Home / Central America / British Virgin Islands / British Virgin Islands: green hills, sea and beaches

British Virgin Islands: green hills, sea and beaches

This post is also available in: Deutsch

The British Virgin Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. This British territory is located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, between Puerto Rico and the Anegada Passage. The British Virgin Islands are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago divided between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. About 40 islands in the north-east of the archipelago belong to the United Kingdom. The most important of which are Tortola (55 sq km), Anegada (39 sq km), Virgin Gorda (21 sq km) and Jost Van Dyke (8 sq km). The capital of the territory is the town of Road Town located on the south-east coast of the island of Tortola.


Most of the islands are of volcanic origin, mountainous and jagged. Only the island of Anegada is low and composed of limestone and coral. The highest mountain in the archipelago is Mount Sage (530 meters), which is located on the island of Tortola. Most of the inhabitants of the islands are descended from African slaves who arrived there in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are also minorities of whites, mulattoes and Asians. The vast majority of the archipelago’s population is Christian, generally Protestant. The main economic resources are fishing, agriculture (mainly sugar cane, banana trees, coconut palms, fruit and vegetables), financial activities and tourism.

The islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, but the Spaniards never settled there. The islands became a pirate’s hideout and in the 17th century they were occasionally occupied by the Dutch who established some settlements in Tortola and Virgin Gorda. With the end of the third Anglo-Dutch war the islands were ceded to the British.

The climate of the British Virgin Islands.

  • Area: 153 sqkm.
  • Population: 32,000 (2019 data) (Blacks 83%, Whites 7%, Mulattos (descendants of European and African) 5%, Asian 3%).
  • State Capital: Road Town (Tortola).
  • Language: Official language is English.
  • Religion: Christian 96% (Protestant 86% (Methodist 33%, Anglican 17%, Church of God 9%, Adventist 6%, Baptist 4%), Catholic 10%).
  • Currency: American Dollar (USD)
  • Time: UTC -4 hours.

This post is also available in: Deutsch