When you think of Tortola, the largest island of the British Virgin Island chain, do you think of the place you meet to embark on your BVI sailing adventure? Do you think of bustling Road Town or the picturesque Soper’s Hole? Do you think of a stop on the ferry on the way to another island? Perhaps Full Moon Parties?
For whatever reason, Tortola is known for many things, but not always it’s beaches – which really is surprising. Tortola has some stunning beaches. The best beaches are found on Tortola’s North and West sides and range from wide swaths of soft, light colored sand to beaches with some of the best surfing in the area. Because many face north, some can really rock ‘n roll when there’s a north swell, but on calm days they can be downright tranquil.
Although Brewer’s Bay and Josiah’s Bay are both beautiful Northside beaches that should probably be on a “best of Tortola” list, we’ve seen them only by boat (We won’t talk about that time we rented a Jeep while staying on island and the adventure we had trying to get there. Have we mentioned that parts of Tortola are hilly and VERY steep?). Anyway, for the purposes of this post, we’ll cover just the Tortola beaches we’ve actually gotten to stick our toes in – so far.
Long Bay – West
Long Bay is a “long” stretch of powdery, light colored sand on the west end of Tortola. Long Bay Beach Club occupies a portion of the lovely beach, but the several times we visited, we were one of the few walking along and enjoying the scenery. Good photo ops include the overlook of Long Bay from the road at Lower Bay Point and the western end of the beach with Belmont Point in the background. If Winston is bartending at his Nature Boy Beach Bar, located on the beaches western end, be sure to stop in for a cold beer and some conversation.
Read more about Long Bay here.
Long Bay – East
Not technically on Tortola, Long Bay East is on Beef Island, a small island separated from Tortola by the short Queen Elizabeth Bridge – close enough we thought, to be included on this list. Apparently it’s a favorite with locals on the weekends and why wouldn’t it be? With its white sand and calm water, it’d be a great place to enjoy that Tortola sunshine.
Apple Bay has a great view of Jost Van Dyke, is one of the premier surfing spots in the BVI and is home of the one and only Bomba Shack, where you can sit and sip a Rum Punch while checking out the scenery.
With beautiful palms, a view of Jost Van Dyke and an arc of soft light sand, Smuggler’s Cove is one not to miss. It’s a little tricky to get to, but that seems to keep the crowd’s at bay. Read more about Smuggler’s Cove here.
Cane Garden Bay
A boater’s favorite, one could easily while away a few days in Cane Garden Bay just leisurely walking the beach, splashing in the calm water and enjoying food, drink and live music at several excellent beach bars. If that weren’t enough, there is also a rum distillery to tour within walking distance and a recycled glass studio to enjoy. Read more about Cane Garden Bay here.
If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy some of Tortola’s beautiful beaches, make sure to check a few out next time you’re in the area!
Find all of these great beaches on our Tortola Map
To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory
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