Overlooking view of the deep blue water surrounded with the lush island in one of the best beaches in Tortola BVI

10 Best Beaches in Tortola, BVI (in 2023)

Tortola, the largest and most populated of the British Virgin Islands, is a Caribbean paradise lined with dazzling white sands, crystal clear waters, rustic beach bars, and vibrant coral reefs. Tortola beaches provide diverse experiences with secluded coves, resort-lined shores, and popular hotspots for tourists and cruisegoers.

My wife and I are always up for an adventure from our home in nearby St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. We’ve been fortunate enough to island-hop across the archipelago with stops on St. John and St. Croix in the USVI and Virgin Gorda and Tortola in the BVI. 

I’ve stood on just about every beach in the Virgin Islands, and I must say, the beaches of Tortola are amongst the best.

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Best Beaches on Tortola

Smugglers Cove

Small and secluded shoreline on the northwest corner of the island with scenic views of Jost Van Dyke.

Scenic view of the calm beach and golden sand at Smugglers Cove on Tortola Island
The golden sand at Smugglers Cove on Tortola Island.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Sandy, beachside lots | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Search West End Tortola Villas on VRBO

My favorite beach in Tortola was Smuggler’s Cove on the island’s north shore. The beautiful beach is slightly off the beaten path and often overlooked for the more popular Cane Garden Bay. Despite earning less press, the secluded cove doesn’t lack beauty or uniqueness.

The beach is home to two rustic beach bars, Patricia’s and Nigel’s, where you can rent beach chairs, enjoy a cocktail, or savor freshly made Caribbean cuisine. Other activities include snorkeling the pristine coral reefs, sifting through sea shells, or simply enjoying the views of White Bay on Jost Van Dyke in the distance.

🇻🇮 USVI vs. BVI: Check out our guide comparing the two Caribbean destinations, US Virgin Islands vs. British Virgin Islands, to discover which is best for you.

Long Bay Beach, West End

Take a sunrise or sunset stroll along the longest beach on Tortola.

View of the beautiful sunset over the lush Long Bay Beach
Sunset over Long Bay Beach on Tortola’s West End.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: At the Long Bay Beach Club | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Long Bay Beach Resort

If you’re staying at the Long Bay Beach Resort or anywhere on Tortola’s West End, look no further than sinking your toes into the sand of Long Bay. The popular Tortola beach is perfect for sun-seekers, surfers, or those wanting a long morning stroll along one of the most beautiful beaches in the British Virgin Islands.

🇻🇬 Visiting The Baths on Virgin Gorda: Don’t get me wrong, the beaches of Tortola are magnificent. But a day charter to The Baths on Virgin Gorda is unlike any other location in the British Virgin Islands.

Josiah’s Bay Beach

Palm trees line this secluded bay with ideal surf conditions.

A surfboard outside the surf school at Josiah’s Bay Beach
Josiah’s Bay is the best white sand beach for surfers. (photo: lazyllama / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Roadside and beachside gravel

Josiah’s Bay is a white sandy beach along Tortola’s north coast with consistently excellent surf conditions nearly year-round. 

This Tortola beach is home to the BVI Surf School – a knowledgeable contact for experienced and beginner surfers. Be mindful to buckle up in your four-wheel drive before descending to the pristine shoreline – the road to the beach is a little sporty. 

Lambert Bay

One of the few white sand beaches on Tortola with an associated beach resort.

View of the huge rocks and the calm water of Lambert Bay with mountain view in the background
The calm turquoise waters of Lambert Bay are amongst the best beaches in Tortola.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: At the associated beach resort | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort

Lambert Bay is the best beach and resort combo on Tortola. The beach is stunning, while the Wyndham Beach Resort offers every amenity you’d desire, including a beachside pool, beach bar, spa, and restaurant. Although, for those staying elsewhere on the island, I’d recommend visiting other beaches before coming to Lambert Bay.

Long Bay Beach, Beef Island

One of the best beaches with plenty of amenities for a successful day on the islands.

