Road Town

Sugar cane and rum factories
Idyllic coves and beaches
Fantastic views from Skyworld

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Road Town/Tortola

Retracing the path of the pirates

A holiday in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea is perfect for lovers of pirate movies. A visit to the island of Jost Van Dyke will give homage to this Dutch settler and pirate, who lived on the island in the 17th century.

As soon as you disembark from your MSC cruise ship in the port of Road Town, you will feel as if you are part of an adventure film. The capital of the British Virgin Islands, Road Town is situated in the largest bay of Tortola, the largest of the islands. To get a good look at all of the British Virgin Islands, you should have lunch at Skyworld, a panoramic restaurant on the highest point of the island, about 400 metres above sea level.

One of Tortola’s most charming beaches, Sugar Cane Bay is so called for the large sugar cane plantation located behind it. Bathing in these waters and laying on the crystalline sand while sea birds dive into the sea from great heights in search of sustenance is an incredible experience in itself. It can, however, be made even more interesting by a visit to the Callwood Rum Distillery, which houses the original structure of a sugar cane distillery, and a rum tasting.

The original heater at the distillery is still functional and the rum being produced is stored in old barrels. The Old Guard House, which is still intact, has been transformed into an art gallery and a souvenir shop. Every bay of these islands has something special: every year, the largest luxury yachts can be seen navigating the waters and docked in the bays of these islands, especially the charming Virgin Gorda Island, which is worth a visit. Here, the mangroves reach the sea and the shrewdest visitors bathe in The Bath, a bay where enormous volcanic masses stud the beach forming sinuous tunnels that must be followed in order to reach the sea. 

Must see places in Road Town

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    British Virgin Islands

    The gentle lull of the sea
    The gentle lull of the sea

    In British Virgin Islands, phone booths are red like in London, you drive on the left side of the road and the typical local drink is with Pusser, the favourite rum of the officers of the Royal Navy.

    If you set foot on land while on a cruise to the British Virgin Islands you will find plenty of discotheques but also pubs, steel bands and colonial homes with verandas facing the turquoise sea. The British Virgin Islands – about a hundred little islands scattered in the mythical Francis Drake Channel – are above all one of the favourite destinations of sailing enthusiasts, and often host regattas in the seas surrounding the islands.

    A few minutes by motorboat from Tortola, the main island, will take you to Salt Island where the Rhone, the postal ship that sunk in1867 during a sea-storm and defined by Jacques Cousteau as one of the most spectacular wreckages in the world, setting of the underwater scenes in the film Abyss with Jacqueline Bisset. Up to the month of November, instead, you can see the humpback whales swimming past Virgin Gorda, singing their love songs.

    But a real treat is an excursion to Anegada, a narrow stretch of the finest white sand, 20 km in length and less than 3 in width, surrounded by the coral reef, a nature reserve, where boats have often run aground, as one can gather from the almost three hundred wreckages found at the bottom of the sea which attract skin divers from around the world.