There are two dozen or so fantastic beaches on Tortola and
the temptation might be, once you’ve had a day or two lounging on one of them,
that the thought of going on a Tortola sightseeing expedition just seems like
too much hard work!
However enticing the thought of just spending your time
lying on that beach, dipping into that water and sipping those rum cocktails
might be – you’d really regret not seeing some of the other amazing sights
the island has to offer. Tortola
sightseeing is a must, believe me.
What kind of Tortola sightseeing can you do?
It might seem that, in many ways, there is not a lot ‘to
do’ on Tortola – there’s a shortage of theme parks and fun fairs – but
there is certainly no shortage of things to see and places to go – from the
historic aspects of Caribbean life such as ruins of forts and rum factories to
breathtaking views from the top of the island.
Not to mention Quito’s or Bomba’s
Beach Shack, of course.
I consider that a walking tour of Road Town itself provides
a fascinating glimpse into life in the British Virgin Islands.
Stroll around the harbor and look at the immense variety of craft there
– and the variety of people – then take a walk along Main Street with its
idiosyncratic juxtaposition of old and new buildings and its cornucopia of
tantalizing smells. Continue
walking past the austere Prison, past countless old wooden buildings painted in
rainbows of vivid colors. Pause
awhile at the Sunday Morning Well, where slavery in the BVI was officially ended
in 1834, and then seek a few minutes tranquility in the JR O’Neal Botanic
Gardens. Road Town offers a
constantly changing picture of Caribbean living, in a completely safe
Touring the rest of the island, either by hiring a car
yourself – as long as you remember to drive on the left – or by traveling in
an open-air ‘jitney’ bus, is a great way to see and admire many of the
beautiful bays, beaches and coves. If
you’re driving yourself, it’s best to take a little jeep or four-wheel drive
as some of the roads are quite steep and they’re not all in pristine
You could perhaps travel along the central spine of Tortola
along the appropriately named Ridge Road, which will transport you through an
ever-changing vista of ridges and valleys, dipping into the narrow sided
‘ghuts’ which pierce the landscape. Always
of course, you’ll have tempting glimpses of the coast or neighboring islands.
Going along this way will give you the chance to see the ruins of the
windmill powered sugar mill at Mount Healthy National
Park, the panoramic views
from Skyworld, the restaurant in the clouds where you might be able to see St
Thomas and St John islands dotting the Caribbean, and stop off at Mount Sage
National Park – perhaps for a picnic but certainly to enjoy some delightful
forest scenery. Don’t forget to
take a coat, though – temperatures here will be noticeably cooler than down on
Tortola sightseeing trips also offer you the opportunity of
driving around the dramatic north coast or alternatively the Sir Francis Drake
Channel Coastal Road- both of which will give you breathtaking views as you
travel to some of the famous Tortola beaches.
For me, there’s one other ‘must see’ on your Tortola
sightseeing tour – the Fahie Hill Mural – a vivid 60 foot long painting
depicting local scenes as you climb along Ridge Road, overlooking North Sound.
But this whole island, from the mountains to the beaches,
is one long sightseeing delight. However
tempting that beach might be, you really don’t want to miss the rest of this
Click here to return to Tortola Beaches Home from Tortola Sightseeing.