Jost Van Dyke
Jost Van Dyke was one of the islands discovered by
Christopher Columbus in 1493 and received its name ‘in honor’ of a notorious
Dutch pirate! Just 5 miles to the
northwest of Tortola and 7 miles northeast of St Thomas, this small volcanic
masterpiece – it’s only about 8 square miles in total –is the absolute
epitome of a laid-back Caribbean gem. The only way to get here is by boat.
||If you want gentle swaying palms, glorious views, pristine
white beaches and a completely unhurried outlook on life – then Jost Van Dyke
fits the bill to perfection.
There’s not much on Jost Van Dyke – that’s the point
At the last count there were
only 222 permanent residents – not that anybody bothers to count very much –
and they didn’t get electricity until 1991 and roads until 1996.
What there is here, though, is, quite simply, magical.
The amazing picture-postcard hamlet of Great Harbour –
the commercial hub of the island would be overstating it, but it’s where the
administration building and the school are – and White Bay beach are the most
||Great Harbour is sheltered by some very small volcanic
mountains and a large reef just off the beach and, as well as its five
restaurants it has a number of small stores and boutiques.
More especially, though, it’s the home of Foxy’s Tamarind Bar and
Grill – the beach bar that is second to none anywhere in the Caribbean.
‘Foxy’s’ is renowned for its sumptuously fresh fish – have a
flying fish sandwich or a lobster here and you’ll never experience the like
again- as well as its parties, which attract visitors from all over the islands.
White Bay has an outstanding white sandy beach; so
outstanding, in fact, that it was selected as one of Conde Nast Traveler
Magazine’s 10 best in the Caribbean. You’ll
also find some restaurants, a small hotel and a few other places here in what is
simply the perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling or just lying in a hammock and
remembering that this is why you work for the rest of the year!
||Amazingly, painkillers were invented in White Bay.
Well, there’s the local specialty drink known as the Painkiller,
anyway. This frozen concoction
consists of dark rum – lots of it -, pineapple juice, orange juice, sweetened
coconut cream known as Coco Lopez, and fresh nutmeg – all cunningly designed
to make you never want to leave the island again!
The painkiller was
‘invented’, probably as a result of many years of meticulous research, at
the Soggy Dollar Bar – so-named because sailors used to swim or wade ashore
and then pay for their drinks with – you guessed it – a soggy dollar.
There’s also the Stress Free Bar in White Bay – which is just about
the best place in the world for a bar with that name.
Don't miss this place, it's a
Little Harbour, famous for its lobster feasts, and Diamond
Cay, with the Bubbly Pool, a natural sea water jacuzzi, are popular, but even
smaller, spots to find on Jost van Dyke.
There aren’t many roads here – but those that do exist
just lead from one idyllic site to another.
Wherever you are staying in the Virgin Islands, make sure
you don’t pass up on the chance to visit Jost Van Dyke – it really is a
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