BVI has some of the most famous sailing waters in the world. We have a massive fleet of charter boats available each season and we have hosted most (if not all) of the top luxury yachts in the world. Many visitors who make the trek to BVI automatically think to charter a yacht for their stay. While this may be an ideal option for some, vacations are not one size fits all and there is more to BVI than sailing! Renting a villa instead can give you comfort and luxury while still allowing you the mobility to visit all the islands in our beautiful nation.
Let’s begin with accessibility. Being an island nation, it’s only natural that the assumption would be that you can see the most islands by sailing your vacation home to different locales each day. I am here to tell you that you can just as easily stay in a villa on one island and still see what the other islands have to offer. From our home base on Virgin Gorda, there are multiple companies that offer day sails or charter boats to one or multiple locations in the BVI. Most offer day trips that will include stops at Peter, Cooper, Norman, and Jost van Dyke. Or if you really like Jost van Dyke (who doesn’t?) you can opt to sail to White Bay and Great Harbour in one day with a stop at Scrub Island or Monkey Pointe to snorkel. The only island I have not seen combined into a multi stop day sail is Anegada due to its distance from both Virgin Gorda and Tortola, but that just means you get another boat trip. Day sails are a perfect way to get off the island you choose as your home base and see all of BVI. Prices vary depending on the company you pick, how many people will be on board, and where you will be going, so shop around and get the price you are looking for. We have been out with Bradley Boats or Dive BVI multiple times and I would refer them to anyone.
Next, let’s think about our tummies! I generally have no issue with sickness on boats unless the weather is rough and the seas are high. But my husband touches a boat with his toe and must lean overboard and feed the fish! He’ll never get his sea legs…I’ll never get to go on a cruise. When your vacation home floats, you are at the mercy of mother nature. Where ever you may fall on the sea sickness scale, you are vulnerable to the waves. I could get really graphic with this section, so I’ll just say this, the thought of having a squall roll in during the night and having to pray to the teeny tiny porcelain goddess in the microscopic head on a boat…it’s just not the lifestyle I am striving for. Think about your gut, is it strong enough for a week on the seas or are you going to give Dramamine’s stock a boost during your vacation?
Or Leg Room
Speaking of that teeny tiny head, here’s where I think villa rental blows chartering a yacht out of the water (pun intended). Unless you are chartering a luxury yacht, you are probably looking at chartering a monohull or a catamaran. Space is at a premium between you and 7 of your closest friends/family members and the captain and maybe even a chef. Bedrooms are basically just a bed. Bathrooms are no frills. When you rent a villa, you get breathing room, a full kitchen, a dining area or two, a family room or living room, vast bathrooms with separate water closets and luxurious showers or a giant tub, and usually a yard and a pool. There’s plenty of space to go find a quiet place where you can escape your kids, take a deep breath, and really love the moment!
The one thing the villa rental can give you in abundance that you cannot get on a charter is immersion into the local culture. When you are staying at a villa, you are shopping, eating, and living with the locals. The people who call Virgin Gorda home are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. One of my favorite things to do when I am on island is visit Rosie’s Grocery Store for some fried chicken. I love walking in and immediately being greeted so warmly and then having a fun talk with the staff. It gives me a chance to find out what living in this paradise is really about, the day to day activities and local community events going on. Everyone is interested in striking up a conversation and making a new friend!
Activities and Eats
Staying in a villa also gives you an opportunity to enjoy what BVI has to offer on land. Virgin Gorda is a fun and easy island to explore with many interesting sites, The Baths being the most famous. We always make time to visit the Copper Mine ruins. Roaming around the old building ruins and the stack before we hike down to the shoreline to look for critters scurrying around the rocks or shells or sea glass. There are also lots of opportunities to hike on Virgin Gorda, whether it’s the hill behind Bitter End in the North Sound or to the top of Gorda Peak. Staying on land also affords you the opportunity to check out some of the amazing dining options on Virgin Gorda. From a quick bite at Dixie’s, Mad Dog or Hog Heaven to a nice meal at Coco Maya, Bath & Turtle or Sugarcane, there are so many places to please your taste buds!
Vacation Your Way
Bottom line is that everyone should vacation how they want to. If you are a water baby and love bobbing on the waves and being able to jump in and swim with the fishes whenever the urge hits, you probably want to charter a boat. If your husband regurgitates at the mention of a boat and you like a nice long soak in a tub or a private pool at the end of each day, you probably want to rent a villa.
And if you are in the market to rent a villa after reading this, well, you know what to do! Click that link that says Vacation Rentals at the top of our page and find your perfect home away from home!
Either way, we at Villas Virgin Gorda hope you consider BVI for your next vacation!