As Diane Arbus rightly said: “My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”
UPDATE: February 2023: I am heading back to the glorious British Virgin Islands in just over a week. The first time John and I visited the BVI was at Christmas 2003: a bumpy airplane landing on Beef Island on Tortola and a winding car ride to a sunny, sea-splashed boat cruise across the bay to Cooper Island Beach Club. Tortola offered many secluded cays, vistas, and beaches that we had never been to and had no time for. We quickly realized that a day on this 56 square kilometre (21 miles) of pure BVI ahh was not enough to scratch her sunny, casual charm. 2016 saw us returning to spend a slow week, and we discovered that time had to stand still for the both of us at some point on this island oasis. We rented a car and navigated Tortola’s curvy and windy roads, dipping and climbing up and down around this lush volcanic island, ultimately leading us to lovely, secluded beaches and inviting cays, unique experiences, and warm personalities. I later returned, alone, stepping onto the Roadtown Harbour on Windstar Cruises December 2018 trip.
Many memories abound. Here are followsummer’s four favourite Torotola beaches on the BVI:
Take the Ridge Road up from busy Road Town and head northwest and then switch back down into Brewers Bay and enjoy this beautiful secluded beach off the typical tourist and cruise ship taxi tours. Lunch is at Nicole’s: sate your beach appetite with one of his famous Pina Coladas or simply Caribes and a Cheeseburger (ask for the sauteed onion garnish). Bring your gear if you want to experience one of the best snorkelling beaches of the British Virgin Islands. The tranquil, almost uninhabited beach is the perfect start to your BVI beach holiday.
Cane Garden Bay:
Just south of Brewers Bay and still in the North West End sits famous Cane Garden Bay, regularly named one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches. The tranquil bay was our morning coffee and evening cocktail view from our rented villa, perched high atop the west-end cliff, and we never tired of the vista. There is not much to do in Cane Garden Bay except relax over a drink and lunch at Quito’s Gazebo or lounge in a beach chair, sipping tropical drinks while the warm Caribbean laps at your toes. At night, Cane Garden Bay doubles as a boaters’ parking lot, with many BVI sailors tieing up and tendering to sup, drink and listen to live music wafting from area bars like Quito’s (where you may enjoy local legend’s Quito Rymer’s island reggae sounds), Elm or Myett’s.
On Tortola’s East End is a rookie surfers’ paradise where waves are at their curling best in winter. Wade out into those soft waves to learn and catch a curl or spend an hour body surfing a crashing wave.
Cow Wreck Beach on Anegada:
In the West End on Anegada, a beautiful wind-swept coral island and just a 45-minute boat ride from Tortola. Grab an open-air cab and drive to the Flamingo Pond en route to this little bit of Caribbean Paradise. ‘Where I’ve never been,’ Cow Wreck Beach and the Anegada Beach Club could not be a more beautiful, secluded and pure slice of BVI ahhh. Walk and wade in the gentle and turquoise-coloured waters, where the only population you may encounter will be the school of bonefish enjoying the same warm Caribbean waters. Wander the secluded beach with your special someone, and quench your thirst with a Painkiller or the Tipsy by Anne‘s famous Cow Killer. Or sit on the beach and enjoy the view.