There’s not much of Britain left in the British Virgin Islands. The islands are the territory of her Majesty, but aside from a few bars that still serve fish and chips, and some loyal British visitors, there is not much about the islands that give a British vibe to the tourists. Tourists come to sail and enjoy one of the villas on the main island, Tortola. Enjoying a Tortola Villa is an experience everyone should put on their bucket list.
Wealthy yachties invade the island of Virgin Gorda every year. There is something magical about the wind and the rocks on that island. The island of Anegada seems to float in a remote reef, so there is always a hammock close by for the visitors who want to unplug and dream about owning a villa in that part of paradise. The small, but incredibly beautiful, island of Jost Van Dyke is the barefoot island where Calypso dancing on the main street is a must. The main street on the barefoot island is a beach, so all the islands have a quirky sense of reality hanging from palm trees. Most of the British Virgin Islands are still open for development, but development is not a priority in paradise; sailing is.
Most people don’t realize it, but there are more than 50 islands in the British Virgin Islands. Tidal pools and hidden grottoes and magnificent rock formations even attract people who visit the American Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. The white sand beaches, and the snorkeling, as well as the local restaurants that still have a pirate vibe running through the rum saturated beams, are hard to ignore. And the island cuisine captivates and nourishes the locals as well as the tourists. The tourists always come back for more because there is always more sun, more sailing and more nothing to do, but chill.
The real beauty of the British Virgin Islands lies in its rich history. The Arawak Indians of South America found the islands more than 2,000 years ago. Some people believe there were fishing camps on the islands more than 3,500 years ago. The Ciboney Indians found St. Thomas, and they also found Tortola before the Arawak Indians. But that is still a debatable subject, according to the locals. The Indians didn’t plan to stay, but they did. Columbus found the islands in 1493 on his second voyage to the Americas. Columbus is the guy who gave Virgin Gorda its name. Gorda was the fat island, according to the famous explorer.
Explorer after explorer found the islands during the 16th century, and many of the men on those expeditions never left the islands. The Dutch were the first to settle Jost Van Dyke in the 17th century, but most records indicate the Spanish were the first settlers on the bigger islands. In 1672, the British took over the islands during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, and they never left the islands. But even though the islands are still British in name, they have a character and an ambiance that is their own, thanks to the Indians and explorers who found them.