British Virgin Islands

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Sub-Region: Caribbean

British Virgin Islands Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 3-7 days

Best Time: December to April Read More

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"The Gem of Caribbean"

British Virgin Islands Tourism

An overseas territory of Britain, British Virgin Islands is nothing but beautiful and an enchanting place to be. With still a major chunk of the islands untouched, this archipelago features all the gorgeous things from rolling green hills, verdant mountainous landscape, reef-lined sparkling beaches and popular shipwrecks.

British Virgin Islands is a group of enthralling 36 islands (16 uninhabited islands) offering ample marine pursuits and relaxed surroundings. Often nicknamed as ÔNatureÕs Little SecretsÕ, these islands are treasure trove of nature in its pristine form. White sandy beaches with clear blue water frothing at the banks, unblemished gardens, lush mountains, exotic flora and fauna and hassle-free lifestyle makes British Virgin Islands one of an ideal destination of Caribbean. The strategic location of this Caribbean archipelago made this place a hotspot for yachting enthusiasts and worldÕs sailing hot spot. Tortola, the largest island along with Virgin Gorda, the second biggest are packed with fascinating surprises for the visitors. Where the former is known for its sailing proficiency, the later is adorned with the Baths and beachside boulders forming labyrinths. Although, it is a quite an expensive destination but visiting this gem of Caribbean is worth every penny.

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Currency in British Virgin Islands

United States Dollar serves as the official currency of the British Virgin Islands with the bills available in the denomination of USD 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Major credit and debit cards are accepted at few businesses establishments. However, travellerÕs cheque, especially US Dollar cheques are accepted at most places.

Exchanging Money in British Virgin Islands

In the British Virgin Islands, foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and exchange houses with latter offering best exchange rates. There are many popular banks on the islands including Banco Popular, Scotia Bank, First Caribbean and more. However, one will find ATMs available in Tortola and Virgin Gorda only. TravellerÕs cheque, especially US Dollar cheques are accepted at most places. A stamp duty of 10c is levied at every cheque.

Daily Budget for British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are a group of many small islands in Caribbean with Unites States Dollar as its local currency. The islands are a perfect getaway from the hustle bustle of big crowds while offering amazing natureÕs retreat. The place has something for everybody, be it backpackers, mid-range or the splurging type travellers. Following is the per day budget in the countryÕs local currency for each type of traveller mentioned above excluding the accommodation cost (include food, water, local transport, entertainment, inter-city transportation, tips, souvenirs and alcohol): Budget travel: USD 150 approximately Comfortable travel: USD 150 - 350 approximately Luxury travel: USD 500 and above approximately

Religion of British Virgin Islands

Mainly Christianity is practiced on islands including Methodist, Anglican and Roman Catholic. There are many islanders with belief in traditional African customs such as spiritualism.

British Virgin Islands Customs

The British Virgin Islands being a part of the British Commonwealth follows many traditions and customs of British. The most customary form of greeting is shaking hands. In British Virgin Islands, taking photograph of locals without their permission is considered rude. Informal dressing is normal unless there is a formal gathering at some hotel. Avoid beachwear away from beach or poolside. Tipping is common practice followed in the British Virgin Islands. A tip of 10 to 15 percent is usual for good service. Make sure to check before tipping if service charge to the bill is already included. For bellhops and porters, usually a tip of USD 1 per item of luggage is given.

Language of British Virgin Islands

English is the official language of British Virgin Islands. However, some word may sound different owing to the accent and unique vocabulary of Creole English.

History of British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands were first sighted by Columbus in 1493 and he named the islands Las Virgenes after ÔSaint Ursula and her 1100 VirginsÕ. The islands then left alone, later saw Dutch permanent settlement on Tortola in 1648. Over the period of 200 years, British, Spanish, Dutch, French and Spanish fought for the control of the islands, as the place became hub of pirates. After Dutch, the British took control over Tortola Island in 1672 and captured Anegada and Virgin Gorda as well. The islands saw the establishment of sugar cane plantation and slave importation era with the colonisation. Soon, the economic activities shifted from smuggling to the production of sugar. The islands saw the emergence of a civil government in 1773 through a popularly elected House of Assembly and partially elected Legislature Council. During the early 19th century, the slave trade ended followed by slave emancipation. The flourishing economy based on sugar plantations started to decline with the finding of sugar beet and eradication of slavery. The British Virgin Islands became part of the Leeward Islands Federation between 1872 and 1956 but refused to unite with the West Indies Federation of British Territories. The islands got its self-government in 1967 when right to govern themselves was granted to the islanders. However, today the British Virgin Islands are an overseas territory of Britain.

Nightlife in British Virgin Islands

Nightlife in the British Virgin Islands is quite unique in some aspects. Where some islands offers special nights with live music or dancing at hotels, others such as Virgin Gorda and Tortola are spotted with plethora of bars offering live music and/or DJs. One can also enjoy full moon party on the beach at Apple Bay that takes place in Tortola every month. Other than that, there is one cinema on Tortola.

Shopping in British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands are really not a hotspot destination for shopping lovers. However, if handicrafts are on your list, then one will find plenty of things to buy along with local art, trinkets, jewellery made from conch, straw-work, carved wooden items, rum, local spices, sauces, and the attractive batik material Ð designed and crafted locally. Go for a walk along the Main Street in Road Town to find such several fascinating things.

Best Time to Visit British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands Photos

British Virgin Islands

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FAQs on British Virgin Islands

What is the best time to visit British virgin islands?

The British Virgin Islands are basically round the year destination with sub tropical climatic condition. However, December to April serves as the peak tourist season especially for Europeans and North American visitors. The hotels tariffs and flight price is maximum during this time. This is also the time, when weather is most pleasant and sailing season is on full swing. The months of May and June are for those who enjoy less crowd, good weather and perks of low lodging rates. September is the time for heavy rainfalls with July to November are hurricane months, which are best avoided.
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What is the local food in British virgin islands?

The British Virgin Islands comprise of ample number of restaurants serving delicious local as well as international cuisines. One will find local eateries on Virgin Gorda, Tortola and Jost Van Dyke apart from hotels. Seafood is the staple on the islands particularly lobsters and different kind of fishes is part of the most menus. Most dishes comprise of spiced meat, starches in various forms, and some vegetables. Fish chowder, mussel pie, snapper, conch stew, shark, roti, pate, and fungi are some of the popular dishes. There is also variety of fresh fruits on the islands including soursop, papaya, mango, passion fruit, guava, sugar apple, tamarind and pineapple. All type of rum punches especially Pain Killer and Bushwacker, and cocktails are famous beverages here.
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What are the things to do in British virgin islands?

The top things to do in British virgin islands are The Baths, Rhone Marine Park (Salt Island), Fallen Jerusalem National Park, Norman Island, Botanic Gardens, Sage Mountain National Park. You can see all the places to visit in British virgin islands here

What are the places near British virgin islands?

The top places near to British virgin islands are London which is 6680 km from British virgin islands, Dubai which is located 1226 km from British virgin islands, Amsterdam which is located 6359 km from British virgin islands, New york city which is located 12179 km from British virgin islands, Bali which is located 6284 km from British virgin islands

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