British Virgin Isles
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Exquisite British Virgin Isles Holidays
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Close your eyes and picture a landscape that's more water than soil. Imagine a complex terrain that undulates and unfolds under a cool canopy that buzzes with birds, insects and tree-dwelling mammals. Think of a place where the colors of the three dominant natural features - white sand, green vegetation and jasmine water - are outshone only by the brilliant blue hue of a cloudless sky. Shove winter's chill out of your mind with the blessed knowledge that this breezy world never gets too hot or too cold.
Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the territory of the British Virgin Isles proves that it's possible to travel to another world without giving up the comforts of home. With a population of under 30,000 souls spread out over 50 islands, this British territory gives visitors carte blanche to construct a breathtaking eco-adventure or a relaxing beach holiday. The choice is yours.
Road Town and surrounding historic sites: Although Road Town passes for a metropolis in the sparsely populated British Virgin Isles, it's home to barely 12,000 souls. Nevertheless, this sleepy seaside town packs hundreds of years' worth of history - not to mention the incomparable beauty of the volcanic hills and deep harbor that bound it - into just a few square miles. Road Town's whitewashed government structures and multi-hued private buildings stand in sharp contrast to the green-and-blue landscape outside the city's built-up area. Don't leave without visiting the old HM Prison near the center of town and viewing the Sunday Morning Well, the site from which the islands' slaves were set free in 1834.
Anegada Island: Known locally as "the drowned land," Anegada breaks the hilly, volcanic mold of the British Virgin Isles: It's a coral atoll that formed over millions of years through sedimentary deposition. Start your visit by walking around its sandy perimeter or penetrating its lush, watery interior with sturdy footwear. Next, hire a boat or retain a diving guide to show you around the island's teeming shallows. After diving with bright-hued tropical fish and byzantine coral formations, replenish your strength with a hearty bowl of callaloo. This potent, aromatic dish combines goat, lamb, beef or fish in a thick stew with okra, onions and other vegetables. It's often served with fungee, a thick, okra-infused cornmeal biscuit.
The Cays: In local parlance, a cay is a small, rocky island that may or may not be inhabited. The British Virgin Isles contains more than a dozen such places, many of which support exclusive resort properties. The best way to see places like Sandy Cay and Frenchman's Cay is to charter a boat - or "bareback" a crewless vessel - and navigate through the blue and green lagoons and shallows that separate them. Throughout your adventure, quench your appetite with the local version of a Cornish pasty. Known as pate, it's a pleasant-smelling dough pocket that's filled with stewed and spiced meats and vegetables.
The Baths: Located near Spanish Town on the island of Virgin Gorda, The Baths area encompasses a series of unusual rock and sand formations. During the islands' most recent period of volcanic activity, dozens of granite boulders and slabs found their way to an otherwise lush section of white-sand beach. They now sit in the shallows and create stunning waterfalls, eddies and pools at various points during the tidal cycle. Find your inner child as you play on, beneath and around these giant structures.
Best Time To Visit:
Like the rest of the Caribbean, the British Virgin Isles experiences a tropical climate with year-round precipitation. Temperatures remain within a narrow range all year long, but precipitation spikes during the fall months. Additionally, the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms clouds the July-to-October corridor. Travelers who wish to minimize the risk of weather disruptions should visit during the relatively dry period between January and April. While this pleasant season tends to see an uptick in tourist volumes, the territory rarely sees overwhelming traffic. However, the neighboring U.S. Virgin Isles experiences a crush of tourists during the North American "spring break" season in March.
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