The Best BVI Sailing Itinerary: Route and Distances

The British Virgin Islands In the logbook of every sailor. Thus, don’t wait any longer and sail throughout its islands plenty of sun-soaked beaches, lush rainforests, impressive rock formations, traditional world-renowned bars and protected harbours. The archipelago displays more than fifty islands, of which 16 are entirely uninhabited. The largest ones, which are also the main attractions of every sailing itinerary in the BVI, are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke.

And if you are not an experienced sailor, no worries, because the BVIs are the perfect destination for either beginner and experienced charterers! Everyone can enjoy constant winds and incredibly relaxing navigation across this volcanic archipelago.

Keep reading our sailing itinerary in the BVI to see the best wonderers with your boat!

Navigation

The British Virgin Islands offer sheltered waters and easy navigation. The trade winds usually blow from the northeast to southeast, from 10 to 20 knots. The winds are usually at 15-20 knots from November to January. Only the so-called Christmas winds can produce between 25-30 knots for several days, while September and October are the months with the weakest trades winds.

Wind and Climate

BVIs enjoy a tropical climate with an annual temperature between 24º C and 28ºC. The rainy season goes from June to October. August as the warmest month whereas from September, October, and November are the wettest months. Hurricanes can occur in this period, even if fortunately they are sporadic. The average of the sea temperature is between 21º C and 28º C, with the warmest in September.

Sailing Itinerary in the BVI

Day 1: Departure from Tortola (7 nm)

Tortola is the largest island and the capital of the archipelago. Formed by volcanic activity, it is the home of Road Town, the commercial hub of the British Virgin island. Its marina is the typical launching pad for most sailors visiting the archipelago. Tortola is a beach paradise but also rich from a cultural point of view. Apple Bay, Brewer’s Bay, Smuggler’s Cove, Long Bay Beach, and Josiah’s Bay Beach are just some of its spectacular beaches.

Day 2: Tortola – Norman Island (3 nm)

Panoramic View of a bay in BVIs covered in vegetetation

Starting from Nanny Cay, across the Francis Drake Channel, you will reach Norman Island, where RL Stevenson drew inspiration for his novel ‘Treasure Island’. You can enjoy one of the best sunsets in the entire Caribbean anchoring in one of its mooring balls.

The Bight is the most popular anchorage. You can overnight here and leave the day after, but not before exploring its caves, the perfect spots to enjoy a superb snorkelling.

Day 3: Norman Island – Peter Island (7 nm)

Home to a world-class resort spa, Peter Island is a paradise within paradise. There is no place like it in the whole world, nor so hidden. It is a private island where you will find the pinnacle of evasion and peacefulness.

Day 4: Peter Island – Cooper Island (4 nm)

After a good breakfast, navigate to Cooper Island, where a session of snorkelling and turtles watching at Cistern Point is waiting for you. Then, relax in its beautiful sandy beaches and charming beach clubs. Cooper Island Beach Club is the most famous. It is an ashore resort offering a restaurant, a boutique, a rum and coffee bar. You can anchor in its protected Manchioneel Bay where you will be spoilt for choice of many water sports you can practice.

Day 5: Cooper Island – Virgin Gorda (8 nm)

Viev of Virgin Gord in British Virgin Island. Beach with rock granite boulders of Bath Natural Park
Credit: Flickr – Michael Sweet

Wake up early and sail to The Baths at Virgin Gorda! It’s better to consider to spend the whole morning at the wonderful Bath National Park. It showcases a wide variety of exotic plants and mahogany trees. From the observation tower, you will have a spectacular view of the neighbouring islands.* Head to Devil’s Bay and have a walk in the shallow waters surrounded by the famous giant rocks. Before departing, overnight at a mooring of Leverick Bay Resort and Marina. Here you can do some provisioning and have lunch or dinner in its restaurant.

Day 6: Virgin Gorda – Jost Van Dyke (19 nm)

Sign of Soggy Dollar Bar, the famous bar with the original painkiller in Jost Van Dyke Island, in British Virgin Island
Credit: Flickr – Jeff

Head north of Tortola and stop at The Dogs Islands for a few hours to admire the wonderful landscape. Go round the large island to get to Sandy Spit, near the island of Jost Van Dyke. The island is an exceptional place to try the local lobster and dancing at Foxy’s. It will welcome you with distinctive local vibes that you can feel in its numerous bars. The most famous bar of the British Virgin Island, the Soggy Dollars, is right here, where you can try the authentic traditional painkiller cocktail.

Day 7: Jost Van Dyke – Sandy Cay – Tortola (12 nm)

The last mooring will be done at Sandy Cay, maybe the most photographed island of the archipelago. This is a tiny island off the southeast coast of Jost Van Dicke, or more precisely a 14-acre nature preserve. The east side is volcanic whereas the west side is a coral atoll ideal for swimming and snorkelling. After relaxing in this paradise on earth, you can come back to the base of Tortola to do the check-out.

 

*If you practice diving, we recommend you to approach the Anegada island, surrounded by the Horseshoe Reef, one of the most extensive coral reefs in the Caribbean and the world. Tourism on this island is also focused on fishing.

Diagram of the average temperture TortolaDiagram of the anual average sea temperature Tortola

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