Adventures of the British Virgin Islands: A Guide to the Major Islands

Thinking about the British Virgin Islands (BVI) but not sure what one to visit or if it is worth the trip. Look no further as we talk about the 4 major islands; Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. About 15 of the islands are inhabited.


Katie Melko

1/16/20242 min read

seashore under blue sky
seashore under blue sky

What makes up the BVI?

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a tropical paradise consisting of numerous islands and cays. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches and vibrant marine life, the BVI is a dream destination for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. In this guide, we will delve into the four major islands of the BVI - Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke - as well as provide an overview of the other smaller islands and cays that make up this stunning archipelago.


Tortola is the largest and most populated island in the BVI. It is home to the capital city, Road Town and serves as the main gateway to the archipelago. Tortola offers a mix of stunning beaches, lush green hills, and a vibrant local culture. Visitors can explore the historic sites of Road Town, indulge in local cuisine, and experience the lively nightlife. Popular attractions on Tortola include Cane Garden Bay, Smuggler's Cove and Sage Mountain National Park.

This is a popular cruise line stop in the Caribbean, you can easily hop on a ferry to get to the other islands but Tortola is great for a day of exploring and has a great rum factory.

Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda is known for its natural beauty and tranquility. The island is famous for The Baths, a unique geological formation of giant granite boulders that form picturesque grottoes and pools. Exploring The Baths is a must-do activity for visitors to Virgin Gorda. The island also offers pristine beaches, such as Savannah Bay and Spring Bay, where you can relax and soak up the sun. For those seeking adventure, Virgin Gorda is an excellent destination for snorkeling, diving and hiking.


Anegada is a hidden gem in the BVI, known for its untouched beauty and secluded beaches. Unlike the other islands in the archipelago, Anegada is a low-lying coral atoll, offering a unique landscape. The island is surrounded by one of the largest barrier reefs in the Caribbean, making it a haven for snorkelers and divers. Anegada is also renowned for its delicious lobster, which can be enjoyed at one of the local beachfront restaurants. If you're looking for a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path experience, Anegada is the perfect choice.

Jost Van Dyke

Jost Van Dyke is a small island with a laid-back and bohemian atmosphere. It is known for its pristine beaches, beach bars and lively beach parties. White Bay and Great Harbor are the main hubs of activity on the island, offering a range of beachfront bars and restaurants. The Soggy Dollar Bar, famous for its invention of the Painkiller cocktail, is a must-visit spot on Jost Van Dyke. The island also offers beautiful hiking trails and stunning panoramic views from its hilltops.

Other Islands and Cays

In addition to the four major islands, the BVI is home to over fifty other smaller islands and cays. These islands offer a variety of experiences, from secluded beaches and nature reserves to snorkeling and diving spots. Some notable smaller islands and cays include Peter Island, Cooper Island, Norman Island and Sandy Cay. Each of these islands has its own unique charm and attractions, making island hopping a popular activity among visitors.

Whether you choose to explore the major islands or venture off to the smaller ones, the British Virgin Islands offer a wealth of natural beauty, adventure and relaxation. From pristine beaches and vibrant marine life to rich local culture and delicious cuisine, the BVI is truly a tropical paradise worth visiting. So pack your bags, grab your snorkel gear and get ready to experience the magic of the British Virgin Islands!

~Travel on my friends,

Adventurous Kate