The 60 islands that make up the British Virgin Islands feature an array of annual celebrations that draw visitors from around the world, especially the yachting set. Here are some of the best events and festivals to plan your next visit around.
Drink and dance on the beach 'til dawn under the light of the full moon, what can be more Caribbean in spirit than that? Monthly (adults-only) full moon parties are held at Trellis Bay on Tortola (walking distance from the Beef Island airport) and at the legendary Bomba Shack on Tortola's West End, where the price of admission includes a chance to try Bomba's (possibly psychedelic) mushroom tea.
Foxy's, one of the Caribbean's best beach bars, is the epicenter for the annual New Year's Eve party on Jost Van Dyke, a.k.a. "Old Year's Night", favored by celebrities and yachties for its great food and entertainment. Ring in the new year with a Sly Fox rum toast.
Tortola also plays host to the BVI's annual Sweethearts of the Caribbean and Classic Yacht Regatta, the February highlight penciled in on the charts of every dedicated yacht captain in the Caribbean. The event is based at the "loyal" West End Yacht Club, and don't miss the after-party at the Jolly Roger Restaurant, the event sponsor located in Tortola's West End.
A seven-day sailing event that includes cruises, smaller races, and the three-day main-event regatta. Sponsored by the Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola.
The BVI's top angler's event is held in Spanish Town, capital of Virgin Gorda, and includes great food and entertainment as well as fishing. Held at the same time as Virgin Gorda's Easter Festival, featuring parades, calypso music, and funji bands.
The annual apex of the BVI music scene, the Music Festival includes reggae, calypso, funji, R&B, rock, dance, and jazz groups from across the region and around the world. Held over a three-day weekend in May at Cane Garden Bay Beach on Tortola.
Also known as the August Festival or the BVI Festival, this event marks the BVI's emancipation from slavery in 1834. Includes the annual freedom march, emancipation service, calypso monarch competition, boat races, and August Monday Parade. The cultural event of the year in the BVI and not to be missed.
Blowing into the BVI from late June-early July, this is one of the top windsurfing competitions in the world and features races from Anguilla to the BVI, and then races starting at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda. The Hi-Ho Pirate Party is an annual highlight.