Tortola is the British Virgin Island’s main island. It’s home to a heady mix of soft white-sand beaches, lush green mountains and sailing boat filled harbours.
It has a long, rich history and there are several museums worth visiting, most notably the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum, Fort Burt, Callwood’s Rum Distillery, the Old Government House Museum and the VI Folk Museum.
Tortola is held in high regard by the yachting community and sailing is something of a local custom. A popular past time is renting a boat and heading to Salt Island where you’ll find the RMS Rhone, a sunken mail ship that’s now an artificial reef full of colourful, tropical fish. But to really immerse yourself in island life, we recommend spending time at one of Tortola’s many stylish resorts, before taking to the waves for a week on a private charter.
The British Virgin Islands beaches are made for lounging but there’s plenty to keep you active, too. You can snorkel, dive and sail to your heart’s content. The rainforest-like Sage Mountain National Park boasts some excellent trails for hiking and the grottoes and saltwater pools at the Baths National Parks are well worth exploring.
Despite feeling like a true castaway setting, the British Virgin Islands are easier to reach than you’d expect. You can fly direct into Antigua and then onto Beef Island Airport, Tortola.
When to go
The best time to visit is from November to April.