders form pools that are great for snorkelling and bathing in. Anegada is famed for its diving and snorkelling spots and definitely somewhere to check out if you wish to tick ‘snorkelling around a reef’ off your bucket list.
Capital City: Road Town
Currency used in the British Virgin Islands: US Dollar with most establishments accepting MasterCard and Visa
Main Airports: Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport | Virgin Gorda Airport | Auguste George Airport
Visa & Entry Requirements: When travelling here you must carry a valid passport and return ticket. Most countries do not require a Visa.
Average Temperature: August is the hottest month at an average of 28°C and coolest in January at around 25°C.
Now, lets find out what to do whilst your here!
What to do in the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands some hold fantastic festivals, have a look at these once your here!
Culture & Festivities
The people of the British Virgin Islands are very friendly and have an incredible close-knitted community that believe in welcoming newcomers to the islands. Their ancestry is from originally from Africa but the culture has changed over the past few centuries and there is now a massive European population here, especially British as it is a British Oversees Territory.
Throughout their calendar year, the people of the BVI hold many festivals that celebrate different customs and events.
BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Held for a week towards the end of March, you can see sailing at its very best.
The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival has been running now for just over 45 years. It brings sailors together from all over the world to compete and race for the number 1 spot through the Caribbean Sea.
The sailing festival starts off with activities in the North Sound followed by the regatta at Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola.
Spectators and sailors alike gather at the beach side villages for food, drinks and local entertainment.
BVI Summer Festival
Held on the first Monday of every year, the The British Virgin Islands Carnival gathers locals and visitors to come and join in on the celebrations. It coincides with the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in 1834 so it is a festival that is close to the hearts of the people in the region.
A parade commemorates this special day and is seen as the best time to visit the British Virgin Islands as it is the biggest festival of the year.
The festival is filled with live music, incredible food, street parties, beauty pageants and J’Ouvert early in morning that can be seen across many other Caribbean nations.
BVI Music Festival
The festival takes place on each Memorial Day weekend at the end of May over 3 days.
It is the biggest music festival in the British Virgin Islands and attracts some big names in Jazz, Calypso, Reggae and rock on the stunning Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay Beach.
Here there are beach bars and restaurants serving delicious local food and cold beers to rejuvenate you to get back to dancing on the sandy beach.
Virgin Gorda’s Easter Festival
Join in on the party at Virgin Gorda’s Festival held over the Easter period.
There are a number of festivities that take place during this event from energetic local bands, Ms. Virgin Gorda Competition, crowning of the next Virgin Gorda Calypso Monarch and of course the Grand Easter Parade.
Throughout the event, there is live music from locals, DJ’s and big-name Caribbean acts.
Food and drink vendors take to the streets and villages you walk through where you can taste some of the local delicacies.
This a truly an event for all, from couples to families and dancers to foodies! Get involved
Let’s take a look at some of the beaches to visit!
Best beaches in the British Virgin Islands
With the British Virgin Islands having over 60 breathtaking islands, you will have no issue in finding a perfect white sandy beach that is nothing short of pure paradise.
Located on the island of Virgin Gorda, you can discover this beautiful place on the south coast of the island, just north of Devil’s Bay National Park.
This is one of the biggest tourist attractions on the British Virgin Islands. The giant granite boulders form a canopy over the colourful sea pools here which are shaped by the sea and are incredible for hiking and exploring around. Just make sure to wear shoes as the rocks are very slippery in some places.
Visit Poor Man’s Bar on the beach for a tasty cocktail and some light bites.
You can come across this fantastic beach on the island of Jost Van Dyke, towards the south coast.
This is a typical stunning Caribbean beach with a long stretch of white sand and beautiful cerulean waters with luxurious sailboats just bobbing in the distance.
The bay here is protected by a coral reef that is home to the most colourful tropical fish, so snorkelling here is a must! As the bay is protected, it allows for a calm and gentle surf so ideal for swimming in.
