A half hour ferry ride from the U.S. Virgin Islands lies the British Virgin Islands, where the first Dutch and British laid claim to the stunning beauty of the island chain in the 17th century.
Like many of the islands first discovered by early settlers, today the British Virgin Islands are a charming blend of spectacular beaches, coral reefs, wild tamarind and flowering hibiscus mixed with historic forts, churches and even rum distilleries dating back hundreds of years.
Everywhere, visitors are afforded the feeling of soft ocean breezes, warm sandy shores, and the ultimate experience of BVI's unofficial motto, "no worries, no hurries" - and with accommodations ranging from 5-star luxury resort hotels to rustic island cottages.
Welcome to BVI: By sea, (left) there are scenic cruises around Sir Francis Drake Channel; by land
scenic vistas high atop Mt. Sage on Tortola; and (right) beautiful tropical beaches at every turn.
The largest island, Tortola, is the major hub for most visitors. In Tortola, major tourist attractions include the island's top ranked beach at Smuggler's Cove (a rough and unpaved ride, but worth the trip!) as well as world class diving at Rhone National Marine Park.
For a lazy afternoon, take a walk around the J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens for a spell of quiet solitude amid lush native beauty. Or, try a stroll around the very quaint and unusual North Shore Shell Museum. (Also note the museum's adjoining restaurant offers up the best grilled lobster anywhere!)
For a stress-free day trip, you can also hop aboard a scheduled sail around Sir Francis Drake Channel to explore the rest of BVI - including Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke and a string of 60 other beautiful islands and islets that comprise it.
More British Virgin Islands tourist attractions & travel info around the Web:
British Virgin Islands - The official site with a colorful look at arriving by sea or air, a complete guide to major attractions, detailed information on best diving, snorkeling, and sailing locales, directory of hotels by cost & type, restaurants & nightlife plus tips on getting around by car, scooter or inter-island ferry, maps & photos.
Welcome Magazine - The online edition with stunning photos and feature stories, current news & events, shopping and restaurant guides, plus practical weather facts & ferry schedule, maps, history &
Virgin Islands Tourist Information - One-stop browsing for an extensive directory of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs & hotspots. air, boat or sailing charters, diving and snorkeling tours, ferry services, current weather.
British Virgin Islands travel guide - Insider tips & advice from Wikitravel including map and photo. an overview of major attractions, suggestions on where to shop, and how to get around by boat or car.