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Part of the British Virgin Islands, Tortola is truly nature’s little secret. Villa guests can explore the quiet island by foot or take a jeep around the rolling hills and beautiful scenery. Tortola is also a great place for sailing and yachting around the tranquil beaches, including gorgeous Cane Garden Beach and Brewers Bay. No matter how you spend your time, a Villas of Distinction villa in Tortola is pure escapism.
Overshadowed by the wider and busier Waterfront Drive, Main Street, Road Town’s one-way Main Street offers fun shopping in tiny shops that crowd the narrow street. Step out of shops carefully as the sidewalks are frequently mere curbs and a passing car takes up a lot of the available space! The Post Office and its Philatelic Bureau are here on Main Street. Don't leave Main Street without stopping into the Sunny Caribbee Herb and Spice Company and the Serendipity Gift Shop!
J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens is also located in Road Town, this 3-acre site exhibits rare and indigenous tropical plants.
The Virgin Islands Fold Museum is an exhibition hall that features interesting artifacts and ancient pottery as well as tropical fish and other marine life.
Chartering a boat is the number one most popular activity in the British Virgin Islands. There are many charter companies to choose from, both crewed and bareboat charters are available.
Watersports include day sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving are easily arranged. Surfing is limited, however, Apple Bay on the north coast often gets good breaks in the winter and spring.
Hiking the trails in the Mount Sage National Park are the most popular, or have a ball horseback riding - there are stables on the island that will take you on trails through the countryside.
With a variety of gorgeous soft-sand beaches and few crowds, Tortola is the ultimate island escape for laid-back beach lovers. If you have a week to spend in Tortola, you could spend every day on a different stretch of sand. Some beaches have bustling seaside bars; some are perfectly deserted; others are ideal for snorkeling or swimming. Below, find some of our most popular.
Cane Garden Bay. This is the most popular beach in Tortola by far, and one of the most well known in the British Virgin Islands. The curved shape of the bay keeps it sheltered from heavy winds, so the crystal-clear water stays gentle, perfect for windsurfing and swimming. Lively bars and restaurants line the beach, and there are plenty of places to rent sailboats or kayaks. If any Tortola beach is going to be crowded during high season, it’s Cane Garden Bay – but you can’t leave Tortola without experiencing it. If possible, try to avoid visiting when a cruise ship is docked in the bay.
Brewers Bay. Just northeast of Cane Garden Bay is Brewers Bay, where you’ll find a completely different atmosphere: small, undeveloped and peaceful. You may encounter a handful of campers from the on-site campground, but there are rarely many other visitors – and it wouldn’t be unusual for your group to be the only one. Brewers Bay offers some of the best snorkeling in Tortola, with plenty of shallow, easy-to-explore reefs.
Long Bay is divided into two beaches: Long Bay East and Long Bay West. Long Bay East is the locals’ favorite – great for swimming, but with few amenities for visitors. Long Bay West is a mile-long white-sand beach with spectacular sunset views, perfect for a private stroll. The Long Bay Beach Resort is on the northeast side; book a table at the restaurant to dine alongside the water at sunset.
Smuggler’s Cove. Smuggler’s Cove is another locals’ favorite. The beach is very secluded and reachable only by an unpaved road, but if you do make the journey, you’ll be more than rewarded. Boasting beautiful, palm-shaded sand and calm, turquoise water, Smuggler’s Cove is a great place to get away from it all. It’s also a perfect spot for beginners to snorkel, with a reef that’s close to shore. If you don’t have your own gear, rent snorkels at Steven’s Beach Bar nearby.
Apple Bay. While not a large beach, Apple Bay offers some of the best surfing in the Caribbean, especially when waves are at their peak in January and February. Even if you’re not a surf enthusiast, it’s worth stopping by well-known Bomba Surfside Shack, a classic beachside dive, to grab a drink and talk to the locals. If you happen to visit on a Friday, make sure to stop into Sebastian’s restaurant to experience the beloved Friday night fish fry.
- A boater’s delight and a dream destination for those looking for the utmost in relaxation.
- There are no direct flights from the continental U.S., but connecting flights are available through San Juan or St. Thomas.
- Tortola is also easily accessible by boat. Most commonly via ferry from St. Thomas
- The official language in Tortola is English
- USD is the official currency
- Credit cards are accepted in most establishments, but not all
- The area code is 284
- Electricity is generally 110 volts (same as U.S.). Confirm with your Villa Specialist before travel.
- If you’re renting a car, don’t forget to drive on the left!
- Don’t miss a day on Long Bay beach.