BVI Itinerary: How To Spend 7 Days

Many people dream of visiting the pristine blue waters and cloud-like white sands of the British Virgin Islands. It can be overwhelming trying to plan a perfect getaway, especially one that involves hundreds of different companies advertising how to get from one place to another. 

We are here to share with you our 5-star advice on how to explore a week in the BVIs via land and boat, with recommendations on ferries, where to stay, restaurants, excursions, car rentals, and much more! 

The British Virgin Islands has four main Islands: Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada, and is surrounded by 30+ other smaller islands and cays to explore. All of these islands have their own unique beauty and atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at how to spend 5-7 days of pure fun and relaxation exploring the islands. Before we dive into the fun, here are a few pointers on getting to your BVI dream vacation. 

Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach

Travel and Packing

Traveling to the BVIs can be overwhelming to plan, but you can break it up into a few steps. First, choose your airline. American Airlines now flies direct out of Miami to Tortola, Beef Island. However, this might be expensive depending on the time of year. Our top choice for travel is to fly direct with Delta (or your choice airline) from your closest regional airport straight to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

From there, airport employees can direct you to the taxi stand, where they take you to Red Hook to catch a ferry to Tortola. This is a very easy process! You can always book a private water taxi, but it’s more expensive. Everyone is friendly in the Virgin Islands, so you can’t go wrong either way!

Christy and Husband

Ferry links are listed below, so make sure to check the schedules. Some drop at West End, Tortola, and others go to Road Town, Tortola. We personally recommend buying one-way tickets in case your plans change on the way home! 

You can also find private water taxis, but we recommend you save the money for excursions and just get to your location the most cost-efficient way. We noticed several private water taxis having to wait at Customs when we were leaving because the public ferry always gets access to the docks faster! 

And don’t let BVI customs scare you either. Just fill out your paperwork while on the ferry, and all you have to do is wait for entry, which does not take long. Once you arrive in Tortola, there are TONS of taxis waiting to take you wherever you need to go! 

Jeep rental at BVI

CAR RENTALS: Denzil Clyne Jeep Rentals is our highest recommendation. A car rental will save you so much money on taxis and give you flexibility with your vacation, even if you plan to charter a boat or ferry to a different island! Make sure to check out Denzil Clyne’s car rental company. They are fabulous.

As far as packing goes when visiting the islands, less is better! For a week in the BVIs, you may need the following:

  • Swimsuits and one cover-up, enough to have a dry suit when you want it!
  • Sunscreen 3oz. or bigger if checking bags. Reef friendly is preferable. We found it difficult to find sunscreen on the islands, as surprising as that sounds! If we did find it, it wasn’t cheap. 
  • A nice outfit for each night you plan to go out to dinner. Something beachy and fun, of course! 
  • A couple of casual outfits for exploring.
  • Snorkeling gear if you don’t plan on renting. Most charters provide snorkel gear, but you can’t rent it at The Baths, so keep that in mind! 
  • Waterproof pouch or bag for phone and things you want to keep dry. 
  • Waterproof camera. The old disposable ones are great! 
  • Flip-flops are the only shoes needed unless you plan to hike. Then bring tennis shoes.
  • Water is all bottled there, so you will have to buy it unless your resort has a water station. If so, bring a refillable water bottle so you don’t have to buy bottles. 
  • Cash, cash, cash. The US Dollar is definitely accepted.  

Now, on to your vacation of a lifetime!

Day 1: Getting Settled

Once you arrive at your destination, whether it be a luxury resort, quaint hotel, or vacation rental, take the day to just relax and enjoy your lodging. Figure out where things are located near you so you can come up with a game plan for the week.

Make sure to check the cruise schedule as you plan your day trips to The Baths and Jost Van Dyke’s Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s bars! You want to try and avoid visiting those locations when cruise ships are in port on Tortola. See port schedules here:

Long Bay
Long Bay Beach Resort

Our pick for lodging, especially if traveling as a couple or small family, is Long Bay Beach Resort. This resort is located on a beautiful, mile-long stretch of soft sand and is just a short walk to the famous Smuggler’s Cove

You’re greeted with welcoming smiles and a delicious Rum Punch! They also have fabulous non-alcoholic options as well. The rooms are beautiful, clean, and simply perfect. We recommend you book the beachfront rooms that are directly on the ocean. Bottom and top floor rooms are dreamy any time of day. 

