After many bareboat yacht charter trips to the British Virgin Islands over the years, I’ve put together my Top Ten BVI Beach List. Yes, I’ve checked each of these out personally.
Some of these are accessible only by boat, and others are intended to be visited by land. There’s something for everyone! Most BVI beaches have everything you would want in a tropical Caribbean setting: white sand, palm trees, turquoise water, and nearby beach bars.
If that sounds good to you, these are the best beaches in the British Virgin Island you need to visit and what you can expect to find there:
1. Anegada’s north shore beaches: Cow Wreck and Loblolly Bay
Anegada’s north shore beaches stand alone atop this list. It is one of my favorite places to visit and a highlight of any British Virgin Islands yacht charter trip.
These beaches are best visited by renting transportation (mokes preferably) from vendors in Setting Point. You can learn more about how to do that in my post on visiting Anegada.
Start on the east end with Flash of Beauty where you can find the best snorkeling in the BVIs and a great lunch spot. Monica’s roti is the pick of the menu. Wander along the beach of Loblolly Bay and consider a visit to Big Bamboo.
After lunch, hop back in your mokes and work your way to Cow Wreck Beach. Lagoon style swimming and liming away the afternoon is all that’s on the agenda. Grab a cocktail or two from Tipsy’s or the Cow Wreck Beach Bar.
If you are into windsurfing the north shore is your best option in the BVIs. You can rent equipment and other water sports from the Anegada Beach Club.
2. Devil’s Bay at the Baths
The reward at the end of your hike through the Baths is a stunning little sandy bay beach surrounding by immense granite boulders. We usually hang out here for an hour or so – there is no better place than Devil’s Bay to relax and swim.
After a morning dip, you can take the trail to the Top of the Baths for lunch and commanding views of the area.
If you plan to visit by charter yacht, make sure you arrive to the NPS mooring balls early! They fill up fast, especially in peak season.
You also need to pay attention to the beach safety flags which can be seen from the mooring field. If a north swell is running it can be hazardous to swim ashore (there is no dinghy landing allowed). A red flag indicates danger.
Still want to visit if there is a north swell? Grab a slip in Spanish Town to the north and take a taxi to the Baths. You can also taxi from other Virgin Gorda locations, such as North Sound.
3. White Bay Beach, Jost van Dyke
You can’t write a top 10 BVI beach list without including White Bay towards the top of the it. It can also be found atop several “best of the Caribbean” lists. Recently in USA Today’s Top 10 Caribbean Beach Bars, the Soggy took #1 and Hendo’s Hideout, #4.
It’s the best place in the British Virgin Islands to spend a full day beach bar hopping. Be prepared for crowds, however, as it’s the most popular beach in the BVIs.
Visit the Soggy Dollar Bar for the original painkiller, or find out which establishment serves up the best bushwacker.
To visit White Bay, you can anchor on the east or west side, if not redlined. I actually prefer to stay overnight at Diamond Cay and take a short taxi ride. You can read more about why I think this is better in my post about the hazards of staying in White Bay.
4. Sandy Spit
Sandy Spit is a fantastic lunch option on your way to an overnight anchorage at Jost van Dyke or Cane Garden Bay.
It’s a tiny white sand beach island, that was laid bare by Hurricane Irma. Accessible by boat only, you’ll likely only have a few other neighbors. Grab a picnic lunch, a football, and head ashore for the afternoon. The views of the surrounding area, are also, fantastic.
If Sandy Spit happens to be too crowded or if the anchorage is rolly from a swell, check out nearby Sandy Cay for a similar experience.
5. Savannah Bay, Virgin Gorda
If you are looking for a more secluded beach, Savannah Bay might interest you.
For yacht charters, the entrance through the reef is tricky. Many charter companies make this bay off-limits. That said, it is best visited by a short taxi ride from North Sound locations such as Gun Creek.
This is a beautiful, gem of a beach, perfect for strolling and swimming. With no services ashore, solitude and natural beauty are why you visit. There is also excellent snorkeling on the protected reef.
6. Smuggler’s Cove, Tortola
Smuggler’s Cove is also off the beaten path with the anchorage redlined by charter companies. There are reefs on two sides, with a narrow anchorage down the middle.
Ashore you’ll find a great beach for lounging and swimming. Park yourself at Patricia’s Beach Bar for an old school BVI experience with cheap drinks and open fire grilled beach entrees including fish sandwiches, hot dogs, and jerk chicken.
To visit, grab a taxi ride over from nearby Soper’s Hole.
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7. Deadman’s Bay, Peter Island
Even when the British Virgin Islands are busy, you can usually stretch out at one of Peter Island’s many bays and beaches.
My pick is Deadman’s Beach on the north side. It’s best visited in settled conditions with no northerly swell forecasted.
Peter Island is a private resort, that is still in the re-building process from Hurricane Irma in 2017. That said, you can use the beach here, but you’ll notice plenty off no trespassing signs asking you not to venture in farther ashore.
Drop the hook in the SE corner of the bay for the best protection. Aside from enjoying the calm waters of the beach, you can also dinghy over to Deadchest Island for some snorkeling. It’s a nearby National Park.
8. Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
One of the most popular bays in the BVIs, it also has a nice beach with a protected swimming area. It’s a beautiful bay lined on the hillside with pastel colored houses.
There are plenty of options here for eating, drinking, and shopping. Many establishments cater to cruise ship visitors, so you might want to check the schedule before choosing to visit.
Stroll along the beach and take your pick of places to grab a cold Carib. For an excursion, the Calwood rum distillery is nearby, or, enjoy a dinner with huge views from Bananakeet just up the hill.
9. White Bay, Guana Island
Another private resort island, you come here for the beautiful scenery and relative seclusion. The setting is spectacular and we usually find fewer visitors than other anchorages. When we are looking to escape the crowds, this is the BVI beach we visit.
You can use the beach, as local laws allow, just don’t venture farther inland. Resort staff will surely be keeping a close eye.
Monkey Point is a good snorkel option, a short dinghy ride away. I also love Muskmelon Bay, just to the north. The birds are sure to put on a show as they use it frequently to feed on bait fish. You can also dinghy here in settled conditions.
10. Brewer’s Bay, Tortola
Often redlined due to it’s northerly exposure and trickier anchoring protocol, Brewer’s Bay is also a lesser visited, unspoiled gem. If you are able to come here, I recommend at least a lunch stop and snorkel.
Nicole’s Beach Bar on the south side of the beach serves up local fare and cold beverages.
Relax on the palm tree lined beach or try a snorkel on the many coral reefs in the bay.