There are a variety of beach bars but you need to visit Soggy Dollar Bar to try out some of their mouthwatering cocktails, they are something special!
Take a trip to Coco Loco to taste some something from their menu, amazing food!
Spring Bay is a quiet, tranquil beach to get away from life’s worries. It’s located on the south coast of the island of Virgin Gorda, just north of The Baths.
It’s a small beach that has the most beautiful white sand that simply blends perfectly into warm turquoise waters.
In the backdrop you can see towering palms swaying in the wind with picnic tables set up underneath them.
If you really want to get away from all the crowds and experience a true Caribbean getaway, come to this beach!
You can find Smuggler’s Cove towards the south end of Tortola.
To get to this beach you may have to go slightly off-road but the views around here are jaw-dropping.
This beach has a long stretch of white sand shaded by tall palm trees and rainforest in the back. The water here is a magnificent turquoise colour that has a small surf which is ideal for swimming and snorkelling in.
The reefs here make it dangerous for boats to anchor, which means this beach can become very quiet at times, perfect if you want to get away from the crowds.
The beach is unspoiled with a few snack shacks and bars, try out Nigel’s Boom Boom Shack. Friendly service and awesome drinks!
Cane Garden Bay
Discover Cane Garden Bay just back up the coast, around a 21-minute drive from Smuggler’s Cove.
This stretch of sand has views to behold. Looking behind you once on the beach, you will see the mountainous landscape draped in the rainforest greenery. Looking out to the ocean, you will see beautiful turquoise waters that are just inviting you to dive into with luxurious sailboats and Catamarans scattered across the bay.
This is one of the favourite spots among the surfing community when the north swell builds but most of the year, the waters are calm and clear, perfect for snorkelling and swimming in.
Grab and drink and some tasty food at Quito’s Restaurant & Bar where they also play live reggae music.
Check out some of these beautiful restaurants when you’re visiting, their menus are excellent!
Where to dine
The British Virgin Islands have many flavours and different cuisines that will certainly cater to everyone’s needs. All seafood is caught and produce is grown locally grown that serve up some delicious fusions of Spanish, East Indian, African, French, Dutch and English cuisines.
Corsairs Beach Bar & Restaurant – Great Harbour | Jost Van Dyke (American, Bar, Pizza)
The Wonky Dog Restaurant & Bar – Setting Point | West End, Anegada (Caribbean, Bar, Seafood)
Hendo’s Hideout – White Bay | Right next to Soggy Dollar, Jost Van Dyke (Caribbean, Bar, Seafood)
CocoMaya – Beachfront – Valley Trunk Road, Virgin Gorda (Japanese, Caribbean, Seafood)
Soggy Dollar Bar – Sandcastle Hotel, White Bay | White Bay, Jost Van Dyke (American, Caribbean, Bar)
Hog Heaven – On the Road above Leverick Bay, Virgin Gorda (American, Caribbean, Bar)
Brandywine Estate Restaurant – Sir Francis Drake Hwy, Tortola (French, Seafood, European)
D’Coalpot BVI Restaurant Bar & Grill – Shore Road | Rt 1, Tortola (Caribbean, Seafood)
The British Virgin Islands was first officially documented by the Arawaks in the year 100 BC. During the 15th century the Caribs displaced the Arawaks, around the time Christopher Columbus first spotted the Virgin Islands in 1493.
It was the Dutch who first established a settlement here during the mid-1600’s. Heading into the 17th century, the islands were heavily fought over by the British, Dutch, Spanish and French along with privateering and piracy that made it for a turbulent time. One of the most infamous pirates, Blackbeard, was based here on Tortola.
The British ultimately won and took control of the British Virgin Islands. Sugarcane and cotton plantations were set up over the islands until the abolition of slavery in 1834.
Over years, several severe hurricanes has laid waste to the British Virgin Islands such as the more recent Hurricane Irma in 2017. The island is still rebuilding itself but progress is improving.