Make sure to utilize their paddle boards and explore the ocean even closer! We saw sea turtles while paddleboarding out from the resort! The beach cabanas are so relaxing for a morning or afternoon read with a delicious cocktail in hand! Relax and just enjoy Island Time! 

Tropical Fusion Restaurant Meal
Tropical Fusion Restaurant

Dinner recommendations for your first night would have to be 1748 at Long Bay or Tropical Fusion, which is located right next to Long Bay. 

Day 2: Exploring Virgin Gorda

The driving factor of visiting The Baths was avoiding crowds, if possible. On your second day, you can spend a day on Virgin Gorda without cruise traffic! Wake up early and get to the Road Town Ferry by 8:30.

From there, take the 9 am ferry to Virgin Gorda, where we recommend you rent a car for the day to really experience this beautiful island. Speedys is great and close to the ferry dock. The Speedys taxi can take you directly to your car. 

Swimming at Baths
The Baths

From Speedys, go straight to The Baths, where you can spend a couple of hours walking through the breathtakingly beautiful caves and snorkeling the pristine blue waters surrounding this national park.

Take a waterproof camera pouch and some money with you! There are fun spots to shop and grab some food and drinks in Virgin Gorda once you finish touring the caves. 

Christy Husband at Baths

Once you’ve had a blast exploring The Baths, make sure to grab a cold drink to take to Spring Bay. It’s right down the street from The Baths and very worth the time to check out! Stay for a few minutes or a few hours! Crowds do not find this perfect bay nearly as much due to no beach bars. Just sand, water, boulders, and relaxation. 

Spring Bay
Spring Bay

Leaving Spring Bay, head across the island for lunch or just a drink at Hog Heaven and a chance to view a few of the smaller islands from above, including Saba Rock, Mosquito Island, Necker Island, and Bitter End.

This casual BBQ restaurant is a perfect spot to recharge. If you want to see the Virgin Gorda sign, look down the mountain to the left while standing on the Hog Heaven deck. You can drive there as well, of course!

Savannah Bay
Savannah Bay

When traveling back across the island toward the ferry, you need to stop at Savannah Bay. This breathtaking, sandy-bottom beach is absolutely perfect for an afternoon swim! There are no beach bars here either, but make sure to bring your snorkel and mask for great snorkeling! You can also see from one side of the island to the other while traveling to the bay. The waters are usually calm here too.

To end your day on Virgin Gorda, check out Coco Maya, a fabulous beachfront restaurant with delicious food and drinks. The atmosphere is like no other. Don’t forget to check your return ferry schedule before staying too long! There are late-night ferries back to Tortola on certain nights of the week. 

Day 3: Beach Hopping and Shopping

Now it’s time to explore Tortola and the many beautiful beaches! Again, it’s worth renting a car, even if you only rent it for one day to tour this beautiful island. Start out on the West End at Sopers Hole Marina and have breakfast at the best coffee spot around, Omar’s Coffee House. 

Shop around at the small shops and take a tour of one of the beautiful catamarans at the dock! Who knows, you may even decide to charter one for the day! Then, head out on the coastal road to Road Town and do a little shopping at the local tent vendors along the bay. 

Flamingo at Josiah's Bay Salt Pond
Josiah’s Bay Salt Pond

Continue heading around the island to Josiah’s Bay, where you can see flamingos in the salt pond on the way to the bay! Ignore the smell of the salt pond, and once you walk out onto the beach of Josiah’s Bay, the smell will be completely gone! There is a great little beach restaurant here as well to have lunch! This is more of a surfer’s beach, so the waters may not be calm for swimming here. 

Then, if you are adventurous and ready to walk some more, continue on to Mount Sage for a hike. On your way back toward the West End, stop at Cane Garden Bay. This is one of the best beaches for a sunset view! Indigo House is a great tapas and drink spot for doing this. 

Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Bay

Make sure to make a reservation, though. If you haven’t tried Bananakeet yet, this is another great spot for sunset! Instead of being on the beach like Indigo House, Bananakeet is nestled on the cliff for an outstanding view! 

End your evening with a cocktail at the Long Bay bar on the beach. Not a bad sunset here as well! 

