Some of the world's best sailing is in the protected British Virgin Islands. It is a perfect cruising paradise for sailors. This archipelago is famous for its short hops from island to island and line-of-sight sailing. From mountainous Tortola, you can set sail for more than 60 islands and hundreds of welcoming anchorages.
Choose a Charter Company
Tortola is the largest BVI with two top charter companies. Sunsail Yacht Charters offers bareboat and crewed charters on monohulls and catamarans. For corporate sailing, try a team building event, and for social sailing, flotillas are a popular choice. Sunsail offers discounts to repeat charter clients and off-season rates. The Moorings is primarily a bareboat-oriented charter company but also has a crewed division. They offer sail and power charters, all-inclusive luxury cruises and signature crewed charters with captain and chef. Both companies are located at Wickham's Cay II.
Beneteau Catamarans at Sunsail. Photo: Susan Fogwell
Must-see Jost Van Dyke
Volcanic Jost Van Dyke is a must-see secluded island with a tiny population of 225 people. With blissful beaches, you'll find peaceful anchorages on the leeward side and ideal spots for snorkeling. For a dramatic dive, head to Green Cay's colorful reef. For a kickback afternoon, grab a hammock at popular Soggy Dollar Bar and order the infamous, potent 'Painkiller' cocktail. Bring your binoculars to spy on pelicans and boobies at Diamond Cay, a bird sanctuary located off Long Bay.
Snorkeling on Norman Island
Sailing at the southern perimeter of the Sir Francis Drake Channel, you will find yourself on Norman Island. Because of a buried pirate treasure, locals refer to it as "Treasure Island." Take your dinghy to Treasure Point and tie up at the dinghy mooring. Supreme snorkeling is found at the mouth of four caves. Grab a bite to eat at Marina Cay's beach restaurant. It's nestled behind a reef and provides another great all-weather anchorage. Pirates Bight is another meal-ashore spot.
The Baths on Virgin Gorda
Discover secret pools and caves at The Baths, located on the southwest tip of Virgin Gorda. This famous and striking rock formation is a haven for swimming and excellent snorkeling. Between the Baths and Devil's Bay, take the slippery and slightly challenging trail leading to the beach. To cool off, take a dip in the fresh water pool at Top of the Baths, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. While dining, enjoy views of the islands to the west.
Best Dive in the Caribbean
In addition to sailing, diving in the BVIs is among the best in the world. With warm waters, fine visibility and superb reefs, you'll find 20 top locations throughout the islands. The must-dive "Wreck of the Rhone" was featured in "The Deep." The 310-foot ocean steamer sank off Salt Island in 1867 during a horrific hurricane. Remarkably intact, it is home to vibrant sponges and dynamic corals. The Rhone is perhaps the best dive in all of the Caribbean.