Trade winds, treasure islands

Discover a land of pirate ships and rum punch, buried treasure and palm trees, sandy beaches and crystal-clear seas. On a British Virgin Islands sailing holiday you’ll sample laid-back island culture, cruise the sparkling Caribbean Sea, lounge on quiet beaches and discover incredible wildlife.

A bareboat charter holiday lets you explore at your own pace and on your own schedule, mooring wherever you like for as long as you like. Follow our suggested bareboat charter holiday itinerary or go your own way—the choice is yours.

BVI itinerary

8
Days

Highlights

  • Rainforest hikes
  • Diving Wreck Alley
  • Snorkelling the Indians
  • The Baths National Park
  • Caribbean lobster barbecue
  • Treasure hunting on Norman Island
Day 1

Wickhams Cay II to Cooper Island

The day's sailing

0.8 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring

Leaving from our base at Wickhams Cay II, you’ll embark on the first leg of your Caribbean sailing adventure. Cruise southeast from Tortola with the sun warming the deck beneath your feet. You’re heading for Cooper Island, where many welcoming bays wait for you to secure a sheltered mooring. Cooper Island is a mecca for divers, and anchoring is prohibited here to protect the nests of turtles that glide through the shallows. Dive the incredible Wreck Alley, where a number of intentionally downed vessels create wonderful habitats for marine life.

Discover Cooper Island

RMS Rhone

Dive the wreck of Royal Mail vessel RMS Rhone, sunk in a hurricane in 1867. This incredible dive site is home to groupers, turtles and other marine wildlife cruising through the crystal-clear waters.

Day 2

Cooper Island to Gorda Sound, Virgin Gorda

The day's sailing

3 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring

From Cooper Island you’ll trace a meandering path northwards towards Gorda Sound. Sail the length of majestic Virgin Gorda, first passing Ginger and the Jerusalem islands, then bustling Spanish Town and broad Savannah Bay, before rounding the headland and entering Gorda Sound. A shallow, sheltered sound surrounded by reefs and islands, Gorda Sound is great for swimming and snorkelling as well as water sports such as paddleboarding, windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Discover Gorda Sound

Suggested lunch spots

To the east of Virgin Gorda, the Dog Islands—Great Dog, George Dog and West Dog—offer beaches, bays, cliffs and caves to explore on your lunch break.

Day 3

Gorda Sound to Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

The day's sailing

2 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring
Spanish Town_Virgin Gorda

About-face and sail back the way you came, taking the time to revel in the stunning scenery and beautiful weather of the British Virgin Islands. Your next overnight stop is lively Spanish Town, where you’ll have the opportunity to re-provision your boat and lounge in laid-back waterside bars and restaurants. Rent a car or book a taxi to explore Virgin Gorda further. An abandoned copper mine to the east of Spanish Town has a spooky, ethereal atmosphere great for photos, while Gorda Peak National Park is a treat for hikers and reveals stunning views of the surrounding ocean.

Discover Spanish Town

Virgin Gorda, BVI

The Baths

Visit the famous Baths National Park, where volcanic action and coastal erosion have created a granite playground of pools, grottoes, arches and caves.

Suggested lunch spots

Anchor in any of Mahoe, Pond or Savannah bays to enjoy a lunch break on the golden, sun-warmed sand.

Day 4

Spanish Town to Marina Cay

The day's sailing

2.5 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring
Marina Cay BVI

Marina Cay is a tiny islet off the eastern end of Tortola. Reach this miniature gem by sailing west through open water from Spanish Town, feeling the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea slip away beneath your keel. Surrounded by reef, Marina Cay is a great spot for snorkelling. Relax on shore in a bar or restaurant or head across to Scrub Island, where a dive centre lets you organise trips beneath the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.

Discover Marina Cay

A drink with a view

Head to the bar at the centre of Marina Cay or on Scrub Island for a drink with a view in the sparkling Caribbean sunshine.

Suggested lunch spots

Cruise into the gentle bowl of Trellis Bay on Beef Island, where you can enjoy a laid-back lunch on the sand. Trellis Bay is home to a local artists’ colony, so be sure to check out some of the galleries and studios before you leave.

Day 5

Marina Cay to Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

The day's sailing

2 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring
Cane Garden Bay_ BVI

Pick your way between the islands of Great Camanoe, Little Camanoe and Guana, cruising west along Tortola’s mountainous northern cost. The gentle curve of Cane Garden Bay, tucked into Tortola’s western coast, is your next destination. Here you’ll find an idyllic beach backed by palm-specked hills and lined with some of the best bars in the BVIs. Paddleboard in the bay or hike into the rainforest behind the beach, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.

Discover Cane Garden Bay

The Callwood Rum Distillery

Take a trip to the Callwood Rum Distillery for a peek into the past, and of course an opportunity to sample Tortola’s excellent white and gold rums.

Suggested lunch spots

Moor at Guana Island’s glimmering White Bay. Beyond this magical stretch of white sand beach, Guana Island is home to rare species including the red-legged tortoise, Caribbean flamingo and stout iguana.

Day 6

Cane Garden Bay to Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke

The day's sailing

1.1 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring
Great Harbour_Jost_Van_Dyke

To the west of Tortola you’ll find Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the four main British Virgin Islands. Leave Cane Garden Bay in your wake as you sail past little Sandy Cay, heading for the southern shores of Jost Van Dyke and the welcoming mouth of Great Harbour. Great Harbour and nearby White Bay offer some of the best bars and nightlife in the BVIs, so enjoy lounging on the beach and snorkelling in the sea by day and sipping rum cocktails to the sound of live music by night. Adventurous sorts can hike into the tall, rainforest covered hills behind Great Harbour, or arrange a dive trip with the local beachside dive shop.

Disccover Great Harbour

Island Eco Tours

Arrange an eco tour into Jost Van Dyke’s interior to discover the island’s incredible wildlife and scenery.

Suggested lunch spots

Enjoy a lunch break on aptly named Sandy Cay, where a spit of virgin sand reaches out into the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Day 7

Great Harbour to The Bight, Norman Island

The day's sailing

2.5 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring

Sail the border between two countries as you navigate The Narrows separating St. John from Tortola. Pick your way between Great Thatch and Little Thatch islands before bearing southeast towards Norman Island. Norman Island is said to be the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and many visitors still explore the coves and bays in the hope of discovering long forgotten pirate booty.

Discover The Bight

Search for treasure in the caves

Snorkel the Caves off Treasure Point in the evocatively named Privateer Bay, searching for hidden booty overlooked for centuries.

The Indians, BVI

Suggested lunch spots

The Indians are a small archipelago of islets and one of the most popular dive spots in the BVIs. Call here for lunch and dive or snorkel an underwater playground brimming with tropical fish species.

Day 8

The Bight to Wickhams Cay II

The day's sailing

2 hr
Sailing time

To be used as a guide only. Based on suggested sailing lanes and average wind speed for area.

Suggested activities

  • Diving Diving
  • Snorkelling Snorkelling
  • Turtle watching Turtle watching
  • Swimming Swimming
  • Exploring Exploring
Wickhams Cay II Marina Base

Use your final day to return to our base at Wickhams Cay II. The journey will take you past Peter Island, with its multitude of bays, coves and reefs, so take the opportunity to stop off and explore. Take your time and return to base at your own pace or hurry back early to spend the day exploring Tortola—it’s entirely up to you.

Discover Wickhams Cay II

Botanical Gardens

A 15-minute walk takes you to the J.R. O’Neal Botanical Garden. Take a stroll through the manicured tropical gardens and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.