When the weight of the world is pulling you down and you just need to get away from it all, there’s nowhere better to go than the beach. Beaches can be found all around the world and attract millions of people every single day, providing the perfect setting for a little relaxation and reflection. As well as being a super spot to get away from the noise of cities and the day-to-day issues of regular life, beaches are also great places to help people spend quality time with their friends and families, eating picnics on the sand or engaging in fun seafront activities like surfing, swimming, sailing, fishing, and kayaking.
With a long stretch of northern coastline looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean and a huge run of southern sandy shores on the Sir Francis Drake Channel, with the Caribbean Sea off in the distance, Tortola offers something different to the Caribbean islands found further south. It is the biggest of the British Virgin Islands and has a relatively strong economy, using the US dollar as its official currency due to strong trade links with Puerto Rico and other US islands. This means that there are some very impressive hotels, resorts, and eateries on Tortola, along with a lot of beach attractions and activities to try out like windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing, and more.
Best Beaches in Tortola
There are a lot of highly-rated beaches to be found in Tortola, especially along the northern shore which features some of the prettiest coastal spots anywhere in the Virgin Islands. The great thing about Tortola’s beaches is the range of activities one can enjoy here; you can simply sunbathe or swim if you like, but there are also plenty of options for visitors who want to try something new or engage in a thrilling water sport activity. Read on to learn all about the best beaches of Tortola.
- Cane Garden Bay
If you want to see the most popular beach in Tortola, Cane Garden Bay is the one for you. Beloved by island natives and tourists alike, Cane Garden Bay is quite a built-up beach due to its popularity, with plenty of good bars, restaurants, and nightlife spots found right nearby. Not only that, but you'll also find a lot of fun beach activities here too including water sport rentals and other vendors offering beach toys and gear at reasonable prices. A lot of hotels and resorts can be found nearby, so this beach is always one of the first ports of call for many new tourists in the area. With sugary white sands and crystal clear waters, Cane Garden Bay is one of the best swimming and sunbathing beaches in Tortola.
- Apple Bay
As soon as you hear Apple Bay's nickname of 'Surfing Beach', you'll know exactly what sort of beach this is. It's one of Tortola's premier surfing destinations with some really high, exciting waves for experienced surfers to try out. The whole beach has a bit of a surfing theme, with a local surfer bar just off the sand where people gather to share stories and meet new friends. There's also a little group of private houses and upscale hotels in this area. If you're looking to ride the waves at Apple Bay, head down to the eastern section of the beach.
- Smugglers Cove
This is only a small beach, located right at the western edge of the island, but Smugglers Cove proves that size really doesn't matter as it's one of the most aesthetically impressive beaches on all of Tortola. The sand here stretches out in a nice curve, offering some lovely views and a great background to take some memorable vacation photos. Unlike some of the other beaches on Tortola, the waters at Smugglers Cove are exceptionally calm, with only the smallest, gentlest waves lapping at the shore. This makes Smugglers Cove a nice spot for families to hang out and splash around in the water together or even do some diving and snorkeling.
- Long Bay
Named due to its exceptional length, Long Bay just seems to go on and on and on. The sand keeps on running as far as the eye can see, curving and twisting around the line of the island and offering a wonderful spot for some romantic strolls or lazy afternoon sunbathing sessions. It's a great place to visit if you're on a honeymoon or lover's holiday, and a nice place for families as well with some decent swimming opportunities to be found at certain points along Long Bay. Be warned, however: there's a real lack of shade at this Tortola beach, so you might want to rent an umbrella or bring some hats or a beach tent in case you need to cool off. And of course, don't forget to use sunscreen.
- Little Bay
We've spoken about Long Bay, and now it's time for Little Bay. Despite its name, Little Bay is surprisingly wide and offers a lot of space, but getting here can actually be quite difficult. Many prospective visitors are turned off when they learn that the only way to reach Little Bay is over a rough, rocky road in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but if you make the effort, you'll be rewarded. This is a really beautiful beach and due to the difficult access, it never gets crowded or noisy. If you want to just get away from it all and feel like you've arrived on a peaceful private island, Little Bay is the place to be.