How to plan your BVI sailing itinerary

Planning your sailing itinerary in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) can be one of the most fun but also one of the most intimidating parts of your trip. Here’s a guide to help you get started:

Key Tips for Planning

  • Flexibility is Key: Plan an itinerary, but be prepared to change it based on how things go. You might find a spot you love and want to stay longer, or your crew might need a break.
  • Consult Experienced Sailors: Run your plan by someone who’s been to the BVI before for feedback and tips.

Sample 7-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Road Town to Norman Island

  • Activities: Check out your boat and provisions. Sail to Norman Island.
  • Notes: It’s a short sail, so even a late start is okay. Stop at the Indians for a snorkel if you leave early. Once at Norman, dinghy over to the Caves for more snorkeling.

Day 2: Norman Island to North Sound, Virgin Gorda (with a stop at the Baths)

  • Activities: Visit the Baths. You can easily spend two nights at North Sound. If you do, consider spending one night by Saba Rock and Bitter End Yacht Club and a second night at Leverick Bay.
  • Alternate Plan: If your crew is new and doesn’t appreciate the long sail, or you get a late start, consider stopping at Cooper Island or Marina Cay instead. Motor from the Baths to North Sound if needed (no overnighting at the Baths). You can also skip the Baths, go straight to North Sound and get a taxi or rent a car to explore the island and go the Baths.

Day 3: North Sound to Anegada

  • Plan: Early start to Anegada, arrive by noon. Taxi to the beach.
  • Activities: Make reservations for a lobster dinner before leaving. Rent scooters. Explore the island.

Day 4: Anegada to Jost Van Dyke

  • Activities: Long sail, break it up with a snorkel stop at Monkey Point.
  • Notes: Enjoy the beach and nightlife at Jost Van Dyke.

Day 5: White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

  • Activities: Relax on the famous White Bay. Get a drink at Soggy Dollar.
  • Tips: You can dinghy over to White Bay from Jost Van Dyke. Or get a taxi over land.

Day 6: Jost Van Dyke to Norman Island

  • Activities: Stop at the Indians and Caves if missed on Day 1. Option to lunch at Cane Garden Bay or Sopers Hole.

Day 7: Norman Island to Road Town

  • Activities: Sail back to Road Town for boat check-in.

Itinerary Options

You can vary this itinerary in many ways:

  • Spend two nights at North Sound or Anegada.
  • Add extra snorkel stops, like at the Dogs.
  • Skip Anegada for more short hops and explore Salt Island to snorkel over the Wreck of the Rhone.

Clockwise vs. Counterclockwise

  • Counterclockwise (Recommended): Offers a good mix of upwind and downwind sailing, starting with shorter, easier sails.
  • Clockwise: A much more difficult option. You end up sailing up wind into the swells on the north side of Tortola.

Route Suggestions

Here are some potential routes and highlights:

From Road Town

  • Norman Island: Short sail, good for a late start. Great snorkeling and nightlife at Willie T’s.
  • Peter Island: Not all harbors are good for overnight.
  • Cooper Island: Great restaurant, need an early arrival for mooring balls.
  • Marina Cay: Restaurant and shop.
  • Trellis Bay: Close to the airport, live music.
  • North Sound: Long sail, start early. Multiple entertainment and dining options.

From Norman/Peter/Cooper Islands

  • Marina Cay: Restaurant and shop. Catch Michael Beans during Happy Hour.
  • North Sound: Variety of mooring options and activities. Take a cab to the Baths.

From Anegada

  • North Sound: Options for mooring balls, entertainment at Leverick Bay, and activities at Bitter End Yacht Club.
  • Jost Van Dyke: Long sail, plan a snorkeling stop. Enjoy White Bay and Great Harbour nightlife.

Water and Fuel Stops

  • Fuel: Unlikely needed for a week-long trip on a sailing yacht.
  • Water: Plan for a midweek water stop if your crew takes long showers.

Final Tips

  • Flexibility and planning for contingencies are crucial.
  • Check charts, consult your boat’s capabilities, and consider your crew’s preferences and experience.


  1. Is sailing from Road Town to Anegada after check-out out of the question? What is the sailing time?

    What about sailing from Road Town to North Sound after check-out and then on to Anegada the following day?

    When you say ‘early start’, what time do you mean?

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