Best Beaches in the British Virgin Islands

A visit to the British Virgin Islands isn’t complete without stopping by some of their best beaches.

The British Virgin Islands are comprised of more than 60 islands, so there’s certainly no shortage of beautiful shorelines and beaches to explore. It could be your first time visiting the BVIs, but, after taking a trip to visit some or all of these beaches, it almost assuredly won’t be your last.

Consider taking time to visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda, one of the most popular places among the BVIs. Head over to Jost Van Dyke to get a taste of the original Painkiller drink at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Or venture over to Tortola’s Cane Garden Bay for a family-friendly environment on the island’s most popular beach.

No matter your vibe for beach day, the BVIs are sure to have a beach that’ll help make your vacation a relaxing one. Read on for our list of the best beaches in the British Virgin Islands.

Virgin Gorda - The Baths

The Baths British Virgin Islands
The BathsNational Geographic Image Collection

This is not a secret locale — it's one of the most visited spots in the British Virgin Islands — but the national park on Virgin Gorda's north shores is still a must-see. Iconic granite boulders form a canopy over sheltered sea pools with grottos and caves for exploring. The cruise-ship crowd usually clears out by 2 p.m., so go to one of the best Virgin Gorda beaches in the afternoon to enjoy the beach and snorkeling at Devils' Bay. Just north, Spring Bay also offers a similar environment with fewer crowds.

Jost Van Dyke - White Bay

The scene at Soggy Dollar Bar British Virgin Islands
The scene at Soggy Dollar Bar.Shutterstock

Picture a classic Caribbean beach: a stretch of perfect sand, sailboats and yachts docked in the bay, lively bars slinging potent cocktails with lush mountains in the distance. White Bay is this place: one of the best beaches in the British Virgin Islands. Oh, and did we mention snorkeling?

The bay is protected by a coral reef teeming with marine life, making it one of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. As for the cocktail, the famed Soggy Dollar Bar claims to have invented the original Painkiller, best sipped from a hammock. The watering hole's name comes from the boaters who come ashore and pay with (you guessed it) soggy dollars.

Jost Van Dyke - Great Harbour

Jost Van Dyke's arrival point could also be called the activity hub of the island, if a tiny, four-square-mile island could claim one. The main draws are the restaurants and beach bars, like Foxy's Tamarind Bar & Restaurant. Grouper sandwiches, jerk chicken wings and conch fritters are on the menu, along with blinding rum beverages and beer brewed in-house.

The joint features live music nightly (sometimes from Foxy himself) and beach barbecues on Friday and Saturday. Visit during one of the infamous special events, like the Wooden Boat Regatta or St. Patrick’s Day.

Tortola - Smuggler's Cove

Snorkeling in the British Virgin Islands
There are plenty of snorkeling spots in the BVI.Shutterstock

The reefs at this secluded spot make it dangerous for boats to anchor, which means almost no crowds from day-trip charters at one of the best Tortola beaches. By car, navigate winding Route 1 to the west side of the island near Belmont Bay, or you can take the 20-minute hike from Long Bay.

Bring your mask and fins: The same coral that hinder yachts make for excellent snorkeling. Thanks to fewer visitors, the beach is unspoiled with only a few snack shacks and bars.

Tortola - Cane Carden Bay

It's clear why this beach tops a list of best beaches in Tortola: The family-friendly strand is lined with lively restaurants, as windsurfers rule the waves in the background. The location offers prime sunset viewing, too. After dark, the area's bars comes to life. Dance to live reggae at Quito's Gazebo; the owner, Quito Rymer, has played with Ziggy Marley, son of Bob Marley.