If you’re familiar with the British Virgin Islands, you’ve probably seen the Baths on Virgin Gorda, been to the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, or maybe even chartered out of Tortola, but fewer people make it out to Anegada. It’s one of the four main islands in the BVI but its location and topography keep it a little more under wraps. It’s the northeast most island in the chain and about an hour (by fast ferry) from Tortola. It’s also completely flat (the only non-volcanic island in the chain) and surrounded by a sizeable reef. The reef situation keeps less experienced captains away (many charter companies won’t let you go there) and its isolation leaves many yachties foregoing it in favor of more popular and convenient spots.
But let me tell you, if you’re looking for the undiscovered BVIs, Anegada is it. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the most unknown island in the BVI including where to stay, where to eat, and things to do on Anegada.
So first off…how to decide if you’ll like Anegada…
You’ll like Anegada if…
- You like places that are a little off the beaten path.
- You like wide-open long stretches of white sand beaches. The beaches here are perfect for long walks unlike the little coves and bays on some of the other islands.
- You like quiet and solitude.
- You like to snorkel, bonefish, or kite surf.
- You LOVE lobster.
You probably won’t like Anegada if…
- You need a lot oto do. There’s about three different beaches on the island and that’s it.
- You’re expecting epic views and lush green mountainous landscapes. It’s a flat island and Tortola and Virgin Gorda are a little too far away to be seen any other way than very faintly in the background.
- You like to fly by the seat of your pants. It’ll take planning to get to Anegada (limited ferry schedule) and there are only a handful of restaurants on the island all of which require you to make a reservation for dinner and place your order in advance.
- You can’t stand bugs. The mosquiteo situation was worse here than anywhere else in the Virgin Islands.
S, if you’ve decided that a trip to Anegada is in your future, here we go!
Getting to Anegada: This is the tricky part. Most people come by boat (either their own or a charter), but keep in mind that many charters have rules about letting you take their boats to Anegada. Only a very experienced captain should attempt sailing into Anegada (several people told us that their boats were moored in less than four feet of water). Anegada has also been the site of quite a few shipwrecks due to its reefs. We came by ferry. The ferry service is limited and you’ll most likely be coming from Road Town (Tortola) although the ferries make stops a couple of days a week in Virgin Gorda so you could come as a daytrip from either Tortola or Virgin Gorda. There’s also a teeny tiny airport on the island if you’re daring enough to brave an island hopper from Tortola.
Where to Stay: I absolutely positively recommend the Anegada Beach Club (read my post all about it here) and staying in one of their oceanfront tents is truly a once in a lifetime experience. They also have guestrooms with A/C.
The Anegada Reef Hotel is a good option also. It’s pretty bare bones but it’s right near the ferry dock and they have a nice restaurant. It’s lacking a good beach through (you’d need a car to go elsewhere).
Big Bamboo has cottages on Loblolly Beach, which is one of the prettiest beaches on the island. There’s also a great beach bar on site (the oldest on the island), which serves lunch and dinner.
Where to Eat: So here’s the low down on restaurants on Anegada. For breakfast and lunch you can just show up. For dinner, you’ll need to make a reservation by 4 PM and place your order in advance. Restaurants don’t cook to order. Also, don’t miss having a lobster dinner on Anegada…it’s what they’re famous for!
The Wonky Dog is one of the newer restaurants on the island and always a popular spot. I had the full lobster dinner here (grilled, but they have several variations) and it was ah-mazing. The bartender, Aaron, is fun and puts on quite the show. If you’re only on Anegada for one night, make this your dinner spot.
The Anegada Beach Club does breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I thought they had the best overall menu on the island. It’s not on the water but still has a fun atmosphere. For dinner, the lobster fettuccine alfredo is awesome. They also set out bug spray on every table. : )
Cow Wreck Bar and Grill is a spot you definitely don’t want to miss! This is a place you can hang out all day. Cow Wreck beach was my favorite beach on the island and this little beach bar has plenty of shady spots. Great drinks, perfect views, good food (homemade pie!) and friendly staff make this a very popular hang out spot during the day.
Big Bamboo on famous Loblolly Beach is the oldest restaurant on the island. You can’t see the beach from the restaurant but it’s a nice spot to get out of the sun for awhile. They also do dinner.
The Anegada Reef Hotel is a popular spot in town (right next to the ferry dock) fro breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’ right on the water and the lobster omelet was pretty good!
Neptune’s Treasure is a dinner spot (didn’t get to try it out) but Pam’s Kitchen is also on site. She does baked goods and breakfast on a covered porch right on the water. This is a great spot for breakfast with a view.
Beaches: The entire island honestly feels like one long beach but some spots are more popular and accessible than others.
Cow Wreck Beach: Named after a ship wrecked on the reef carrying cow bones, this spot was my favorite beach on the island. The sand is pristine, you can walk for miles in either direction, and the beach bar has plenty of Adirondack chairs and shade. You can also snorkel off of the beach.
Loblolly Beach: This is the most famous beach on the island and it’s very idyllic. I was a little disappointed in the conditions when I was there (high winds made the water choppy and the beach was covered in seaweed) but normally it’s quite beautiful. The Big Bamboo also provides benches covered with little palapas. This is a popular snorkeling spot. If you’re a beachcomber, you’ll be in heaven if you walk to the right of the Big Bamboo and explore along the rocks. I literally found hundreds of sea urchins!
Keel Point: This is the beach the Anegada Beach Club is located on and it’s about a 45 minute walk east of Cow Wreck Beach (park at the ABC though for direct access). They provide sun beds and palapas. The snorkeling is good off the beach with the sea grass attracting turtles.
Things to Do: Beach bumming is the main activity on the island, but here are a few others:
Snorkeling: Anegada’s reefs make it a popular snorkeling destination. Horseshoe Reef is the best spot for snorkeling but can only be reached by boat. Loblolly is a popular spot as well as Cow Wreck and Keel Point.
Bonefishing: This is a popular sport and many fishermen will come over for the day from Tortola for bone fishing excursions.
Kitesurfing: Perfect conditions make Anegada a popular spot with kite surfers. Tommy Gaunt Kitesurfing at the Anegada Beach Club is the place to learn. Keep in mind that it’ll take three lessons before you’re actually on the board, in what water, with the kite.
Flamingo Spotting: Anegada’s protected salt ponds are home to a flock of pink flamingos! They stay far away from the closest road though so you’ll likely only see a blur of pink dots.
So there you have my complete guide to Anegada in the BVI. If you have any questions for me about planning a trip there, come on over to Facebook and let’s talk!
P.S. This post contains some affiliate links but the reason I partner with Trip Advisor is because I’m able to connect you with 100% completely unbiased reviews so everything here is absolutely of my own opinion.