Which British Virgin Island?

Feb 21st, 2006, 09:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Which British Virgin Island?

My husband and I have spent the last 3 summer vacations in St. John. We have pretty much hiked and beached it all and are looking for a new place to try. I found airfair to Tortola in June for a week. Can anyone recommend an the best island. What we liked about St. John: hiking, beach hopping in our jeep everyday, snorkeling. Renting a villa. Having a nice dinner in cruz bay each night. And, no crowds. We don't care for St. Thomas at all. Would Love it if we could actually find a villa ON the beach. thanks so much. Terri
tewels is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 10:06 AM
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I've been to them all more than once, and I really like Tortola a lot. (I much prefer it to St John actually.)

There are some really good places to eat, the atmosphere on Cane Garden Bay is a lot of fun (when cruise ships aren't around), and it is enjoyable to drive around and explore.

I like Virgin Gorda too, very much - great snorkeling - but it and Jost are a little too quiet for much more than a few days as there's not really much "there" there. (I love that sometimes, but I need some dining choices and a little town for limin'.

There are a few villas on the beach, but not as many as on some of the other islands.

I'll top my 2003 USVI/BVI trip report for you if you like.
Diana is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 10:48 AM
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We've been to both Tortola and VG. Both are nice but we prefer VG. Tortola is more hilly/windy roads and scenic views. We prefer the quietness/quaintness of VG. Very pretty island. We recently stayed with a group at Villa Bellamare (not on the beach but a quick 2min walk) with amazing views and an awesome patio. Check out other villas on Mahoe bay. Several are right on the beach. They all looked very nice. On most days we were the only ones on the beach. I did some research on villas on VG and ST John and I thought the villas on VG were better priced.
mnag is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 01:32 PM
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They're all beautiful, but I'd recommend Tortola, if you've never been to the BVI before. Lots of great villas available. You might check out Purple Pineapple villa rentals - they have an extensive selection and Cheryl there is good to work with. There are several hiking spots, you could spend the day at a different beach every day and you can take daytrips to Jost and Virgin Gorda to see if there are other islands you'd prefer in the future. Jost is much quieter, limited (but way fun) nightlife, fewer true 'villas' but still some nice places to stay. VG also has good hiking, more dining options, on-beach villas, but I liked the jumping-off-point aspect of Tortola for my first trip. And you'll only find crowds when the cruise ships are in!
seasweetie is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Thanks for the replies you guys. that helps alot.
On both islands, is there a particular side you want to be on? Or, and area to stay away from?
tewels is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 04:00 PM
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I've stayed many different places on Tortola, and I like staying in the Cane Garden Bay area the best- nightlife and good restaurants are within walking distance, there's a nice beach at your doorstep and there's a good range of accommodations. If you're taking a villa (as opposed to a hotel), you might also consider the area around Apple Bay/Long Bay - Long Bay is a good beach and it's quite close to Smuggler's Beach, which is awesome. Everything on the North Shore of Tortola is a close drive. I'd suggest not staying in Road Town - it's TOWN, and not really beachy. But I've never been in an area that I felt I should stay away from.
seasweetie is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 04:18 AM
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My vote is for Virgin Gorda. It has lush areas, several very nice beaches and snorkeling almost as good as St. John.
StanKase is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:42 AM
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I would definitely vote for Tortola. We stayed there in September and rented a terriffic villa called Casa Luna. It was set high in the hills (but only a 5 min. drive from Smuggler's Cove beach) and had wonderful views of Jost van Dyke and some of the other islands. We liked the West End of the island simply because it was very quiet and less developed than other areas. There are great places to eat in Tortola, like Palm's Delight in Cane Garden Bay and The Dove in Road Town. We spent many days in the jeep moving from one beach to another. Also, we went on a snorkel day-trip to The Baths on Tortola and some of the other islands, but were very happy to return to Tortola.
nycgal12 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Virgin Gorda -- the boulders on some of the beaches make them seem more exotic and different than St. John. Rent a villa on the south part (I suggest through Guavaberry) or Mahoe Bay. Awesome beach hopping everyday and some decent dinner options on the island. Quiet, no crowds.
JimC is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:47 AM
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I agree, check out Mahoe bay area and Guavaberry villas on VG. Close to the best beaches, and the town/restaurants/baths. You could take do a day trip to leverick/gun creek area and take the ferry over to bitter end from where you can explore several other small islands like prickly pear etc.
mnag is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Definitely Virgin Gorda! Far better beaches than Tortola, lots of places to stay depending on your budget, the low valley area which is completely different from the mountainous area on the northside, plus all the fun watersports in the North Sound.

Super snorkeling at the Baths.

Virgin Gorda has it hands down over Tortola.
ScubaMom is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Hi, there, I am going for a work incentive trip to Virgin Gorda (Little Dix Bay). How lucky am I? Anyway, it's a free, but short trip (4-5 days, including getting there) and I am wanting to extend it 2 more days. My boyfriend and I like to scuba and would be interested in deep sea fishing (if it's worth it at all, if not, plz tell me). Would you recommend staying somewhere else on Virgin Gorda or going to Tortola? Is it going to be a major pain? I don't think I would like St Thomas as am not excited to be with all the cruise ships. I was a travel director for many years, so I know the caribbean pretty well, just not BVI at all. Thank you so much and any advice is welcomed!
jbernsen is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:49 PM
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Sorry to derail--Just curious about when the incentive trip for jbernsen is?--we are booked at LBD in April and now am wondering if we are going to be at the resort with a big group. Thanks and have a great trip! Enjoy!
toomey38 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Not to worry, it's only 4 days May 18-21 and it's only 40 of us. It's not a rowdy group at all, trust me.
jbernsen is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Couple of comments Tortola vs. VG.

Tortola is the busiest and most populous of the BVI. There will be more people, more places to eat, more tourists (not to mention cruise shippers) etc.

As Tortola is the capital of the BVI -- it is also very easy to hop a ferry to the other islands for a day trip. That of course requires that you arrange for a tour or take a taxi or have a plan for once you get where ever you are going.

We chose to stay at Tortola for our last trip. We took 2 day trips to Jost (we are part of the getting drunk crowd at Soggys!); did a day trip scuba diving near peter and cooper island (not on same day!); and did a day trip to Peter island to see deadman's beach and to see how the "other half" live ($850 + per night at Peter island!). The balance was spent exploring Tortola.

We've been to several islands in the past couple of years, and while very nice, Tortola wasn't at the top of our list. Don't get me wrong - it was beautiful and all of that -- we just gave it a 8 / 10 where as other island trips were 9.5's and 10's!!!

gidget is offline  
Mar 7th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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We loved Tortola -- laid back atmosphere, no high rise hotels, plenty of beautiful sights if you rent a car and explore. This island has the most magnificent views of neighboring islands when you travel up the hills.
Hairpin turns can be challenging, but just take your time -- it's well worth it. We loved Pusser's Restaurant (two locations on the island). We stayed at Long Bay Resort -- nice views but I understand it's getting a bit expensive now that new owners have taken over.
beth48 is offline  

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