Situated in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands are made up of the four main islands Ė Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke Ė as well as over 50 smaller islands and cays.†
With average temperatures of around 30įc, turquoise waters and stunning white beaches it is no wonder that almost 40% of the islands economy†is made up from tourism.
Traditionally the best way to explore the islands was to arrange day trips and excursions through a travel agent or through your hotel. In recent years though many tourists have decided to cut out the middle man and take ultimate charge of their trips to the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
How? By going on a yacht charter in the BVIís through online boat rental marketplaces like Borrow a Boat and experience travelling without the middleman. Whilst it might sound expensive, itís a cost-effective solution when you compare it to the cost of accommodation and day trips.
If the sound of sailing around the BVI in charge of your own plans sounds enticing, read on to find out about 6 amazing places to visit on your Caribbean Catamaran.
Wander the Empty Salt Island
Situated just 5 miles south east of Road Town on Tortola is Salt Island. It is named after its many salt ponds which in a bygone era were of huge economic importance to the islands.
The island hasnít been populated by more than three people since 1980, but that hasnít stopped the tradition of presenting a pound of harvested salt from the island to the British monarch. Every year, the governor travels over to the UK to hand deliver one pound of salt to Queen Elizabeth II.
Once youíve helped the locals in their harvesting efforts you can drink in the eerie experience of exploring near deserted island. After that you can grab your snorkel and plunge headfirst into the turquoise waters surrounding the island.
As any snorkelling buff will tell you, Salt Island is one of the best spots in the Caribbean to go snorkelling. Its crystal clear waters were even used for filming in the Hollywood movie The Deep.†
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(Aerial footage of the salt ponds on Salt Island.)
Dive the RMS Rhone
Staying in the same place, just off the Coast of Salt Island you will find the wreckage of the RMS Rhone which was a Royal Mail ship that was wrecked during a hurricane on 29th October, 1867.
The wreckage is now a popular dive site and was turned into a national park in 1980. For around $130 you can explore the RMS Rhone for two hours with a certified diver.
Not only will you see a ship relatively frozen in time but you will also get to see some stunning marine life who have now made the Rhone their home.
Visit Necker Island
Unless youíre a millionaire, youíre probably going to have to settle for a day trip to the famous Necker Island.
Owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, Necker Island is a luxury resort that can accommodate up to 40 people. If you want to rent the island out for the evening, it will set you back around $128,000.
Alternatively you can visit for the day and enjoy the beaches, drink some delicious cocktails and avail of the spa facilities.
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(What a day on Necker Island looks like for Richard Branson.)
Relax in The Baths
On the island of Virgin Gorda, just south of Spanish Town you will find The Baths. Formed by eroded granite that has collected in to boulders The Baths are a stunning collections of tidal pools, tunnels, arches and scenic grottoes.
To get there youíll crawl through a crack in the boulders and be greeted on the other side by a scene fresh out of a travel brochure. If relaxation is your goal, The Baths are the ultimate place to visit in the BVI.
Party at Willy Thorntonís
The legendary Willy Thorntonís, or the floating bar as it known by many is the best place to party on the BVI.
Located just off Norman Island, this old boat turned bar is where tourists and locals alike meet up to get as drunk as a sailor. Usually, getting there is prohibitively expensive with water taxis to the bar costing around $100 per person.
With your own Catamaran youíll save a fortune, much of which can be spent on getting in some shots at the bar!
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(You can dive into the sea at Willy Thorntonís but we wouldnít recommend it after a couple of drinks!)
Recharge in Anegada
What goes up must come down and what gets drunk and hungover, must rest and recuperate and what better place to do just that than Anegada? This is the most laid back and tranquil of all the British Virgin Islands.
There is the peaceful Cow Wreck Beach where you can seek solace under a palm tree and sip on an ice cold coke to chase off that hangover. When youíre hungry you can head to almost any of the many restaurants on the island and enjoy a meal of the highest quality.
If youíre visiting in November be sure to time your trip to coincide with the Anegada Lobster Festival, a treat for the taste buds.