What's more romantic than honeymooning on a Caribbean island? Honeymooning on several of them. That's easy to do in the British Virgin Islands, a volcanic archipelago of more than 60 sandy spots that are renowned for their beaches, snorkeling, and sailing. Here's our guide to the best of the batch.
Eight-square-mile Virgin Gorda is home to the Bitter End Yacht Club, a laid-back, old school–style resort where treehouse-like cabins overlook the beach. It is reachable only by water or air, and sailing is a prime draw—but so is canoodling in a hammock slung on your ocean-view veranda (from $550). Five minutes away by boat, tiny Saba Rock offers a private-island experience you don't have to be Richard Branson to afford (his Necker Island retreat is next door). Nine stylish rooms and suites are clustered on the one-acre islet, famous for a happy hour that draws throngs of yachties to the bar and schools of tarpon to the dock for their daily feeding (from $195). If your style is luxurious seclusion, not scene-making, decamp to nearby Guana Island's North Beach Villa, which has its own beach and plunge pool (because skinny-dipping). The island's only waterfront accommodation, the villa is surrounded by sea-grape trees and lush foliage that ensure you won't be seen by another soul (from $1,650, all-inclusive).
Eat and Drink
There's arguably no Caribbean isle more known for its beach bars than Jost Van Dyke. And White Bay is its epicenter, with a string of shacks along the water. One of the best is the Soggy Dollar Bar, where the rum drink called Painkiller was born in the 1970s. On the southern end of the archipelago, Norman Island's hot spot is the lively Willy-T, a rusting freighter-turned-floating bar and restaurant anchored just offshore. Between orders of conch fritters, diners dare one another to jump from the top deck into the blue below. And to the north, the flat coral island of Anegada is famous for its delicious spiny lobsters, best savored beachside at the Big Bamboo on the north shore.
Sailing is the classic way to see the BVIs, but you don't need to know your bow from your boom to do it. Leave the navigating to such pros as Festiva Sailing Vacations and the Moorings, which offer daylong crewed-yacht charters, as well as rentals for more experienced sailors. Swimming and snorkeling run a close second, and the favored spot for both is the Baths on Virgin Gorda, where giant granite boulders form sheltered, crystal-clear sea pools on the beach's edge. If an endless strip of sand is your nirvana, head for Anegada's Loblolly Bay, a miles-long sweep you'll have virtually to yourself.
Put down that shot glass and memorialize your 'moon with something made in the islands. A couple of our faves: leather-and-pearl jewelry from Deliberate Hues on Virgin Gorda, and stylish swimwear in a spectrum of sizes from Tortola's Trèfle. Just steps from the airport on Tortola, Aragorn's Studio is a one-stop shop for local art and handicrafts—including the owner's signature copper and steel sculptures.