Steady trade winds, seductive bays and the very best facilities for boat maintenance and mooring are the main reasons why the British Virgin Islands – the BVIs – hit the high notes. Sailing is the main activity whether in the smallest kayak or the sleekest super-yacht on these elegant but ever-understated islands.
A home on the wealthy BVIs provides a base in a country where crime is low, living standards are high and the natural beauty is intense. A stable political and economic framework with clear property title and a fiscally friendly environment with no income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax or VAT are the extra spur for homeowners. The islands are a British Overseas Territory with a legal system based on English law.
There are 60 islands in all, only 15 inhabited, and several owned privately by big name billionaires including Richard Branson and Larry Page of Google. The four main islands where most international buyers choose to live are Tortola (home to the capital Road Town, the main international airport and over 80 per cent of the population), Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
The BVIs are less accessible from Europe or North America than the Bahamas or Cayman Islands (most people transfer through Antigua or St Maarten) but the relative remoteness on a beautiful and sophisticated island is exactly what appeals to the islands many fans.