Winter hasn’t even really started yet, and you’re already thinking about an escape? Ah yes, the thought of bare feet walking on fine, glistening sand…
Voilà, you’re on safe ground when it comes to sunshine in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Beaches, beaches, beaches. We’re talking the bright sand, sparkling water and palm-fringed shore variety. The BVI has some of the greatest coastlines to boast, making it truly a dream holiday destination.
Casual living and relaxation, the Caribbean Sea shimmers silver with an island world of small and larger forested volcanic mountains. Just a stone’s throw away, lush green tropical vegetation awaits behind a fine line of white sand. We want to go to the former pirate island of Jost Van Dyke, enjoy the abundant sun, sea and sand! Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the main islands, about 260 inhabitants live on the volcanic island, Roach Hill is the highest elevation at 321m! A Painkiller, please! But before the longed-for cocktail travels down our thirsty throats, we still need to know…
Where to stay?
The British Virgin Islands is the best sailing destination in the Caribbean and arguably one of the best in the world. Sailors love coming here because there are three anchorages for sailors: White Bay, Great Harbour and Little Harbour. Not your type of accommodation? Just do some research online and take a look at the White Bay Villas or the Escape Villa, for example.
Where to Eat?
Tipsy Shark – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Operated by the Singh family and led by daughter and chef Renee Singh (pictured above), who has a passion for culture and food. Embracing flavours of her native Guyana in South America, this is the Caribbean with an international touch. Fresh fish is served daily as her dad and brother are both fishermen. Serving up the best lobster omelettes and quesadillas…
What to do on site?
Due to the constantly blowing trade winds, the islands offer ideal conditions for excursions by sailboat. Day trips to other islands are also possible – also go hiking, horseback riding or golfing!
Water sports of all kinds can be practised at any time of the year, with a constant water temperature of at least 25 degrees. Nature offers real treasures to be discovered! In the clear waters around the island there are numerous diving spots for beginners and advanced divers, countless reefs, colourful corals and sea creatures such as turtles and rays, massive rocks and impressive underwater caves and grottos.
If you are not on or under the water, you can pamper yourself at Dale Mapp’s Floating Spa!
As you make your way down the long hill towards White Bay you cannot miss a wooden barge planted on the water in the distance. Dale, a stand up man, build his spa with salvaged material from Hurricane Irma. He laughed in Irma’s face and is the best encouragment to embrace the worst of times as they can be the beginning of the best of times! Storms don’t always disturb our lives, sometimes they clear the path, he tells us!
You can swim, paddle board or ride in an dinghy to get to it, the atmosphere feels cosy and authentic! When you get your massage you’ll see multicoloured fish swimming around – the holidays are here and nothing beats a spa break to reboot, physically and emotionally, for the hectic but glorious weeks ahead. If you would like to experience a massage on the BVI, visit the website to make contact with Dale and stay tuned by following Ocean Spa on Instagram.
The way we end a long, tiring year and begin a new one is often very individual. For some it is the annual pilgrimage to the hometown with all its family traditions, for others it is to seek new adventures in the world. Jost van Dyke is an oasis of tranquillity that is sure to offer you an alternative to the noise-ridden daily routine.
Now, finally, a ‘Painkiller‘ in the famous Soggy Dollar Bar in White Bay – it was invented here. Next door, in Great Harbour, there are plenty of drinks and good vibes at the rustic Foxy’s Tamarind Bar! Prost, Tchin Tchin, Cheers!!!!!
Painkiller original recipe
– 4 parts pineapple juice
– 1 part orange juice
– 1 part Cream of Coconut
Add the following proportion of rum, depending on the amount desired:
– for Painkiller #2: 2 parts Pusser’s Rum (dark rum)
– for Painkiller #3: 3 parts Pusser’s Rum
– for Painkiller #4: 4 parts Pusser’s Rum
Mix together with crushed ice and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.
Good to know
The official language is English with a Caribbean accent. Spanish is also spoken.
There is no public transport in the form of buses and trains in the British Virgin Islands. Tourists get around the islands either by taxi or rental car. There are ferry and air connections between the islands.
The largest island of the British Virgin Islands is Tortola, with an area of 55.7 km². Around 14,000 inhabitants live here, most of them centred in the capital, Road Town. This is also where the international airport is, just 8 km from Jost van Dyke.
All images courtesy and © Dale Mapp