Hidden Tortola Beaches on Tortola British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean
By Kara Juffer – The Memories Travel
There are so many things to do in Tortola BVI. Tortola is one of our favorite islands in the Caribbean, and particularly because we love the Tortola beaches. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands, and home to the capital of Road Town. Located west of Virgin Gorda and Beef Island and east of Jost Van Dyke, Tortola BVI is right in the center of everything.
Some of the more popular Tortola beaches are Smuggler’s Cove, Cane Garden, Garden Bay, and Apple Bay. Smuggler’s Cove in particular is quite popular to locals and tourists alike. Located on the northwestern side of Tortola BVI, it has great soft sand with plenty of palm trees for shade. The water is great for swimming, and the sand beach is nice for hanging out on and for having a drink at a beach bar. There is also a snack bar open in the afternoons and on weekends. However, if you truly want a hidden beach there are others you should try. And if you have any questions about any of this, feel free to leave us a comment below.
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Tortola Beaches – Josiah’s Bay
This hidden beach is located on the east end of the island. Josiah’s Bay Beach is not your typical tourist beach. It’s definitely one of our top things to do in Tortola BVI. And although it has lots of beauty, it doesn’t have the crowds. Many times you will have the entire beach to yourself, but at most you will share it with a handful of others, and maybe a few cows.
Visiting Josiah’s Bay was our favorite day on Tortola BVI. Our concierge at the Scrub Island Resort recommended this beach, and she was spot on! We rode the ferry from Scrub Island to the Road Town ferry terminal. Once we arrived, we found a taxi to take us to Josiah’s Bay. The taxi ride was quick (only about 2 miles away), and ended at a residential road. The last bit of road was dirt, and there were cows enjoying the shade along the sides. It was just what we were looking for – serene, beautiful Tortola beaches! The setting felt natural and secluded.
Getting To Josiah’s Beach
The taxi driver dropped us off and promised to come back in two hours to pick us up. We hoped we could trust him, because there were really no other options for a ride back. So, we crossed our fingers and set out to explore the area. We first walked up to Steve’s Surf Shack. A small building with a few surfboards and boogie boards. After Steve gave us a quick warning about the strong waves, we decided on boogie boards for the day. The waves were strong but lots of fun. Our kids are strong swimmers and older, so we didn’t worry too much. We loved riding the waves.
Things To Do at Josiah’s Beach
There were two to three locals hanging out at the beach with their dogs and surfboards. They would go out and catch a few waves, then come in to relax on the sandy beach. The dogs loved the ocean as much as their owners, and they loved playing at the edge of the water. Friendly and fun, my kids couldn’t resist playing with the dogs.
At Josiah’s beach, a small snack hut was selling hot dogs, chips and drinks. It was nothing fancy, but it was enough to fill our bellies. Everyone agreed it was a great hot dog! We chatted with the owners, who were from New Jersey. Hearing their story of moving to Tortola conjured our imagination of never leaving this wonderful beach! And as it turned out, the snack hut was able to call our taxi, so we were able to stay an extra couple of hours.
The only drawback was that there was not a lot of shade on Josiah’s Beach, so we used a small grass umbrella for a little shade. We mostly spent time in the ocean to cool off. If you go, note that there are no facilities available at the beach.
Tortola Beaches – Long Bay Beach
Getting To Long Bay Beach
After our time at Josiah’s Bay Beach, we visited another Tortola beach – a hidden one of course – called Long Bay Beach. It was a short taxi ride from Josiah’s Bay, and again down a dirt road.
After boogie boarding in the waves all morning at Josiah’s Bay Beach, we were happy to relax on Long Bay Beach. The ocean was very different. Instead of playing in the waves, it was smooth as glass. We waded out in the water, and walked along the shore.
Things To Do At Long Bay Beach
As the name suggests, the beach was very long. It is a perfect place to stroll along in the sand, or splash in the edge of the water. From the moment we arrived, we felt an overwhelming sense of relaxation. The slow lapping of a few waves, the warm sun, and the soft sand lulled us into complete vacation mode.
Although there were no cows this time, this beach had lots of chickens! A few people were around walking, swimming and reading along the shore. But really we had the beach almost entirely to ourselves. We loved it!
My daughter and I read books, while the boys played on the ocean trampoline. While they were jumping, several kids who had just been dismissed from school came over to the trampoline to play. They played ball and other made up games. All the kids played for at least an hour until they had to go home. The kids said they couldn’t wait to tell their parents that they had played with the tourists they met that day! We couldn’t help but dream what it would be like to be able to run to Long Bay Beach right after school.
No food or facilities were available when we visited Long Bay Beach, but there were menus posted around. I assume drinks and snacks are sold at other times. Plenty of picnic tables were along the beach with about half in the shade. The tables made a great area to have a snack or meal.
You can’t go wrong with any of the Tortola beaches. In fact, there are so many things to do in Tortola BVI, that you’ll be able to come back multiple times. But, if you want to visit a couple hidden beaches in Tortola BVI, Josiah’s Bay Beach and Long Bay Beach are two great options. Each beach is very different but wonderful nonetheless. Josiah’s Bay Beach has waves to surf and boogie board on, and Long Bay Beach has smooth calm waters that are perfect for some relaxation. The natural beauty and seclusion made these our favorite hidden beaches on Tortola.
Other Off the Beaten Path Beach Destinations
If you like the Tortola beaches, you should seriously consider doing some travel to Palau. The pristine beaches and turquoise water there will certainly remind you of the British Virgin Islands. Another fantastic island destination is Zamami Island in Japan. This quaint fishing island is full of Japanese culture as well as a lots of fun activities for just about everyone. Last but certainly not least, if you find yourself in Thailand, there are tons of things to do on Koh Yao Yai Island. But no matter what you choose to do, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below, and we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can. And in the mean time, happy travels!
Kara shares about her travel adventures near and far. On her site, The Memories Travel, she has lots of itineraries and ideas to make your trips easier. Kara believes it’s so important to take the time to make memories with family and friends, and she does so through travel.