This beautiful island is reputed to be the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, Treasure Island. Adventure can still be found on Norman Island, especially around Treasure Point, better known by locals simply as “The Caves“. The ever-popular caves and coral reefs that surround them provide a memorable experience for snorkelers. The Caves at the Bight are one of the most popular snorkeling spots in the BVI and there are various stories of treasure being found there as recently as the late 19th century! Norman Island is just two and a half miles long with a central ridge that rises to Norman Hill, 427 feet above sea level.
No one lives on Norman except a handful of goats that forage on the steep slopes and many varieties of nesting seabirds; however, there is a modern restaurant called ‘Pirates’ nestled up on the beach in the protected cove known by sailors as the Bight, one of the most protected harbours in the region. Without a doubt the attraction that has made Norman Island World-famous to yachtsmen of our era is the infamous floating pirate ship/bar called “The Willy-T”, named after William Thornton who was born on Little Jost Van Dyke and designed the U.S. Capital Building. Norman Island is undoubtedly one of the most popular and naturally exciting destinations in the BVI! For yachtsmen, it offers several other safe bays like Soldier’s and Money Bay. Snorkelers will find their ‘Shangri-La’ in the many unexplored coral reef systems. Coming to the BVI and not getting out to Norman Island would be unheard of to anyone ‘in the know’! BVI Eco-tours goes out to Norman Island and the Indians on excursions from Jost Van Dyke and Tortola at least twice a week. We call it our ‘Snorkeling Safari!’
This 800-acre island is located less than half a mile North of Tortola. We frequently take snorkelers to the best spot on the island, “Monkey Point”, in route to Virgin Gorda and Marina Cay. Monkey Point is well known for magnificent snorkeling adventures with a variety of friendly marine life.
There are few places like Marina Cay. This flower covered and professionally landscaped eight-acre island is ringed by a majestic white sand beach. The island is nestled in a sheltered emerald green lagoon whose shallow waters are always calm and crystal clear. It is the ideal place for snorkelers to enjoy the colorful fish and sea life that inhabit the coral reef and the lagoon. The island is also home to an award winning Pusser’s Restaurant specializing in seafood and Caribbean cuisine. We stop and eat at Marina Cay on our Virgin Gorda tour every Tuesday and also come by a few times a week on ‘Full Day Private Excursions’.
Anegada is a coral reef atoll and the only large island in the BVI that is not volcanic in origin. The island is sparsely populated like Jost with only around 150 residents. This island is all alone being14 miles North of Virgin Gorda and 24 miles from Jost Van Dyke. The Horshoe Reef is a barrier reef protecting the North and East sides of the island and historically known to have been the fate of many shipwrecks. It is accessible by land from Loblolly and Cow Wreck Bays. Anegada makes Jost Van Dyke look busy!!! It’s beach, beach, and more beach. When you get tired of that, go to another beach. There are fine local restaurants on the island and a few small hotels to choose from. When the weather is good, BVI Eco-tours will take private charters up to Anegada to explore the island and reefs.
Cooper Island consists of a hotel, restaurant, bar, and the small beach that lies in front of them. Laze on a white-sand beach fringed with coconut palms, bougainvillea, and frangipani, and watch the yachts glide by on the Sir Francis Drake Channel. There is a nice snorkeling spot nearby called Carvel Rock that we take guests to when on a ‘Full Day Private Excursion’.
Peter Island is owned by Amway, believe it or not! This is a large island that is known for it’s well developed luxury resort. There are times our guests ask to visit the amenities on Peter island: Spa, restaurant, etc., and it would be our pleasure to accommodate you as well. Our favorite stops on Peter Island are Little Harbour (for Sea Turtle sightings!) and Deadman’s Bay (wonderful, long beach and protected harbour).
When you here of an island sparsely inhabited, you would imagine that the population would be slightly more than ONE! However, that is fact today, just one inhabitant. Salt Island is rich in history and at one time was home to more than 300 resident salt rakers and workers struggling to gather, dry, and clean this essential preservative. The island has three salt ponds and at one time was a major source for exporting salt to England and other far away lands. The hiking on the island affords spectacular views and we regularly take guests there on ‘Full Day Private Excursions’. This is a very interesting and historical site.
This 310 foot Royal Mail Steamer was reportedly the first cargo vessel with one of those “newfangled propellers.” Plying its usual course between England and Brazil, stopping in St Thomas or Peter Island for refuelling with coal was considered normal ports of call. When a devastating hurricane hit the islands in 1867, the vessel and most all of the crew and passengers was lost on the rocks on the Southwest side of Salt Island. The full history of the tragedy is well known and the wreck lays remarkably in tact in two main sections. Now a National Marine Park of the BVI, its’ remains are extensive and have become a fascinating underwater habitat for marine life. ‘The Wreck of the RMS Rhone’ is known to be one of the Top Five Wreck Dives in the World! This is a spectacular historical wreck dive that is teeming with many varieties of fish and marine life.
Great Dog, George Dog, West Dog, Seal Dog: This unpopulated group of small islands is located on the North side of the BVI between Virgin Gorda and Tortola. Snorkelling is the name of the game at The Dogs and we regularly take guests there on ’Full Day Private Excursions’.
There are plenty of places on island to relax and enjoy great food here in Jost Van Dyke. The island has many culinary influences: Spanish, French, British, South American, West Indian, East Indian, to name just a few. Reservations are recommended anywhere for dinner on JVD… and part of the fun of visiting our island is taking in the local culture and fine cuisine available.
Great Harbour: Foxy’s (International nightly & BBQ‘s Friday & Saturday nights)), Corsair’s (International fare), A&B Snack Bar (local food), Ali Babas (local food & bbq), Rudy’s (by reservation only), Christine’s Bakery (breakfast only), Paula and Bunn’s (Santo Domingan food)
Little Harbour: Sydney’s Peace and Love (lobster & local food), Abe’s by the Sea (lobster & local food), Harris’ Place (lobsters & local food).
Diamond Cay / East End: Foxy’s Taboo (excellent lunches & fine dining at night)
White Bay: Soggy Dollar Bar (daytime: casual sandwiches & local food) Sandcastle (night time: Elegant fine dining), Seddy’s “One Love“ (local food), Juliette’s Snack Snack (burgers & sandwiches), Ivan’s Stress Free Bar (daytime: light fare & sandwiches; night time: Beach BBQ‘s some nights), Gertrude’s Beach Bar (local food).
Norman Island: the infamous Floating Pirate Ship Bar & Restaurant, the Willy-T. One of our most popular snorkelling trips is to Norman Island, the Indian’s and the Cave’s at Treasure Point. On this charter, we go to the Willy-T as this is considered a must-see-spot to all wanna-be pirates and landlubbers alike! The food is affordable and first class. Excellent cuisine is also available at ‘Pirate’s’, the local beach bar & restaurant.