Once a collection of about 60 sleepy islands and cays, the British Virgin Islands—particularly the main island of Tortola—now see huge cruise ships crowding the dock outside Road Town. Shoppers clog the downtown area, and traffic occasionally comes to a standstill. Even the second-largest island, Virgin Gorda, gets its share of smaller ships anchored off the main village of Spanish Town. Despite this explosive growth in the territory's tourism industry, it's still easy to escape the hubbub. Hotels outside Road Town usually provide a quiet oasis, and those on the other islands can be downright serene.
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