For the ultimate Tortola experience, climb aboard an inter-island charter flight to see the beauty of the island and surrounding sea from the air. Sailboats with a crew can be leased for a day sail to explore the intimate grottoes, snorkel spots and private islands like Sandy Cay that surround the island. The West End Yacht Club in Soper's Hole hosts sailing races, social events and crew training programs for all ages and skill levels.
Divers will be delighted to find over 100 primo sites with towering coral reefs, underwater lava tunnels and extraordinary shipwrecks accessible to various levels of deep sea diving expertise.
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate renting mountain bikes or all terrain vehicles to explore the interior up close and personal. Water sports fans will delight in the opportunities to go surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, kite boarding and jet skiing.
For stylish lounging, tranquil beaches like Cane Garden Bay provide easily accessible bars with music and local delicacies or if you want peace and quiet head to the tranquil tree-lined shores of Elizabeth Beach.
Fishing is also excellent in the warm waters around the British Virgin Islands and guided charters track down big game fish. Each Thanksgiving season there is an annual game fish challenge with cash prizes in a variety of categories. On Beef Island, Fishermen's Day held in May culminates with a beach barbeque at Long Bay where guests staying at Tortola luxury villas are welcomed as part of the family.
The local cuisine centres on their abundance of seafood, fruits and coconuts. Restaurants are scattered around the island, strung out along the beach villages and clustered in lively Road Town along Main Street.
Ginger beer is the choice to accompany traditional Caribbean island dishes like roti, a flour wrap filled with curried chicken and vegetables. Conch, lobster and sea snails are considered local delicacies and American, Italian and French restaurants take advantage of the available seafood to create delicious specialties. Roasted duck and rack of lamb with a port wine sauce are also popular, traditionally followed with a fresh key lime pie and wood-fired fresh roasted coffee.
Rustic cafes along the shoreline feature island-style barbecues and charcoal grilled sirloin steaks. The influence of traditional English foods on the menu like shepherd's pie and bangers and mash show the early influence of the British remains. The infamous beach bars invite guests from Tortola vacation rentals to try popular rum drinks like the "painkiller."
Guests at Tortola vacations rentals soak up warm, gentle tropical trade winds while enjoying the relief of the crisp mountain air that sweeps down from Sage Mountain that keeps the heat at bay.
With temperatures ranging from 22 - 31C, it rarely gets very chilly or too hot. But keep in mind that the further up the mountain you go, the cooler it gets, so some hillside Tortola villa rentals come equipped with fireplaces and hot tubs. Usually sunny, the average rainfall is 45 inches and traditionally storms are mild and blow away quickly in the persistent trade winds.
Visitors to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) adore the laid-back ambiance of Tortola with its secluded palm-fringed beaches and lush green slopes up Mount Sage. Preferred Escapes has Tortola luxury villas located in the heart of picturesque towns, along the shores of the azure Caribbean Sea or hidden in forests under the moist jungle canopy.
English is the official language of Tortola and the U.S. dollar is welcomed as standard currency. Main Street in Road Town serves as the island's primary shopping zone where duty-free stores offer high-end jewelry, designer clothing and spirits at bargain prices. With only 21,000 full-time residents, there are a surprising number of Tortola villa rentals outfitted to accommodate everything from young families to executives with very fastidious tastes.
In Road Town, visitors in Tortola vacation rentals discover delicious living at a leisurely pace. The J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens houses examples of the local flora and fauna as well as the native birds and friendly creatures. Carrot Bay has an unusual museum full of natural treasures from the ocean called the North Shore Shell Museum. On Joe's Hill is an observation point that offers an impressive perspective of not only Tortola but ocean views all the way to St. Croix.
The remnants of the past have been lovingly preserved so guests of Tortola villa rentals can relive the historical epics that have taken place at strategic sites like Fort Burt, Fort Recovery and the Dungeon, the pet name for the bunker that housed British soldiers who defended the island from invaders. Tours around the island include a visit to some of the islands now defunct plantations like Josiah's Bay Plantation and the Thorton Plantation where one of the island's most famous sons, William Thorton, drew up his plans for the United States Capitol building while in residence. The Mt. Healthy National Park is another former sugar plantation on Todman Peak that flourished in the 18th century and now has a restored working windmill and exhibits.
Regular festivals celebrate everything from monthly full moon parties to yearly races of the BVI Spring Regatta and the week-long BVI music festival held each May. Regular events are also designed to appeal in particular to guests of Tortola luxury villas like Wreak Week held at Nanny Bay by the BVI Scuba Association who host activities that include an undersea treasure hunt, pumpkin carving contest and a finale party on Cooper Island.
The British Virgin Islands National Park in Tortola covers 92 acres of Sage Mountain that rises over 1000 feet, meaning that the air is cool and damp even on the hottest days. For a sunny day at the beach, head to the Queen Elizabeth II Park on the seaward side of Road Town to embrace the warmth of the seashore with sheltered spots shaded by native trees that are perfect for informal picnics.
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