The author Andrew Bloem walking along the sandy shoreline of Long Bay Beach
We visited Long Bay Beach when few visitors were in town.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Plentiful spaces in gravel lots

On the other end of Tortola is Beef Island’s version of Long Bay Beach. One of the most famous beaches in Tortola, Long Bay Beach offers more amenities than most. You can find multiple beach bars, beach chairs for hire, watersport rentals, restroom facilities, and accessible transportation. 

However, you might want to avoid this beach if you are seeking peace and quiet, as busloads of cruise travelers stop here when ships are in town. 

Cane Garden Bay

An idyllic beach that is popular with tourists and cruise travelers.

Aerial view of the lush landscape and calm water around the Cane Garden Bay
Cane Garden Bay is Tortola’s most famous beach.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: streetside and gravel lots. Some lots may charge a parking fee | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Sugar Mill Hotel

Cane Garden Bay is Tortola’s version of Magens Bay on St. Thomas: both are incredibly beautiful, a bit touristy, yet an absolute must-visit. The waters are stunning, with plenty of snorkeling and swimming opportunities, while the shoreline is lined with upbeat bars and seafood establishments.

My favorite part of Cane Garden Bay wasn’t the beach, though. Instead, I loved visiting the Callwood Rum Distillery across the street. This family-owned and operated rum factory is the oldest in the Virgin Islands and one of the longest-running in the Caribbean. Tours are $5 and include tastings.

Brewers Bay

One of the most popular beaches among locals on Tortola.

A snorkeler near the looking at the healthy coral reefs under the water in Brewer’s Bay
Parts of the seafloor in Brewer’s Bay are covered in healthy coral reefs.

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Roadside and gravel lots

Brewers Bay was likely our second favorite beach during our stay on Tortola. Primarily because it had a local vibe unlike any of the other shorelines. The sand wasn’t as fine and white as other beaches, but the waters were equally stunning, offering some of the best snorkeling on Tortola.

Apple Bay

Pristine stretch of water ideal for surfers or those looking for a scenic drive.

A long table with a variety of seashells displayed at Apple Bay
The North Shore Shell Museum at Apple Bay

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: small gravel lot across the street from the sandy patch | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Sugar Mill Hotel

If you’re looking at the map, you’ll notice Apple Bay is quite long yet features only a tiny sliver of sand. Surfers often occupy the small beach portion of the bay, but other parts overlooking the bay feature some of the best restaurants on the island, including D’Coal Pot and Tramonti.

Nanny Cay

The resort’s associated beach is the only southside beach on our list.

Aerial view of the largest marina of Nanny Cay in British Virgin Islands
Nanny Cay is one of the largest marinas in the British Virgin Islands (photo: Frank Lervik / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: At the resort, possible fees apply | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Nanny Cay Resort and Marina

Although the north shore beaches of Tortola blow anything on the south shore out of the water, Nanny Cay’s associated beachfront does make the cut. Primarily because it’s the only south shore beach with anything resembling a sandy shoreline with an affiliated beach bar and restaurant. Plus, the marina is a fantastic place to book a sailing or dive charter.

Trunk Bay, Tortola

Tiny secluded shoreline with minimal people and excellent views.

Overlooking view of the white sand surrounded with greenery and deep blue water at Trunk Bay
Looking down on Trunk Bay of Tortola

📍 Google Maps | 🅿️ Parking: Sandy, roadside lot

Not to be mistaken with the best beach on St. John by the same name, Tortola’s brand of Trunk Bay is far more secluded and less trafficked than its neighbor. In fact, if you want to have a beach to yourself, this might be your best bet.

FAQs About Beaches on Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Does Tortola Have Good Beaches?

Tortola in the British Virgin Islands has fantastic and beautiful beaches lined with palm trees, white sand, and turquoise waters. The beaches of Tortola, primarily Cane Garden Bay and Smugglers Cove, are some of the best in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.

Can You Walk to the Beach from Tortola’s Cruise Port?

There are no beaches within walking distance from Tortola’s cruise port. To access beaches during a cruise stopover in Road Town, I recommend booking an excursion or getting a taxi to visit Cane Garden Bay or Long Bay Beach on Beef Island.


What’s been your favorite beach on Tortola so far? Which are you most excited to visit? Let us know in a comment below! Otherwise, keep planning your trip with our helpful guide on how to get to Tortola from St. Thomas.

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