As winter creeps in, the idyllic archipelago of the British Virgin Islands sounds like the escapism we all crave. Much more than just beautiful, sunny isles (which they do deliver in bucket loads, of course) The BVI's are stuffed full of culture, music, rustic beach bars, out-of-this-world diving and perfect surf. So bursting with culture, in fact, that together with our sister company, Beach Tomato we found a way to bring a slice of this sun to the streets of London with a guerilla art exhibition. The exhibition, hung around London's Shoreditch, consists of art inspired by scenes of the British Virgin Islands by up and coming artist, Victoria Lacroix.
As if that weren't enough, those who spot three of the six pieces and upload them to Beach Tomato's Facebook Page are in the running to win a once in a lifetime, all expenses paid five star trip for two people to the BVI's.
The exhibition runs until Sunday 21st October 2012. Stay tuned to Beach Tomato and their facebook page for daily clues as to where the art hides. Here's five of our favourite places in the British Virgin Islands that just have to be checked out.
To get this Jost Van Dyke institution - located in the secluded White Bay- you need to jump ship and wade your way through the warm waters before traversing a cliff path that winds its way to the bar, (now you know why your dollars might get soggy). The delicious cocktails, however, make the adventurous trek there worth it. Make sure you try The Painkiller: a mouth-watering concoction of dark Rum, Cream of Coconut, Pineapple and Orange Juice topped off with grated Grenadian Nutmeg. We'll raise our glasses to that
Situated within a protected National Marine Park, it's little wonder RMS Rhone (a British Royal Mail steamer) was recently voted as one of the ten best wreck dives in the world. When a ship hit stormy weather in 1867, an explosion in the boiler room split the stern from the bow, and the wreck came to rest in separate locations. Generally best explored in two halves, the Rhone provides a great swim-through site, and it's possible to explore the still-intact bow, as well as swim under the stern for close-ups of the 15ft propeller. Several interesting features remain intact: lifeboat davits, signalling cannons, boilers, wrenches and ‘lucky' portholes, to name but a few.
The charmingly named Perfect Pineapple Guest Houses pride themselves on providing as close to the ‘real' Caribbean experience as possible. They don't strive for luxury, but rather for showing guests that a good helping of nature, plus a bucketful of cheerful Jost Van Dyke hospitality can be all you need to enjoy paradise. There are just five guesthouses, so this is definitely one of the more intimate accommodations in the British Virgin Islands, and that's just the way Perfect Pineapple likes it.
Rosewood Little Dix ResortRosewood Little Dix Resort, located a short drive from Savannah Bay on Virgin Gorda, was the first luxury resort in the British Virgin Islands and is designed by Laurence Rockefeller, no less. The resort is completely in harmony with its surroundings, with the rocky features of Virgin Gorda celebrated in its interior and exterior design. There's an extensive choice of rooms, cottages and villas, all meeting the incredibly high standards to which Little Dix adheres, and if you, like us, enjoy a spot of pampering, this is the place to be. Signature luxury treatments include the Virgin Gorda Goat Milk & Honey Wrap and the Salt Island Scrub. With private treatment cottages set in dramatic cliffs, amid lush foliage and tropical flowers, spa treatments don't get much more paradisiacal. There's even a two-tier infinity pool and an exclusive spa package for couples. They really have thought of everything.
This really is primitive paradise at its best. Miles of talcum-soft sand stretch out along the coast, and if you come across another soul, consider the beach busy. The waters offshore are protected by Horseshoe Reef , so snorkeling opportunities abound, but the real reason for coming here is the tranquility that the beach offers its visitors.
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