Why you should choose the British Virgin Islands as your next holiday destination
Getting away from dreary grey skies and enjoying a little slice of tropical paradise is the dream getaway for most people, and that's exactly what's on offer in the British Virgin Islands.
Calm, turquoise waters lapping against sandy white shores and high class, sophisticated resorts are what the British Virgin Islands are known for.
This group of islands which make up part of the archipelago known as Virgin Islands, offer raw, natural beauty and elegant accommodation.
Here's why you should choose the British Virgin Islands as your next holiday destination.
The best beaches in holiday hotspots around the world are all too often crowded and busy, with holidaymakers unable to find any privacy or space away from others.
But in the British Virgin Islands, there's room to breathe, with miles of uninterrupted coastline offering fine white sands and gentle, crystal-clear waters.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are a cluster of islands numbering over 50, less than half of which are inhabited. The others are national parks, conservation sanctuaries or simply areas of outstanding natural beauty where it's possible to find secluded bays and coves far away from the madding crowds.
The beautiful Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
The BVI has an enviable length of coastline with beaches offering lots of different facilities. Some of those closer to the more popular resorts offer amenities such as beach vendors, sun chairs and toilets. For those who are willing to sacrifice these kind of creature comforts, it's possible to find a strip of sand where there's not another soul to be seen.
The BVI is renowned for offering exclusive holidays and the beaches in the area live up to this reputation. Immaculate, pristine and with fine white sands, it's difficult to imagine a more idyllic location.
Although the beaches in the BVI are stunning, they're far from the only reason to visit the group of islands.
The tropical climate means that further inland, there are many islands which are more mountainous with rolling green landscapes and lush, tropical plants, trees and flowers.
There's plenty of landscaped and botanical gardens which you can visit during your stay on the BVI in the Caribbean, but if you want a more natural view, take a look at one of the many national parks.
There are a total of 21 national parks in the BVI which cover a range of different terrains including the sea, mountains, and coastal regions. Some of these national parks provide sanctuary for important plants, trees and bird life, with rare species afforded protection.
The Devil's Bay National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Mountains play a surprising part of what is often regarded as beach islands but in reality, the landscape can be dramatic and varied, with palm-fringed coastal regions juxtapositioned against dense, green inland hills, jungles and mountains.
Many of the islands are uninhabited so visiting the national parks means a day trip to the island but no anchoring overnight. Some of the larger islands feature national parks, such as Virgin Gorda, so it's not always necessary to travel to more remote corners to find the natural beauty.
Climate and weather
There's nothing more disappointing than anticipating a relaxing beach holiday than to have the entire time ruined by grey clouds, cool temperatures and a disappointing amount of rain.
In the BVI, much like the rest of the Caribbean, there's a tropical climate which means that warm weather and blue skies are more or less guaranteed all year round. There are only a couple of degrees different between the coolest and the hottest months, although there is a big difference in humidity.
There's more rain in the wet season (unsurprisingly) and providing you avoid the occasional hurricane, the downpours will be short-lived, albeit heavy. Even in the middle of the wet season, the majority of the day will involve blue skies and unbroken sunshine.
Whether you want a holiday lazing by the beach, sailing on the ocean or exploring the many nature trails and attractions on the islands, you'll enjoy glorious weather no matter what time of year you come.
The focus in the BVI is on quality and sophistication so whether you stay in a cottage, luxury villa or a hotel, you'll find the facilities are exquisite.
With ocean, mountain or poolside views, you'll be waking up to a vista which is almost impossible to match.
Luxury accommodation options are plentiful in the British Virgin Islands
Private pools, jacuzzis and waterfall features all provide the perfect place to enjoy a dip whilst onsite gourmet restaurants offer a range of cuisines, including freshly caught seafood, a speciality on the islands.
Many of the places are staffed so during your stay you could enjoy the services of not just a laundress and a maid, but also a cook too, guaranteeing you will have delicious and authentic Caribbean dishes served up every night.
Choice of locations
One of the greatest things about the BVI is the wide variety and choice which is available, allowing you to create the perfect holiday to suit your wishes.
The BVI are renowned for their exclusivity, and you won't be bombarded with commercial activity no matter where you visit on the islands. However, some of the islands are busier than others whilst others, such as Virgin Gorda offer a particularly leisurely and peaceful sanctuary from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
The cluster of islands which make up the British Virgin Islands
Of course, because the cluster of islands that make up the BVI are so close together, it's easy to travel between them. This is particularly the case because sailing is so common in the Caribbean; you won't struggle to find boats to make the journey.
Many of the islands are uninhabited but instead are home to wildlife havens and national parks, making them the perfect place to visit just for the day.
The BVI occupy a location which includes both the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so there's a great variety of marine life to observe below the surface.
Keen divers will find there's a large number of established dive sites, with wrecks and underwater caves enticing some of the most fascinating fish and creatures to dwell there.
Above the surface, the rolling waves of the Atlantic are highly prized by surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, such as body boarders. The more active parts of the coastline often attract surfers and other water sports fans from all over the world, keen to escape the chillier waters they so often are forced to endure.
The calmer bays and stretches of coastline offer an almost glass-smooth surface, perfect for not just swimmers but those who want to snorkel or kayak around some of the more accessible caves.