Day 4: Relaxing at Smuggler’s Cove

By this point, you are probably ready to relax and recharge. Turn your alarms off and take your time getting out the door. Once you’re ready, enjoy a sit-down breakfast at Long Bay with a fabulous cup of coffee or a mimosa. 

Floating in water at Smugglers Cove
Smugglers Cove

Then, head on over to Smuggler’s Cove for the day! This is the best beach to hang out for the entire day. Two wonderful beach bars and options for chairs make it easy to stay all day long! Once you are finished swimming, snorkeling, and reading your favorite book, visit the Sugar Mill for dinner!

Day 5: Boat Excursion 

One of the best ways to see the islands is via boat or sailing. For your fifth day on the British Virgin Islands, you can choose to find a catamaran company to sail the seas more leisurely or one of the many speedboat options to travel in style and fast! 


The options are plentiful by boat, which is why many people choose to charter catamarans for their entire vacation. Read this guide on how to plan a sailing trip for the BVI. Here is what you can explore in just one day on a high-speed boat. 

This specific tour pictured above was through a private charter captain named Antony Nelson with Maldiv Charters. This captain has been a captain for 25+ years in the islands and knows all the hot spots to stop! There are many other private, highly-rated charter companies as well, but there’s nothing like having a “local” take you around the islands. 

Start by heading to Scrub Island and snorkeling at one of the most beautiful reefs. Then, head on over to Saba Rock for a fabulous cocktail and tour one of the most unique islands in the BVIs. 

Bitter End Yacht Club

Next, hop on over to Bitter End for another cocktail or just a dip in the ocean at their quaint beach. After this amazing start to your day, you can then head to Norman Island, where the lunch is delicious, and swimming is fabulous! 

You can also hop on Willy T’s for a cocktail and high jump into the crystal blue waters! After Norman, your captain can take you on over to Jost Van Dyke to enjoy the famous Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s bars, along with many other options for eating and drinking. 

Sandy Spit
Sandy Spit

White Bay is a beautiful white sand beach with great swimming. If you are lucky and have time, you may also get to take a peek or swim at Sandy Spit and Sandy Cay, two of the smallest, most idyllic islands in the BVIs. 

All of this is only doable in a speedboat, so please keep that in mind when choosing your vessel excursion. If you are a snorkeling fan, make sure to ask your captain to take you to The Indians and The Caves, which are some of the best snorkeling spots in the British Virgin Islands.

Sandy Cay
Sandy Cay

Once you’ve made your way back to the resort after a long day, try eating somewhere close to your lodging so you don’t feel rushed to make a reservation. Omar’s in Soper’s Hole is great, or relax at 1748 Restaurant at Long Bay Beach Resort. 

Day 6: Visit Anegada

Cow Wreck Beach
Cow Wreck Beach

If you’re on a sailing adventure, you can easily sail on over to Anegada or simply take a ferry from Tortola or Virgin Gorda to the Anegada harbor at Setting Point.

At Anegada, you can visit Cow Wreck Beach, an isolated beach on the west end of the island. If you want to give horseback riding a try, you can also visit the Francis Family Farm that’s quite close to it. End your beach trip with a stop at the Tipsy by Ann beach bar.

Day 7: Heading Home

Depending on your flight schedule, you can spend your last day visiting the other beaches or in St. Thomas before you board the plane. It may be worth finding accommodations in the USVI for a day to get to explore those beautiful islands too. 

Usually, travelers wake up to catch a ferry back to St. Thomas with time to spare. We recommend you get to St. Thomas, USVI, 3+ hours before your flight if your ferry is going to Red Hook. This will give you time to taxi back to the Cyril E. King Airport.

Keep in mind you will most likely be stopping in St. John for Customs. If you get to St. Thomas and have extra time, we recommend you leave your luggage at the ferry desk and grab a taxi to see Magen’s Bay on St. Thomas! 

Duffys Love Shack in USVI

Another great spot is Duffy’s Love Shack! It’s a walk from the Red Hook ferry station. You can also walk around the ferry port and shop for those last-minute souvenirs. Just keep in mind most of them will say St. Thomas, so try to get souvenirs while in the BVIs for a more personal touch. 

All in all, your trip to the BVIs will be one for the books. No matter what you decide to do or where you decide to stay in the BVI, just remember to relax and soak in the views and vibes because these islands are one of a kind! 

By Christy Cope

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