Top Beaches in the British Virgin Islands

Where to find some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in this island chain.

By Jimmy Im

In the British Virgin Islands there’s a pristine beach almost everywhere you look. But as with the archipelago’s 60-plus islands, not all beaches are created equal. In this Caribbean destination, where island hopping is the norm, these are five sun-kissed slices of heaven.

Cane Garden Bay

Thanks to its accessibility to cruise ships and yachts, sprawling Cane Garden Bay, on Tortola, is one of the B.V.I.’s most visited beaches. It’s also an oasis of beachfront bars and restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops and water-sports excursions. At sundown reggae music plays from the popular watering holes, like Quito’s Gazebo and Rhymers Beach Bar.

Smuggler’s Cove

Smuggler’s Cove, on the west end of Tortola, is a journey. From Long Bay you get here on an unpaved road. It’s secluded (there’s only one beach bar here) and has turquoise waters, a white-sand crescent beach and a whole lot of sky. The beach is fringed with tall palms that offer shade and snorkelers love it for the wealth of marine life along the nearby reef, which, incidentally, prevents charter boats from docking here.

The Baths

Encompassing seven acres and anchored by massive granite boulders, The Baths, on Virgin Gorda, is one of the most unusual beach areas in the British Virgin Islands. Many of the boulders in this national park straddle the sandy beach and the shallow waters, a geological formation that creates little pools. You can also check out Devil’s Bay, set in the same park and touted as one of the most scenic beaches in all of the B.V.I. It’s reachable only by a short hike along the boulders or by boat.

Deadman’s Beach

The tony Peter Island Resort offers five secluded, breathtaking beaches that are exclusive to its overnight guests. But those in the know head to Deadman’s Beach, where a self-contained sliver of the mile-long unspoiled beach known as Little Deadman’s is reserved for non-guests, giving visitors a chance to explore its most prized beach and kayak and or swim with a family of sea turtles. Best of all, they have access to several resort facilities and restaurants, like Tradewinds Restaurant, famous in the islands for its coconut French toast.

Sandy Spit

The fantasy desert island of Sandy Spit is what screensavers are made of. It’s a dot of sand with dense vegetation and surrounded by azure water. Frigate birds circle overhead while tropical fish swim between your legs in the shallow crystal-clear sea. It’s great for snorkeling and picnics, and with any luck you’ll have it all to yourself.

  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: July 2015